“Thank you, Next” to single-use plastics. It’s 2019 and we are here for the reusable products only revolution!
Earth Day has come and gone (even though truthfully, every day is Earth Day) but did you know that we are in the middle of Plastic Free July? The Desert Museum is partaking in the 31-day Plastic-Free EcoChallenge to create plastic-free habits and we want you to join us in this effort! It’s easy. Create a profile, search for Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (password Saguaro2019), and become part of our team!
Curious why you should care about single-use plastics? Let’s start with some facts:
500 MILLION plastic straws are used EVERY DAY in America. That’s enough to circle the Earth twice. (1)
100 BILLION plastic bags are used by Americans every year. Tied together, they would reach around the Earth’s equator 773 times! (2)
ONE MILLION plastic bottles are bought EVERY MINUTE around the world — and that number will top half a TRILLION by 2021. Less than half of those bottles end up getting recycled. (3)
Let that sink in for a minute.
You’ve heard it time and time again, there are little things you can do to help Mother Earth. So let’s dive right into the top three easiest changes that you can make RIGHT now!
1. Reusable shopping bags
2. Reusable water bottles (Swag out your water bottle with your favorite stickers, like an “I Save Saguaros” sticker from the Desert Museum!)
3. Reusable straws. Next step is to have a reusable cup, too!
Already doing these? Give yourself a pat on the back and pick another goal as you work towards a more plastic-free world! Here are some fun ideas you can start with:
- Plant an herb or vegetable garden.
- Purchase food items with the least amount of packaging.
- Create a compost bin at home or at work.
- Use reusable dishes and silverware at your workplace (politely refuse takeout single-use plastics, bring your own with you!).
- Replace your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo toothbrush.
- Purchase refillable products (ex. body wash, shampoo)
- Join a clean-up effort in your community.
- Throw Tupperware in your car to use as a leftover container when eating out.
- Watch a documentary film about waste to learn how to reduce your impacts.
- Shop the bulk bins, for grains, nuts, etc. (create your own trail mix!).
This July (and for the rest of the year), we challenge you to take a moment to think about how you can have an impact on reducing single-use plastics. Encourage your friends and family to follow suit! As they say, practice makes perfect and though it is new you will soon find it easy to work these habits into your everyday routine. Don’t be discouraged if you slip up or forget to refuse single-use plastic, this is a process and we are all in it together!
As the Earth provides for us, don’t you think we should protect it?
Written by: Lauren Belcher/ Media & Marketing Specialist
(1) National Park Service, https://www.nps.gov/commercialservices/greenline_straw_free.htm
(2) Earth Policy Institute, http://www.earthpolicy.org/press_room/C68/plastic_bags_fact_sheet