We won't have a society if we destroy the environment.
- Margaret Mead
Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and spiritual consequences. It is time to re-examine some of our deeply held notions that underlie our lifestyles.
- David Suzuki
Last month we talked about reducing our use of electricity. That is just one of the four R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink. In our current society there is a large impulse to buy new things and toss the old. Buying the newest iphone may seem like a good reason to throw away the old one, but why not hold onto it for a while longer? Our trash can end up polluting the land and aquatic ecosystems including the ocean! It's best to rethink every purchase, reuse what we have, reduce what we buy, and recycle as much as we can. In this way we can rescue the ocean.
Plastic plays an unfortunately large role in our lives. Many of the things we buy come packaged in plastic and then stores give us plastic bags to bring these items home in. This is a problem since plastic items, such as plastic bags can make their way into the ocean. When this happens ocean creatures such as sea turtles eat them by accident. Quick tip: When you are out shopping, bring your own reusable bags. Cloth bags are not only better for the environment, but they are sturdier and less likely to rip open.
Reuse for crafts.
Instead of disposing of your stuff, how about finding other uses for the things you have? Old shoe boxes can easily be used for storage. Have something extra lying around? Why not use it for a family craft project? Many things can be transformed into something useful given time and creativity. Quick tip: Have something you don't need but someone else may? Try going on freecycle.org and find someone who wants it. (Or find something you may need, for free!)
If you can't find a use for something, it may be time to recycle it. Recycling can be difficult though, so it's helpful to have a guide. There are quite a few guides out there that will tell you what you can and can't recycle. If you want to know about recycling electronics, the EPA has a handy guide for that.
Sometimes we just want something and it's hard to ask ourselves, do I really need that? Take the time to really think about your purchases. Buying less, in bulk, and things with less packaging can really help reduce the waste that ends up in landfills.
Cover Photo by by flickr user crash-candy
The Seas the Day initiative encourages and empowers people to take ocean conservation personally. Each month, we feature a new conservation theme with ways to help so come back regularly for more ocean-helping ideas and tips!
Created mainly to support our partner ZAMs (Zoos, Aquariums, and Museums and other visitor-serving organizations involved in our growing network) in motivating conservation action, Seas the Day is for you to tailor for your own purposes. Please use any or all of the content verbatim and re-post on your own blog, social media channels, website, newsletter, etc. We have a large database of action tips and related content for you to use so let us know what’s most helpful and what other action-able types of information and resources we can provide to enhance your conservation efforts.