Waste and pollution have become destructive to our environment. Non-recyclables plague our environment in landfills and contaminate our oceans. This contamination is nearing a point of no return.
Ocean wildlife is dying. According to National Geographic 18 billion pounds of plastic waste finds its way into the oceans every year. This shocking statistic is found amongst others on the National Geographic website.
Infographic from National Geographic found on their website at: https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/environment-and-conservation/2018/05/fast-facts-about-plastic-pollution
Of the seven species of sea turtles, at least six are at risk. Turtles find their habitat plagued with our waste. They are ingesting our plastic waste. The carrier bags which we carelessly throw away end up in the oceans. Turtles confuse these with jellyfish, one of their staple foods. Sadly, this often results in their death.
Infographic from WWF showing the dangers to sea turtles. This can be found online at: https://www.wwf.org.au/news/blogs/plastic-pollution-is-killing-sea-turtles-heres-how#gs.nzkw6j
This is a dark fate which is rapidly putting turtle populations at risk. WWF published an article in 2018 which outlines how plastic pollution affects sea turtles. This is a shocking but informative read on the threats we pose to sea turtles.
Unfortunately, turtles are not alone in their suffering. Many marine species are also at risk because of our waste. Action needs to be taken.
How can you help?
Every year Brits go through 2.5 billion single use coffee cups. A stat which is hard to hear considering how easy it would be to reduce this number.
This could easily be resolved by using a reusable coffee cup when you buy a takeaway coffee. Many coffee chains even offer a discount when you bring your own cup. With this added bonus, it is hard to believe why anyone would not bring a reusable cup. My favourite reusable cup is from a company called Huski and is made from rice husks (the protective coverings on grains of rice).
Pair your reusable cup with your own reusable straw. These have become very popular (some may even say trendy). The most popular materials being bamboo and aluminium. Take your straw out and about with you to use in your favourite smoothie, iced latte or even a cocktail. Whatever takes your fancy.
Take a packed lunch with you. Whether you’re off to school, university or work, taking a packed lunch can help you to cut down on your waste. Unfortunately, the meal deals we all love are rarely completely recyclable. So until supermarkets step up to the plate and create recyclable packaging, a packed lunch is the better option.
You can easily do your bit to stop the problem of carrier bags contaminating the oceans. Instead of paying the annoying 5p charge every time you go a store, you could take a bag with you. Whether this be a rucksack, tote bag or a bag for life (sold in most supermarkets). This switch, although small could make a big change.
You can also take containers down to your local zero waste stores and weigh out your food cupboard essentials such as pasta and rice. Although seen as a slightly more expensive alternative, these stores help to avoid the unrecyclable package found in supermarkets.
I have a zero-waste store in my local town. Bamboo Turtle stocks all sorts of cupboard goods without the packaging. They also stock beauty products such as shampoo and shower gel. You can fill your old shampoo bottles up with these products, reusing them and not buying another shampoo bottle unnecessarily.
Sustainable businesses you could try
Another thing you could to is switch to sustainable businesses over mainstream stores. This switch has multiple benefits.
For one you will be helping to reduce your own waste as many sustainable businesses strive to reduce their waste and their carbon footprint. Secondly, many sustainable businesses are independent. So, you will be helping to support an independent business which is always a plus.
For those who like to eat lunch on the go, there are now reusable alternatives to the plastic cutlery given out with most takeaway options in shops and cafes. Steph Elswood has recently launched her own company called ‘Sasstainable’. On the website you can purchase reusable cutlery sets and the newly popular bamboo straws I mentioned earlier.
The Sasstainable website homepage
Steph says that the vision of the company is:
“to help the world embrace sustainable living at home and on the go”
This is a vision which I fully endorse, and you should too. It is a vision which if everyone embraced could make a huge impact in combating unnecessary waste.
She also readily encourages her 235k followers to share their own ‘sustainable selfies’ whilst they adopt a zero-waste stance whilst they are on the go. It is encouragement like this which helps people make the small changes such as using a reusable coffee cup. These changes can make a huge impact in the long run.
The TALA website home page
One of my favourite sustainable companies is TALA founded by Grace Beverley. TALA sells sustainable active wear and clothing which doesn’t place a strain on the environment. They also recently expanded into selling reusable cutlery, accessories and unisex clothing.
One of the missions of TALA is that they promise to:
“create beautifully designed products which care for the environment without breaking the bank”
The production of TALA’s products saves water and CO2 compared to the production of other products found on the high street. Their ‘Aster crop’ saves ‘over 40 litres of water and 2kg of CO2 compared to non up-cycled Polyamide’. All their sustainability information can be found on their #ITSCOOLTOBEKIND page. This page contains all the info to convince you to switch to companies like TALA. Ultimately, they are better for the environment.
Believe or not even the tags on your TALA products will not be wasted. They can be planted and will grow into your own TALA plant.
I fully support the mission of this business and think it is an effective way to reduce your negative environmental impact. Having purchased the ‘Zinnia leggings’ I would definitely buy more from this company, as the quality of the leggings is fantastic. There is also the bonus of buying from an independent, environmentally sustainable and ethical company. This is something you would struggle to find on the high street.
It is the work of individuals like Grace and Steph which is helping to save our environment by reducing waste. Both consciously highlight the small changes that could be made to live a more environmentally conscious and sustainable lifestyle.
Personally, I try to live a very environmentally conscious lifestyle alongside maintaining a vegetarian diet.
There is a change that needs to be made, and you can be a part of it. If switching to a vegetarian diet isn’t for you. You could use reusable products such as keep cups or shop from sustainable companies. Even the slightest of changes will help to contribute to a wider impact to reduce our waste.