World Ocean Day
Together we can protect and restore our Oceans!
Today is World Ocean Day!
We feel it is important to speak about the devastating state of our oceans, due to the sheer volume of plastic pollution. The statistics are harrowing and sadly, there is physical evidence all around us proving the numbers right.
The amount of plastic that we use is staggering and has such an impact on marine life, as well as the planet as a whole.
The record number of pieces of plastic found in one 90-day old seabird chick is 276 pieces = 15% of that bird’s body mass. Translated into human terms, that’s 6-8 kilos of plastic, or the equivalent of 12 pizzas inside your stomach.”
Every item of plastic that has ever been made, is still on the planet with us today.
There are lots of little changes that we can make, to help reduce the amount of plastic used and therefore, helping to restore our oceans, before it is too late.
Here are some examples of things that we can do to help –
- Bring your own bags to the shops
- Drink tap water and carry it in your own reusable bottle instead of buying a plastic, single use one. – “100.7 billion plastic beverage bottles were sold in the U.S. in 2014, or 315 bottles per person, according to the Container Recycling Institute.”
- Choose fruit and vegetables that are not wrapped in plastic
- Don’t use ‘single-use’ plates, knives, forks etc. and wash up after you eat
- Use Tupperware/sandwich wraps/reusable sandwich bags, instead of cling film and plastic sandwich bags
- Wherever you can, choose liquid products that can be re-filled rather than bought new
- Buying in bulk is a good way to reduce plastic use however, if this is not an option for you, there are refill shops popping up all over the place in towns and villages, where you can fill containers of rice, pasta, porridge oats, nuts, dried fruit etc.
- Refuse plastic straws in your drinks
- If you can’t find an alternative to single-use plastic, make sure you recycle it appropriately
- Don’t celebrate with balloon releases, because the chances are that the balloons will land in the ocean, choking seabirds, turtles and marine mammals. There are plenty of small businesses online that sell reusable party crowns, banners and more!
- Where possible, buy home compostable products such as, washing up sponges made from coconut husk and bamboo toothbrushes
- Reuse parcel packaging, gift bags and gift wrap – this is another brilliant way of saving money, as well as saving our seas!
- Beach cleans and general litter picks are a great way to help, especially by disposing of rubbish responsibly – “80% of ocean waste originates from land. This waste travels to the centre of the gyre where it collects.”
There are quite a few eco-friendly businesses now that are either local to Hayesbrook, or local to where some of our pupils live. Below are just two of the small businesses that you could support while helping to reduce your plastic consumption!
Contain Yourself Tunbridge Wells is an independent shop, located in Southborough, with sustainability at the heart of their business. Shop owner Elly, sells refillable bath/shower gels, soap and shampoo, as well as household cleaning products. They have a range of refillable food options and also sell items such as, coffee and loose leaf tea.
Elly has recently launched her Clothing Swap Shop – the idea being, you can take an unwanted item of clothing (in good condition) and swap it for a ‘new to you’ item that has been left by someone else. Not only does this reduce waste, but is also an affordable way to spruce up your wardrobe!
Instagram: @containyourselfrefills / @containyourselfswapshop
The Green Team Tonbridge are a family business based in Tonbridge who specialise in handcrafting reusable products and giftware. All of their items are created as ethically as possible, supporting many other small businesses along the way.
Let us know in the comments if you have any other recommendations on how we can continue to help minimise plastic pollution.
Thank you for reading!