A Whole Year Without Plastic?!

A Whole Year Without Plastic?!

I posted a few days ago about my new haircut, which I inadvertently made as a New Year’s resolution I guess. So, bring on 2014. I already knocked out and completed my goal for 2013! Kidding. I didn’t want to come up with some standard resolutions that everyone does, even though they still exist on the bottom … Read more

I posted a few days ago about my new haircut, which I inadvertently made as a New Year’s resolution I guess. So, bring on 2014. I already knocked out and completed my goal for 2013! Kidding. I didn’t want to come up with some standard resolutions that everyone does, even though they still exist on the bottom of my list, but my top resolution is a rather lofty and impactful goal.

2013 Resolution: Rise Above Plastics. Attempt to go a whole year without using, or significantly reducing my plastic footprint.

I was very inspired by this after I attended the East Coast Chapter Summit with the Surfrider Foundation, and really hope to follow through on cutting out as much plastic as possible. The facts are pretty evident I quickly found out, and in many parts of our oceans there exists this sort of plasticy soup, a gyre as it’s called. According to the organization Rise Above Plastics, plastic is all around us. It’s in our homes, our offices, our vehicles, our yards and our playgrounds. We use it to package food, bottle products, bag produce, make dinnerware and utensils, make toys and more.

Plastics have undoubtedly helped us to manufacture, package and ship goods more easily, for less money, and in some cases, more safely than ever before. But, plastics pose a significant threat to our planet as well. Part of the problem is plastic itself. The very qualities that make it an adaptable and durable product to use, also make plastic an environmental nightmare. You see, plastics do not biodegrade. Instead they photodegrade – breaking down under exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, into smaller and smaller pieces.

The bottom line is that with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated, virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form.

The Rise Above Plastic’s mission is simple: to reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics. I encourage you to follow ‘RAP’ on Facebook and Twitter, and be a leader and advocate for change. “Ban the Bag” from your city if you are so empowered to do so.

Some other easy things you can do to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment are choosing to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water; refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other ‘disposable’ plastics; reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons; bring your to-go mug with you; and recycle! If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates. Wish me luck!

For more ‘green’ resolutions, check out this post.

Hello November!

Hello November!

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I can’t believe it’s already November. Where has 2011 gone? This year has come and passed so quickly. When you think about the course of the past year, did you do everything that you wanted and achieve all the goals you had set for the year? Did you accomplish your New Year’s resolution that you established many months ago or did you simply let it slip away like most of America’s population? Speaking for myself, I did not keep a hold of my resolution. I am among the large group of Americans whose New Year’s resolution lasted until about mid-February. But I did, however, do many of the things that I wanted to and accomplished many of the goals I had set for the year.

Now as winter rolls in, the holidays grow closer and the time to make a new resolution approaches, do you ever wonder if making a resolution every New Year’s has a true purpose? I mean, for most people, they do not last the entire year. So I say, instead of making a resolution for the entire year why don’t you make a resolution for each month.

On the first day of each month, make a resolution of something you will do, quit doing, etc. So as the first day of November is now here, what will you do this month? Will you work at a soup kitchen, deliver Thanksgiving meals to the elderly or help at a homeless shelter? Will you promise to be more kind to others this holiday season and strive to give more than you receive?

Leave me a comment.  Let me know what you plan to do this November and this holiday season.  I challenge you to make a resolution this November.