Today, June 8, 2017 the world celebrates World Oceans Day*.
Some of you may ask, why do we need to have a dedicated day to the world’s oceans?
Boy, am I ever glad you did.
Here we go. Did you know?
And that’s not counting other marine creatures such as turtles, fish, seals, etc. This is an appalling number, I know. But wait, it gets worse.
Yes. Not from ocean liners, not from leisure boats, not from ocean-side resorts. From dry land.
This is why today, more than ever, we need to hold ourselves accountable for the health of our planet. Each one of us is a Steward of the little corner that was assigned to us (whatever neck of the woods we call home). It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter if you are landlocked. A great deal of your garbage will end up in the oceans. And a great deal of the world’s garbage is plastic.
I’ve heard many people say, “I’m but just one person among 7 billion; what I do has no consequence one way or the other”. But the truth is that yes, yes it does have a consequence; you just never get to see it -remember that bit where 80% of the plastic trash in the ocean came from dry land?-. Every little thing we do has and it is up to us to decide if that consequence will be a good or a bad one.
This is why we need to have a dedicated day for our oceans. Because we depend on them and yet we are -some more unknowingly and unwillingly than others- killing them.
We can change this, though. Together we can make a huge difference for the oceans, for all the beautiful creatures that inhabit. Because it’s their ocean too, you know?
So, here is how you can keep plastic trash out of the oceans & away from ocean animals. It is simple really. A seemingly small act in the big scheme of things but one of huge repercussions:
- Use reusable shopping bags: Reusable shopping bags are prettier, anyway. You can even make them a fashion statement if you’re into that, or show your support for your favourite charity. Reusable shopping bags rock. And do not use those produce transparent plastic bags either. I’ve seen many people bringing their reusable bags to the grocery store (yaaaay ) and yet they still use a transparent bag for each different fruit and vegetable they buy (booo ). Those count too. Pro tip: Put one of those super cute foldable reusable bags in every one of your purses/backpacks/knapsacks. You never know when you’re going to hit an amazing sale or have to do an emergency run to the grocery store.
- Carry your own refillable water bottle: Say no to bottled water. If you like fizzy water, get your own carbonating system. They are cheaper than a espresso machine and with so many gorgeous reusable bottles in the market, you’ll be the envy of all your friends. Trust me on this one. There’s nothing more trendy than carrying your own bottle. Trendier than carrying your yoga mat everywhere. They come in gorgeous colours, different kind of materials for every taste, BPA-free, and there is one for every budget.
- Do not use disposable plastic straws: Plastic straws are evil! Yes, yes. I know they are super cute and come in all sorts happy colours that match all your decorations. But there are many other ways to make your parties and summer gathering pretty and fun.
Finally, here’s the magic triad: REUSE, RECYCLE, REPURPOSE. Recycle properly, reuse whenever possible, repurpose as much as you can. Your children’s children will be most grateful to you for this.
Happy World Oceans Day!
Please visit worldoceansday.org to learn more!
* Incidentally, today is also the first day of Rivers To Oceans Week in Canada, which is hosted by the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
3 thoughts on “Happy World Oceans Day”
Okay, know I am a few days late, but better late than never.
So I do my best: I carry cloth bags, I have those wonderful S’well bottles* (not are they way stylish and actually keep drinks cold for hours, they donate to some kind ocean charity), and I’m getting better about straws, among other things.
But there’s one thing I use bags for, and figured if anyone had a solution it would be you.
It’s the dreaded kitty litter box. Since I don’t leave the house every day, I scoop into a plastic bag, tie it and put it on the balcony, then when I do go out I carry them all down and put them in the Dumpster. Paper doesn’t 8
*Though I’m actually still 100% guilty here because I buy bottled, except when I at my parents’ house. It’s a really long story about hating water growing up and how as an adult (a very privileged adult, trust me, I know) I have to get one special brand for drinking or I really won’t drink, I’ve tried to force myself, and then I’ll get dehydrated and all sorts of misery ensues.
Hit enter too soon. Mostly I just wanted any thoughts on disposal of kitty litter.
Hi. Sorry it took me so long to reply. I am having HUGE internet problems. Again. :(
Okay. there are a couple of solutions. I don’t suppose your city does compost? In Canada, well, some Canadian cities, Windsor does not do it UGH, cities run a compost program with separate compost garbage collection every week or every two weeks. There’s a separate bin for that. Kitty litter is compostable and goes into that bin and it is collected by the city. So that’s what I did in Ottawa. Composting is huge in Canada and composting garbage bags are available at every store. If you can find them at your local grocery store or supermarket, that is an option as they are quite strong, strong enough to keep wet compostable stuff for a week or two (food scraps, vegetable and fruit peels, etc.) so it will be good for keeping kitty litter on the balcony for days. Compostable bags, however, are a lot more expensive than regular garbage bags, so that is the downside of it.
If compostable bags are not an option, there’s still a couple more things you can do. Containers for kitty litters are available in the market. They sort of seal the used litter every time you put it there until it is full or you are ready to it out. Several of my friends have them and they speak highly of them. This is one of the brands: http://www.littergenie.com/cat-litter-system-products/litter-genie-pail
It still uses plastic bags but it reduces the number of bags used. You can also hack it, with any kind of bucket or pail and use a biodegradable bag. They look like regular plastic bags but are, well, biodegradable. But even if you use a regular kitchen bag and keep it until it is full, it is still a lot less plastic put out there than using a plastic bag every day.
Hope that helps! Give me a shout if you need more info on anything :)