Zero Waste Week 2018 is finally here and I’m so glad you could make it.
Never has there been a more pressing time for us all to get our acts together and make change for our planet.
Luckily, reducing your consumption of resources has never been easier and there are SO MANY SIMPLE CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE in your everyday life.
Zero Waste Week focuses on reducing waste for the better of the entirety of our planet, but over here at hannahrudd.com we will be focussing on the impact on our underwater world.
About Zero Waste Week
“Zero Waste Week is a grassroots campaign raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste and empowering participants to reduce waste.”
Why Does It Matter?
Plastic, in particular, is a catastrophic problem for our oceans.
Because plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it photodegrades.
That water bottle you bought at lunchtime and used for 10 minutes will take at least 500 years to degrade, and even then it will most likely still float in our ocean as microplastics.
It truly is a tragic state of affairs, with countless stories of the disastrous impacts plastic is having on our oceans.
To put the plastic problem into perspective, here are a few facts for you…
- 100,000 marine mammals and turtles, and 1 million seabirds are killed annually by marine plastic pollution
- There is currently an estimated 5.25 trillion macro- and micro – pieces of plastic floating in our oceans globally
- 50% of the plastic we consume is single-use plastic
- Plastics can be absorbed by the body – 93% of Americans aged 6 years and older tested positive for BPA (a plastic chemical)
- Scientists have recently found microplastic EMBEDDED within ARCTIC ICE – seriously, how is this not headline news???
Take a look at the infographic below from the Ocean Conservancy for some more startling facts about the plastic problem…
A Cause For Hope
There is so much positive change happening and the movement is only going from strength to strength.
Sky’s Ocean Rescue #PassOnPlastic campaign has made waves by building momentum for changing consumer habits.
Many businesses are removing plastic straws and establishing a “ask if you need” policy. I think this is great, as it allows members of our global community who need plastic straws to access them if they require until a suitable alternative is created, whilst also reducing consumption of the product.
Who can forget the iconic Blue Planet II episode that bought to the forefront the plight of plastic within our oceans to the general public? Undoubtedly, it was a pivotal moment within the marine conservation movement.
If you’re based in the UK, the Marine Conservation Society’s’ Great British Beach Clean is taking place from the 14th – 17th September and is well worth getting involved with! Not only will you be helping to de-clutter our marine environment, but you’ll also have a great time doing it!
Not based in the UK? You can still get down to your local coastline and do a #2MinuteBeachClean! Don’t leave a beach empty-handed.
The movement is going from strength to strength, with a wealth of incredible people – some of whom are featured in my Leading Women in Marine Science series – motivated to drive the change we want to see in the world.
And the best part? You can too!
How Can You Help?
Reducing your waste has never been simpler and all week I will be sharing with you tips and tricks, as well as some of my favourite ethical brands, across my social media that you can implement into your life to help our oceans.
We also have a super giveaway with Earth Conscious deodorant lined up.
But for now, here’s 3 simple things you can do to reduce your plastic waste:
1. Use a reusable water bottle
One plastic bottle can take hundreds of years to degrade thanks to plastics inability to biodegrade.
During its lifetime, one plastic bottle can have catastrophic impacts on marine life – especially once it has photodegraded into miniscule microplastics.
With a wide range of reusable water bottles available on the market, in every size, colour and material you could think of, there really is no excuse here.
My reusable water bottle is from Mountain Warehouse. It holds 1L, says “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” on the side, and I constantly have it on me.
2. Ditch the single-use coffee cups & bring your own
I bought this great glass coffee cup whilst in South Africa with White Shark Projects. Whilst it’s not currently available online, there are some great alternatives like these ecoffee cups from the Marine Conservation Society.
In the UK alone we dispose of 2.5 billion coffee cups annually, less than 1% of which are recycled.
There are so many coffee shops now, including the main chains, who are more than happy to put your coffee in your disposable cup – plus some offer a few pennies off your coffee!
Saving the environment and saving a bit of money couldn’t be more simple.
3. Invest in a reusable straw
Metal straws have honestly revolutionised my life and recently I’ve started bringing them out with me to bars and restaurants too.
For me, these reusable stainless steel straws from Lakeland are an absolute bargain!
Regrettably, I forgot to pack them when I moved – hence no snazzy picture – but I have already put an order in… (I miss them a lot already).
If you need a reason to not use a straw, please watch this video that went viral – *viewer discretion advised*.
It’s a highly emotional watch, but every time someone offers me a straw, I keep in mind the image of that helpless turtle and suddenly, the convenience of a plastic straw isn’t attractive anymore for me.
What are you going to do this #ZeroWasteWeek to make change and help #stoptheplastictide?
Whatever you decide to do, however great or small, everything counts and has an impact.
Let me know on Twitter what commitment you are making this #ZeroWasteWeek – I’d love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for more #zerowaste goodness all week long