It's been declared - 2019 is the year of ocean conservation, which means re-considering consumption purchases and moving towards a more sustainable future. For some of us choosing sustainable options comes naturally, but for others it can be overwhelming. For those new to conservation or those simply restocking their sustainable product supply, we've made it easy for you and have created a brief overview of our environment's plastic problem and three items to help you strive for a Zero-Waste lifestyle.
Why strive for a zero waste lifestyle? As of right now, there is an estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Although nearly 80% of this trash originates in landfills, it eventually makes its way into our largest ecosystem via rivers. The majority of plastic waste in our oceans congregates in gyres, or areas of slow, spiraling water and low wind levels. The North Pacific Gyre, the largest of the five gyres around the world, is the size of Texas and contains nearly 3.5 million pounds of trash that spans as far as 20 feet deep.
These “plastic islands” are growing, and many are estimated to double in size over the next five years. Waste on this level has catastrophic effects on our world’s oceans and wildlife, not to mention our land environments and our personal lives. At Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), one hundred percent of hatchlings that arrive to the Center have ingested plastics and nearly all sea turtle patients have either ingested plastic or arrive entangled in plastic. While these sea turtles are in their natural ocean habitat, they are navigating and encountering consumer waste at every stage of their life. From birth, sea turtles must navigate through trash along coastlines to reach the ocean, migrate through plastic waste, avoid bags and other debris that are easily mistaken for food, and crawl back through littered coastlines to build their nests; for sea turtles, plastic is inescapable. Although the ocean gyres are comprised of various types of waste, including textile, glass, and metal, our Center focuses on the reduction of plastic since plastic waste is a leading threat to sea turtles. Unfortunately, plastics to not biodegrade, instead they photodegrade, resulting in tiny pieces of plastics floating through our oceans and entering our food systems.
How to live a more sustainable lifestyle:
With personal and environmental well-being in mind, consider these tips to creating a healthier and less wasteful life:
- When shopping or traveling, opt for reusable bags instead of plastics bags.
- When purchasing items for your house or eating out, choose glass, bamboo, or ceramic dishes, containers and utensils.
- When on the go or at home, use a personal cup instead of opting for a single-use plastic container.
While it's difficult to attain and maintain a Zero-Waste lifestyle, you can choose to live a more sustainable life by opting for a few reusable items. Our sustainable product category on our e-store offers a few simple items to add into your daily routine. With each purchase, you are helping to reduce the amount of plastic in sea turtles, our oceans, and ultimately yourself!
LMC's Sustainable Starter Kit:
Reusable Travel Bags
At only $7.99, these reusable travel bags are a steal. Use them to store toiletries or snacks when you travel or in your daily routine. Available in three patterns, these baggies are BPA free, which means they are 100% safe for food storage.
Reusable Bamboo Utensil Set
Our compact bamboo utensil set has it all; bamboo fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks, plus a glass reusable straw. Bamboo, a sustainable and food-safe material, make this the perfect on-the-go set to help you decrease your plastic usage.
Laser Etched Tumbler
Our laser etched tumbler features an intricate, hand etched sea turtle pattern! It comes in four fun colors and two sizes. Able to hold hot or cold beverages, this is a daily necessity that’ll make skipping plastic an easy choice.
Create #WavesOfProgress with LMC, when you purchase sustainable items on our e-store or at in-person at our Center. Help us lead the way to a more sustainable future and Zero-Waste lifestyle!