Earth Day: Plastic Free Pledge

I love earth day because it reminds us that Mother Nature is the OG boss lady since she created this magical place.  The earth allows us to breathe and thrive, it offers so much natural beauty and inspiration, it's a haven for adventure and exploration.  I love the smell of fresh snowy mountain air, I love looking up into the tall redwood trees, I love diving under big waves at the beach, I love watching underwater creatures from above, and I love hiking to an epic view. 

Salkantay Pass, Peru

Salkantay Pass, Peru

This year I decided to take my love for nature, especially the ocean, and manifest it into much greater action.  I know I could do a lot more to respect our planet and help our natural environment stay natural.  I decided it was time I start to do my part. I'm not an expert on this topic in any way, but I've been listening to some podcasts, reading articles and after being astounded by some recurring stats and studies I decided to dedicate this earth day to the beginning of my single-use plastic free journey!  Heres my goal: By April 2018 I will be single-use plastic free!

Pacific Ocean, Big Sur

Pacific Ocean, Big Sur

What is single use plastic? Well, it's any item of plastic that is used only once.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I know this is an undertaking.  I can't use plastic cutlery, I can't use the infamous red cups filled "secretly" with beer at the beach, I can't put my veggies in the plastic bags at the grocery store, no plastic take out containers, no straws or lids on drinks, no more free water cups, and I can't use Ziploc bags.....I know.  BUT as I've done research there are alternatives to all of this.  I've ordered a travel cutlery set that I bring with me to work everyday and that I'll bring on trips.  I also ordered some woven bags to put fruits and veggies in at the store.  I'll continue to use my reusable grocery bags for shopping. I've bought a Hydroflask pint to bring to the beach so I can still enjoy some brews. And I'll be using tupperware, glass containers and Stasher re-usable packages to store food, leftovers or snacks.  I also bought a reusable water bottle and bottle carrier from a Santa Barbara based non-proft, Save the Mermaids, for all my hydration needs! These are just a few small and easy examples of how we can significantly reduce how much one-use plastic we are throwing away every day.  I know it will take more planning and effort, but I'll do it for the planet. 

I want to share with you some stats that completely shocked me.

  • Most of the plastic created since the beginning of plastic production still exists on this earth: 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced and 6.3 billion metric tons have become waste, of that only 9% has been recycled. (Science Advances journal) - National Geographic 
  • Plastic poses serious health risks: Chemicals added to plastics are absorbed by human bodies.  Some of these compounds have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects. (Plastics, the Environment and Human Health) - Environmental Health News
  • Single-use plastics are the main culprit: 50% of the plastic we use, we use once and throw away.  Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide, more than 1 million bags are used every minute. - EcoWatch
Big Sur Coastline

Big Sur Coastline

Obviously there is so much information out there about plastic and it's affect on the environment and on our bodies it's overwhelming.  For me it's simple, I could take action even though it might not be the most convenient and at times frustrating, or I could go on with how I'm living complacently, like I have previously.  I want our natural parks and natural surrounding to be just as amazing for the next generation, and generations to come. 

After reading and listening, it's clear that if we keep using and producing plastic at the rate we are today, we're going to be in BIG trouble down the line.  BUT I don't believe it's too late, I've heard some scientists and activists say that sometimes they lose hope, that turning our plastic problem around seems like an impossible task, but in the end they are believers that we can undo what's been done and implement change to correct our current cycle.  We're seeing companies switch to all paper products, we're seeing laws put into effect to eliminate plastic bags in grocery stores, and we're seeing companies "go green" to decrease their carbon footprint. So this is my contribution to the cause, and if everyone around the world picked a few things to focus on, I think we'd be in much better shape. 

Does anyone know of great organizations to get involved with in the LA area?? Would love some recos!