Summer is upon us, and one thing is on most people’s minds – the beach. There’s nothing like smelling that salty air, listening to the waves crash in, and feeling your whole body decompress. And each year, people do just that by flocking to the coasts. But beaches are more than just a relaxing place to unwind. They are also natural ecosystems essential to the well-being of hundreds of species. Unfortunately, many people forget this important fact and leave plastic behind from their visits, and don’t recycle plastic at home.
Plastic pollution is, without a doubt, one of the largest environmental problems that we face today. Americans are the world’s largest contributor to plastic pollution, generating over 42 million tons of plastic waste each year – plastic that is harmful not only to the wildlife nearby but also to the planet. Sadly, the Pacific Ocean is home to a “trash island” twice the size of Texas, releasing harmful microplastics into the water and air. And this “trash island” is expected to grow, with plastic dumped in the ocean predicted to increase tenfold each year.
To help bring awareness to this massive problem, Clean Beach Week has been designated in July since 2003. Its mission? To protect wildlife from trash left behind by beachgoers or swept to shore by the sea. Every year, beach cleanups are organized along both coasts, with thousands of people taking to the sand in search of plastic and garbage. And while cleanups are a great way to remove debris from our beaches, what about stopping it before it gets there?
Recycle the Right Way
While recycling is a main topic of conversation when it comes to keeping plastic off our shores and out of our oceans, it is commonly misunderstood. Most people are aware of the need to separate recyclables by material – paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum – but that’s not enough. Instead of merely focusing on separating materials, we must consider contamination and the types of plastic our recycling plants accept (yes, there are different types). A recycling bin with contaminated plastics or the wrong type of plastics will immediately be sent away from the plant and head to the landfill.
Contamination is usually easy to spot – just look for any food or liquid residue left on the container before it goes into the bin. And a simple call to your local recycling plant can help determine what types of plastic they accept. After separating materials, these are the real issues that must be considered when discussing recycling.
What Else Can You Do?
Other than ensuring your plastics are clean and dry before placing them in the recycling bin and calling your local plant to find out what types of plastic they accept, purchasing reusable plastic items is one of the most effective ways to limit plastic ending up in the ocean. Reusable items can also save you money over the long run while doing the right thing. Our friends at Nikken and Norwex understand this too. For reusable grocery bags, produce bags, stainless steel straws, and much more, please visit my Norwex site. While there, you can also check out the earth-friendly Norwex® Summer Mission Bundle at 10% off through the end of July.
The Summer Mission Bundle includes:
- Large Counter Cloth, teal/slate (set of 2/one of each color)
- Chenille Hand Towel, heathered oatmeal
- Mattress Cleaner
- Cleaning Paste, mini
- Fluff & Tumble Dryer Balls (set of 3)
- Body and Face Pack, coastal (pack of 3)
- All-Purpose Cream Cleaner
- Lysere® Illuminating Oil
- EnviroCloth®, graphite
- Dual-Sided Mitt, graphite/floral
- Optic Scarf, petite, geometric
Additionally, from July 1 through September 30, Nikken is offering the Summer Active Wellness Starter Pack that gives you access to three technologies: PiMag® alkaline water with patented nano-fiber filtration, organic antioxidant nutrition, and patented DynaFlux®magnetics. You get one each of the PiMag® Sports Bottle, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® Powder, and your choice of one pair of Kenko mStrides® or Kenko mSteps® at 20% off the total price.
Want to do even more? Help secure a more eco-friendly future by getting your kids involved in recycling at a young age. It’s never too early to start good habits for ourselves and our planet. For great tips and fun activities for the next generation of recyclers, visit Nico’s Quest to Recycle: A Kid’s Guide to Recycling.
For more information about clean eating and living, please schedule a call. Together, we can navigate your journey to an even better version of you in a far better environment.
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