Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and let’s add a new one … Refuse (used as a verb, not a noun!)
It’s a new year and lots of people make resolutions: lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking are the biggies. To recycle more is another great one, but what if we work on reduce and reuse, and ultimately refuse, this year?
A World Economic Forum report recently predicted that by 2050 there could be as much plastic, by weight, in the ocean as there are fish. It also explains that 95% of plastic produced globally is only used once. So let’s try to refuse those single use plastics. Like what you ask? Mostly things you probably use every day that do not get recycled.
Plastic ware. Those knives, forks and straws that came with your take out … where are they now? They’re either in the landfill or in the back of a drawer somewhere. Just skip them. Tell them you don’t need utensils. It’s literally that easy. Just throw a fork and spoon in your purse, in your glove box, desk drawer, whatever … refuse the plastic, reuse the silverware!
Straws. Americans use 500 million per day. Straws are in the Top 5 most commonly picked up trash off the coastlines. They are not recyclable. Children do not need them if they have a sippy cup. You do not need two in your margarita. If you have never seen the youtube video of the turtle with the straw in its nose, be thankful. It’s awful what straws do to sea animals. Just refuse the straw if you can.
Plastic coffee stirrers. Use your finger. Or a pen. Or swill it gently in circles for a second when it’s half full and then fill it the rest of the way up. Plastic coffee stirrers are truly useless.
Face Scrub. The “exfoliating” microplastics found in many facescrubs get washed down into our water sources and can now be found in the fish we eat. If you see the words polypropylene or polyethylene in the ingredients, refuse to purchase it. I know, I know. I rarely read the ingredients in my face scrub either so maybe just research it before you go to the store and know which brands have it!
Plastic bags. Obviously you can get reusable totes. If you forget them, and we all do, just ask for paper.
Plastic razors. A razor that requires blades may seem like it costs more but in the long run, it doesn’t. And you can get a far superior shave. So there’s that.
That’s a good start! If we can all make an attempt to get rid of those few single use plastic items, we’ll be helping to do our part for Mother Earth!
Be sure to record your recycling and enter any of the random drawings for this month. We have Publix/Kroger, Starbucks, PetSmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Dominoes, Mc Donald’s and Emagine Theatre! Please check your email and mailing address to ensure it is correct. All gift cards are either sent via email (an e-card) or via US Post! Good luck!