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Posts Tagged ‘plastic’

Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet.

This week the green thought is about disposable, plastic utensils!

Plastic utensils can often degrade into components that are harmful to animals including humans. Photo: Cap Radio.

Single use plastic items are definitely bad for the environment. Once discarded, plastic degrades in the environment releasing toxins and breaking down into microplastics that clog the digestive and respiratory systems of animals who ingest or inhale them. An plastic utensils are no exception to this. An estimated 40,000,000,000 plastic utensils (forks, knives, and spoons) are discarded every year around the world. That is a lot of plastic that only gets used once and then is thrown away!

A solution is to to stop using plastic utensils. When we get a meal from a restaurant or café, we should all think about if we really need any plastic utensils. Many food items can be enjoyed with the use of utensils at all. And if a meal really does need a utensil to eat it, we can all carry reusable utensils. There are some great ones out there that come in sets with a knife, fork, spoon, and even chopsticks. And they often have their own carrying bag. By reducing the plastic utensils we all use, we can all help reduce the amount of plastic that is produced and the amount of plastic that gets into the environment! So, we can all start saying “no thanks” when a server asks if us if we would like any plastic utensils with our food.

What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any other solution ideas?

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Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet. Last week we talked about washing with cold water.

This week the green thought is about mylar balloons.

Mylar balloons pose serious threats to wildlife, soils, and oceans of the world. Photo: Washington Post.

Balloons are fun! They symbolize celebration and happiness! But they are not a celebration for the planet. Mylar is plastic. Balloons frequently escape from parties and drift away. Even when they are placed in the trash, they often escape from landfills. These escaped mylar balloons end up in the water and that is where the problems begin. Many marine animals ingest mylar balloons. Some of them eat balloons intentionally such as sea turtles that eat balloons likely mistaking them for jellyfish. Some of them eat balloons accidently such as baleen whales that swallow balloons along with the krill that they capture in the hundred of gallons of seawater that they take in each mouthful. Even if the mylar balloons are not eaten directly, they break down into microplastics that cause a myriad of problems from polluting soil and water to poisoning microbes to getting into the food that humans eat. Definitely not good!

The solution is: don’t buy mylar balloons. If we all stop buying mylar balloons, fewer and fewer will be produced. This is a great example of how we can all use our wallets to influence industries and push towards the world we want.

What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any other solution ideas?

Thank you for visiting my blog! Please check back next week for another Green Thought Thursday!

If you are interested in other ways to connect with me, here are a few options:

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A variety of reusable shopping bags. Photo: Sapphirevn

Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet.

Last week we talked about giving to charities.

This week the green thought is about shopping bags. Single use plastic items are definitely bad for the environment. Once discarded, plastic degrades in the environment releasing toxins and breaking down into microplastics that clog the digestive and respiratory systems of animals who ingest or inhale them. Plastic shopping bags are one of the items that contribute to microplastics in the environment. Additionally, plastic bags also pose risks to sea turtles because when they are suspended and floating in water, they resemble the jellyfish that sea turtles eat. They also pose a risk to whales because plastic bags can easily be swallowed by a whale unintentionally and then become lodged in their digestive tract killing them.

One solution is to stop using plastic bags. Taking reusable shopping bags with us when we head to a store is a small step that each of us can do that will have major benefits to animals and the environment. Bags are available made of all kinds of materials such as cotton, coconut fibers, bamboo, and even recycled plastics. They can also be homemade! Reusable bags are easy to carry, easy to wash (if necessary), and easy to use. Plus, they will save a bit of money as more and more stores charge for single use bags. All we need to do is remember to grab those reusable bags on our way out the door. While this may not be a habitat we currently have, it is certainly one we can all start practicing to learn.

What do you think of these thoughts and the solution? Is this a step you will take? Do you have any other solution ideas?

Thank you for visiting my blog! Please check back in next week for another Green Thought Thursday!

If you are interested in other ways to connect with me, here are a few options:

Follow this blog!

View and subscribe to my YouTube channel – A Birding Naturalist

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Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to help reduce waste, use less materials and energy, help conserve species or habitats, and/or generally work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet.

This week the green thought is about plastic straws. Single use plastic items are definitely bad for the environment. Once discarded, plastic degrades in the environment releasing toxins and breaking down into microplastics that clog the digestive and respiratory systems of animals who ingest or inhale them. Of the many many different plastic items that we humans make, plastic straws are particularly prone to get into waterways and pollute the natural environment. And they are so widely used that they make a big impact with approximately 2,000 tons of plastic straws entering the worlds oceans every year. Plastic straws are one of the top ten items picked up in beach cleanups every year.

A variety of reusable straws are available as alternatives to plastic straws. Photo: The Wire Cutter.

One solution is to stop using plastic straws. When we get a drink for a restaurant or café, we should all think about if we really need a straw at all. Many drinks can be enjoyed simply by sipping from the edge of the cup. And if a drink really does need a straw, we can all carry reusable straws. There are some great ones made of silicone or metal that work great, are easy to carry, and are easy to clean. By reducing the straws we all use, we can all help reduce the amount of plastic in getting into the environment!

What do you think of these thoughts and the solution? Is this a step you will take? Do you have any other solution ideas?

Thank you for visiting my blog! Please check back in next week for another Green Thought Thursday!

If you are interested in other ways to connect with me, here are a few options:

Follow this blog!

View and subscribe to my YouTube channel – A Birding Naturalist

Follow me on Instagram – abirdingnaturalist

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Once a week, I am offering up a tip or action or idea that we can all engage with to help reduce waste, use less materials and energy, help conserve species or habitats, and/or generally work towards living in ways that allow for more health and wellbeing for all aspects of the planet.

Plastic water bottle floating in a wetland (photo courtesy of Resource Magazine).

So, this week the green thought is about plastic water bottles. Plastic water bottles require a large amount of resources to create (including quite a bit of water), they are generally only used once, and then many of them end up in landfills or in waterways where they break down into microplastics and cause a whole suite of issues for animals, plants, water pollution, and more. They are a huge waste from start to finish!

A solution is a reusable water bottle! Get a nice one! Decorate it! Remember to bring it with you when you leave home! Most stores, shops, cafes, etc. are happy to use a bottle that you provide. So, lets all stop using disposable water bottles and reduce the amount of plastic waste we humans create!

Thank you for visiting my blog! Please check back in next week for another Green Thought Thursday!

If you are interested in other ways to connect with me, here are a few options:

Begin following this blog!

View and subscribe to my YouTube channel – A Birding Naturalist

Follow me on Instagram – abirdingnaturalist

Read Full Post »