Help slash ocean trash!

Help slash ocean trash!

Photo: GreenFaith

Photo: GreenFaith

We can create cleaner coasts

Many people believe that if plastic pollution exists in the oceans, fishing and shipping industries are to blame. In fact – more than 80% comes from land-based sources, primarily litter! That means individuals everywhere can help protect sea turtles, birds, and fish – who accidentally mistake plastic for food and choke or get sick – by reducing the trash we produce.

Personal Action Tips

Think twice before you decide to toss it. That vintage bicycle was never fated for the rubbish pile! We turn down many opportunities to refurbish products headed for a landfill. Many household items can be reused—from old T-shirts and shoe boxes to glass jars and single-sided paper. If you don’t need it in your home, maybe someone else does. Donate lightly used clothes and furniture to a thrift store. Or, to find people in your area interested in reducing waste by exchanging used goods visit https://www.freecycle.org/.

How often do you or your family buy things that you don’t really need? By consciously consuming less, we help conserve natural resources and help keep our planet’s life-support systems more intact. It’s good to buy less, buy in bulk, and choose products with little packaging. By paying attention to this easy tips you and your family can make a big difference over time.

Buy the product, not the packaging. Recycling is great, but generating less waste is even better. Start at the grocery store by choosing items with the least packaging or, at least, the most environmentally-friendly packaging. Avoid packaging that uses PVC, polyvinyl chloride, typically labeled with the number “3” or the letter “V” on the recycling symbol, as PVC is a leading source of dioxin, a potent toxin, in the environment. Also, educate yourself on the different types of product certification labels to assist in helping you purchase sustainable products.

Be creative with your waste. Before you throw something away, think of a way it can be reused, for cleaning, as wrapping paper, for storage, or as an art project. If you can’t reuse it then recycle everything you can, including paper, plastics, glass, aluminum, computers, cell phones, ink cartridges, and furniture — you really can recycle just about anything! By recycling you can help lessen the load on our landfills and prevent leaching of toxins into our water supplies. Check out this website and found out how to make the most use out of your old stuff!

Recycle your e-waste. We produce a lot of electronic waste, but much of it isn’t safe to throw away with the rest of the trash. Find a free e-waste recycling location near you at one of these websites:

Break the bottle habit. Investing in a sturdy reusable water bottle and taking it with you wherever you go makes a big difference. Eliminate the need to buy drinks in disposable containers. A lot of resources go into creating and disposing those plastic drink bottles.

Act for World Oceans Day

Hold a ‘Switch for the Sea’ contest – Ask friends and family to switch one of their disposable plastic habits for a sustainable, ocean-friendly one: such as bringing reusable food containers from home when eating out for your ‘doggie bag.’

Organize an aquatic clean-up – Head out to your nearest and dearest body of water with some friends and pick up all the trash you find. You’ll be surprised at how much of it is plastic.

Ban the bag in your town. Many communities around the world are banning plastic bags from being used at their stores. Learn how to start a campaign to stop plastic bags use in your town!

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Originally from Washington State, Evan is pursuing his Master's degree in environmental governance at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Arriving to Providence in February 2014, he is currently working with The Ocean Project as a research intern while completing his thesis. With a passion for sustainability, Evan is most interested in making a difference and protecting oceans ecosystems.

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