5 simple ways to reduce your plastic impact

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By now you’re aware of the harm caused to the environment by plastic pollution and many of you have indicated that you want to reduce your own impact now that you’re more aware of the issue. So we’re here to help! In this post, we will discuss some simple ways you can reduce your environmental impact.

Let’s start with straws!

If you go to a restaurant or cafe and order a cold drink, request your drink without a straw – it’s as simple as just saying “no straw please” when you order! Like… Does your orange juice really need a straw? Alternatively, if you’ve ordered something like an iced chocolate or frappe and you simply can’t enjoy your drink without a straw, you still have some options! (Ideally in this instance you could just whip out that trendy stainless steel straw you have with you, but let’s assume you forgot it today)

  • Scan the counter

Often cafes and restaurants actually do have paper straws! Usually strategically positioned by the counter to make them look more Eco friendly (even when they give you a plastic one anyway!) and because their pretty patterns and colours make them nice to display. If you don’t see them, you can always ask – it’s worth a shot!

  • Use a spoon

I know, crazy. How dare I suggest a spoon can be used to stir your lemon lime and bitters or the chocolate, cream and ice cream into your milk! But if you happen upon a long spoon they are so ideal for scooping up those little smidges of ice cream left over… Trust me!

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Take away tea / coffee

Next time you hit up your favorite coffee stop, check out the cup you get! Not all take away coffee cups can be recycled! In fact, almost all can’t due to that thin plastic film around it. If they are, they’ll generally say that on them too. If not recyclable, biodegradable would be a good start. In some cases, your disposable coffee cup will outlast your time on earth! Consider that next time, but remember that even if the cup itself isn’t recyclable, the lids mostly are – recycle what you can!

Or better yet bring your own reusable cup 😉

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Take away food

Opt for food packaging that is the most eco friendly! That means: No Polystyrene packaging! Stay as far away from that as possible. Polystyrene is terrible for the environment – just avoid at all costs!

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Shopping bags

If you’re out clothes shopping, ask for a ‘large’ bag and try to fit as much of your days shopping as you can into one bag – and in the ideal world it will be fabric!

If its your grocery shopping, then Choose Canvas! Canvas bags are a durable, practical and much more environmentally friendly way to transport your shopping. Not only that but these days you can get plain, patterned, colorful and even personalized canvas bags. Keep a few in your car and the environment will thank you for it! On that note, make sure you check out the Choose Canvas campaign for more!

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Plastic bottles

Okay, so everyone uses them, and I’m not about to tell you to steer away from them completely. However, I will just say… BUY ONE YOU LIKE AND KEEP IT!

Shop around for the perfect bottle, the one that suits you – the right lid, right shape, and right size. Now, drink it. Okay got that, but here’s the catch: now you refill it, and can drink and refill and drink and refill and drink and refill and you get the point. Don’t just throw it out! And if it really is past its use by – please recycle it.

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Whats your tip?

Other issues Under the Ocean: Part 1

While plastic accounts for 80% of ocean trash, is responsible for the death of millions of creatures, is a threat to ecosystems and even to our healthit is far from being the only crisis facing the ocean as a result of humans actions. While our primary concern is plastic waste, we are concerned with all issues under the ocean (pun intended). Over the next two posts I will be discussing two such issues: shark culling and overfishing.

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Shark culling is a major issue facing Australia’s oceans right now. Here at Under the Ocean we are excited to announce we have teamed up with Isabella Molinari from Cut The Cull to bring you this post.

Do you know what the actual chance of being attacked and killed by a shark is? Well, according to the Wildlife Museum the odds of getting attacked and killed by a shark are 1 in 3,748,067. In a lifetime, you are more likely to die from fireworks (1 in 340,733), lightning (1 in 79,746), drowning (1 in 1,134), a car accident (1 in 84), stroke (1 in 24), or heart disease (1 in 5).

In fact, according to the Australian Institute of Marine Science, there are around 10 deaths per year attributable to sharks worldwide. On the other hand, do you know how many sharks are culled PER HOUR worldwide? Well, you might be surprised to find out it’s a whopping 11,417. That’s about 190 sharks a minute. Shockingly, 97% of sharks that were culled around Australia over a 12-month period were considered to be at some level of conservation risk. If culling continues at this rate sharks will soon be at risk of extinction!

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Some sharks are also killed indirectly, by – you guessed it – plastic. Often mistaken for food, sharks have been found to ingest plastic, some to fatal levels. Chemicals from the plastic pollution has also been found to poison the sharks, like many other ocean dwellers.

Cut the Cull are dedicated to raising awareness of shark culling in Australia and have been doing a fantastic job at it too. For more information and further interests make sure to visit their blog and follow their Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest information. To take a stand and literally help Australia literally ‘Cut the Cull’, be sure to sign their petition, which can be found here!

Check out this graphic showing the shocking reality of Shark Culling.

We would LOVE to hear your opinion, what do you think?

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-KF