The whole point of the #juneocean challenge was to get as many people involved in changing their habits a little bit each day to add up to a bigger, positive impact on our earth. It’s the end of June, however we are now entering July which is also known as Plastic Free July. I have already created a guide on how to go plastic free in your life, which is available for free when you join the mailing list! Just enter your email and start your transition to a plastic free life.
So lets recap some of the environmentally friendly choices we can make.
1.Chose to Say No Thank you
Stay strong and say no to those unplanned random occurrences : the free water bottles passed out, the plastic bags filled with treats, the extra bag your local farmer tries to give you. If you have never taken a moment to explore minimalism, I highly recommend having a look into it. It’s a lifestyle which allows you to live with less, focus on mental, spiritual and your own happiness rather than material possessions. Keep things that make you happy and don’t fall for every convenient offering.
2. Plan Ahead
The Achilles heel of just about every zero waster, vegan, plastic free, eco conscious human. If you do not plan ahead, or have your low waste essentials on hand in your bag, you will be trapped in a situation where the choices will be : take plastic, eat animal product or go hungry and thirsty.
3. Do your research.
How and where we spend the money is up to us, and while I know little about economics, an increased demand creates supply. Therefore if we are picking brands and organisations which operate in sustainable, ocean friendly manners, they will have more resources to create positive change in the world. For your leisure, I have created a lisk of my top 15 favourite Ocean friendly companies! Check them out now!
Get a discount with your Woodlike swimwear by using the code Katt4HealthyOceans !!
4. Quality instead of Quantity
You must have heard about the enormous waste created by the consumerist and fast fashion industries. Some companies participate in up to 52 microseasons, meaning every week there are new items available in store. Stylish, trendy, yet poorly made and ready to fall apart within a few months. The current statistics are that the average American throws out 30 kg of textile waste a year. 15 Million tons yearly in the USA alone! Out of this number, merely 0.1% is actually recycled into new fibre. (Out of all the take back and donation programs in place!!) The rest heads straight to landfills where it clogs up space, or potentially degrades into smaller harmful pieces.
This is why buying fewer items, especially in terms of clothing or shoes is better, higher quality will withstand more and with organisations such as Patagonia (who provide life long warranty) you will be able to repair the pieces and increase their durability.
5. Give a Little
If you have a little extra, with a roof over your head, why not pass it on to organisations which will do good with it. Some of my favourite organisations are Sea Shepherd, One Tree Planted and mostly anything local you can find in your area. If you want to help my mission to clean the Oceans, you can give as little as 1$ a month to the Plastic Free Fund. I used to foster kittens when I lived in Australia, and if money isn’t a possibility, then why not vollunteer some of your time. Patagonia has created an incredible dating type website to match activists with organisations in their area. Check it out! If you’re more curious about vollunteering in the ocean environment, I will be writing up a list of the ones I know of!
6. Pick up A Some Trash
Every time you go to the beach, to the park or forest, grab at least one piece of trash every where you go. There are plenty or organisations which focus on 5 minute clean ups. There is a truck load of garbage which enters our oceans every minute, so every little helps, and we need everyone on board! I beleive we can all make a difference. If you cannot get out there in the real world, you could contribute to the Plastic Free Fund from which I organise clean ups of the beach and ocean.
7. Fly Less
Flying in airplanes creates an enormous environmental footprint, and even when purchasing carbon credits, the emissions from the planes contribute to climate change. I found this cool little infographic giving a visual representation of the footprint of each of these modes of transport. Ever since I can remember teachers at schools would tell us to ride our bike instead of driving places to live a more green life, however after watching Cowspiracy, I realised that the emissions from the transport sector are much smaller in reality. They are dwarfed by a giant in the emisions game, and animal agricultural sector.
8. Skip The Meat
The single greatest thing you can do for the environment, to slow climate change, to help oceans is to eliminate meat in your diet. I have an entire website dedicated to Veganism, with recipes, tips, nutritional information and even your own 21 day vegan experiment.
The reality is, every hamburger you eat, is equivalent to letting your shower run non stop for 10 hours.
Let alone the health and animal impacts eliminating meat and dairy from your diet gives, I have recently realised you can’t quite be a meating environmentalist. No matter how extreme some people dub going plant based, its a lot more extreme that 39 million tons (or 80% of all the soya imported to europe is used strictly for animal feed.) The water requirements to feed cows, deforestation to produce soy and other high protein foods to feed the animals, the transport costs, the pesticide and fertiliser run off to support 1.5 Billion cows currently living on the planet. These cows burp and fart, emitting enormous amounts of methane which has 30 times more the warming potential than even carbon. Are cows to blame for climate change?
9. Spread the Word
One of the best and biggest things you can do is help spread the word, and educate people around you about the importance of choices for our earth. There are plenty of free materials available out there : check out the Guide to Going Plastic Free or the 30 Ways to help our oceans! Education is the way forward. Some of my favourite statistics to shock people into action are :
- By the year 2050 there will be more plastic than fish by kgs
- 5.25 Trillion pieces of Plastic in the Ocean
- In 2011, a group of scientists from UC San Diego found plastic in 9.2% of the fish they studied in over 1700 miles of the Pacific Garbage Patch.
- The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
- Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa. (some places by as much as 100m a year)
- Global sea level rose about 20cms in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century.
Spread the love of the ocean, and keep updated with tips and tricks on my instagram.
Let me know what other eco friendly choices you make every day to help our planet!