Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Spring: A Time For Renewal

Guest post by Nikia Rice of Mission: Clean Beaches 

Every spring I think of the wonderful cycles of life renewing again into the next generation. The evidence is everywhere from the great monarch migrations, to the birds serenading in the treetops to the wonderfully intricate egg cases washing up on the beach.  Springtime is a season of rebirth, growth, and renewal for a reason. Butterflies are literally transformed from a caterpillar to a liquidized soup of cells to a stunning butterfly. This connection resonates on how much we have the capacity for change. We can transform our lifestyles to be a healthier, more sustainable one for the environment and ourselves. It may take some effort in the beginning, habits are hard to die but once you are in the routine of things it becomes like everything else, just a part of what you do EVERYDAY. Beginning with small changes is key to not overwhelm oneself and just keep moving forward small steps at a time.

I always tell people one of the first things to do is to bring your bag and bottle! That means when you go to the grocery store don’t forget to keep your reusable bags in the trunk of your car (and to bring them in with you!)  And if you’re thirsty from all the shopping be sure to have your Klean Kanteen reusable water bottle with you instead of a single use plastic water bottle.

There are other several ways you can reduce your single use plastic consumption in your everyday life starting with what you eat and drink. Eating and drinking is to nourish our bodies but we have turned it into something else where we are treating it as an inconvenience.  We are not making enough time to ensure what we are putting into our bodies is actually fueling our body, not slowing us down! We shouldn’t be sacrificing our meals for convenience drive through.

 Take out food is a huge contributor to single use plastics usage by consumers. Starting at home and meal planning can go far when reducing single use plastics- no take out containers, no plastic straws, no plastic utensils, no plastic cups…you get the idea! However, there are also times we want to get out of the house and enjoy someone else doing the all the work for us. So what to do then? You can find products that are alternatives to these common single use plastic items such as GlassDharma for glass straws, Chico bag for reusable bags of all kinds, To-Go ware for utensils on the go, and Bee’s Wrap for sustainable food storage alternative to plastic wrap.

If you do not want to carry anything around then opt for smaller portions and opt out of plastic straws. In addition, voice your opinion to the restaurants and stores that you frequent and ask them to switch from styrofoam and/or plastic containers to cardboard ones and to only give out straws if they are requested. Small steps can lead to big change!

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