Ocean Wildlife and Garbage – Limiting the Trash That Goes In

Limiting the Trash.png

Trash continues to fill our oceans and create pollution “islands”. At the current rate of plastic entering oceans, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in our oceans by weight than there are fish by 2050.

 

That fact should scare everyone. In the last few years, people have made big changes to the way they view plastics and how they can stop harming the sea. I’m sure that you have seen many businesses beginning to use paper straws/cups or reusable cups/cutlery. This is their attempt to remove as much plastic from getting to the ocean as they possibly can. Laws have even popped up to ban single-use plastic items in locations like New York City, Miami Beach, and Seattle.

Plastics Something Else.png

There is a lot more that needs to be done to minimize the impact that we have and if you are wanting to reduce your single use plastics then here are a few tips:

 

1.     Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If you must have a straw, try using a reusable glass straw or stainless steel straw.

2.     Bring along a reusable produce bag. A single-use plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade.

3.     Replace bottles with boxes where possible. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which can be recycled more easily than plastic.

4.     Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop

5.     Bring your own container for your restaurant left-overs since many restaurants use Styrofoam boxes, plastic, or aluminum foil. 

6.     Don't use plasticware at home. Also, be sure to request that restaurants not pack them in your take-out box.

7.     Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It's healthier and better for the environment.

8.     Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.

Plastic is dangerous to the ecosystem of the oceans and all of it’s inhabitants. Everything from fish, sea-turtles, dolphins, whales, and many others are getting caught up in plastic, eating pieces of plastic, or having the microparticles of plastic floating around their natural habitat and eventually ending up inside the fish. Plastics are non-biodegradable and often find their way, along with other waste, into waterways and oceans. When they enter the ocean plastics simply break down into smaller pieces until they turn into microparticles. These microparticles are naturally ingested by fish. It is estimated that 90 percent of seabirds have ingested plastic microparticles.

 

With rising population numbers, it will be difficult to combat this growing threat of plastic in our oceans but every little bit helps. If we could all reduce the amount of single-use plastics that we use on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis, then we can at least reduce the chances that there will be another “trash island” like the one in the pacific ocean that is currently the size of the state of Texas.

 

If you would like to know more about what you can do or are interested in reducing your plastic usage, contact me.

Where To Go for Special Recycling

Where to go for Special Recycling.png

Everyone knows the basic items to recycle and how to recycle them, but what about those old laptops, water filters, 3D printer materials, or thousands of other items you never thought about recycling?

 

That’s right, there are thousands of items that are able to be recycled and yet most people are unaware that they are able to have these products recycled instead of being tossed into a landfill. Many major companies are stepping up and have put recycling programs within their brick and mortar stores, online companies are out there that are working on ways to recycle more and more items into new products, and there is a way that you can take your “waste-reduction” into your own hands by using social media.

 

Companies such as Target, Best Buy, Walmart, and Office Depot have installed ways to recycle products within their stores.

·      Target has recycling bins to give guests an easy way to recycle cans, glass, plastic bottles, plastic bags, MP3 players, ink cartridges and cell phones. They also host twice-annual car seat trade-in events during which guests can bring in expired car seats and receive a coupon in return.

·      Best Buy accepts most electronic devices and appliances and even offer a haul-away service for those large applications in your home that you want to recycle.

·      Walmart offers recycling stations to put your plastic bags, plastic wraps, and plastic pouches into that can’t be recycled in your neighborhood recycling pickups.

·      Office Depot offers trade-in programs to recycle your ink cartridges and even offer a coupon for each cartridge that you bring in.

 

If a major retailer isn’t able to get all of your recycling needs taken care of, then check out these online companies who are trying to change the world through their recycling programs. Companies such as TerraCycle.com and RecycleNation.com are offering different ways to recycle more of the products that you normally find yourself putting into the trash. Items such as water filters, paint brushes, fluorescent lights, garden products, binders, bottle caps, kids drink pouches, and hundreds of other items. Check out their websites to learn more about what you can do to reduce your waste!

 

And if all other options don’t fill the needs you have, you can utilize the “reuse” portion of the slogan utilizing social media. The Old English Proverb “One man’s trash is another man’s garbage” can be tested by posting your “trash” on social media avenues to see if someone might want to use these items. I am not telling you to take a picture of all of your garbage and post it online. However, if there are items that you have that you think might be able to be used by someone else, then reach out on Facebook groups to see who might use them. For example, if you have some food waste then someone might be able to use that in their compost or if you have old furniture that you are wanting to remove then someone might want to reuse that for decorations or simply for the materials.

Composting That Watermelon

Composting That Watermelon.png

With summer comes watermelon and who doesn’t enjoy a juicy red slice of watermelon when the heat is high?

Have you ever thought of what you can do with the rind of that wonderful fruit instead of throwing it out? The answer is Compost!

Composting is a great way to get rid of your fruit and vegetable byproduct, pizza boxes, tissues, and other items not able to be recycled. About 25% of the average trash can is filled with items that can be composted. With recycling companies becoming more peculiar about what they will accept, many Americans are looking to the compost scene for an answer instead of filling landfills. Plus it is a great way to get great soil for your gardens!

If you want to start composting in your backyard, there are a few things you should know that will benefit the end product.

Composting consists of four basic products:

1.     Brown materials: dead leaves, cardboard, twigs, branches, etc.

2.     Green materials: food byproduct, grass clippings, coffee grounds, etc.

3.     Water – compost piles must be kept moist

4.     Oxygen – Be sure to mix up your pile to aerate the compost

Your compost pile should consist of a 2:1 ratio of Brown materials and Green materials. The brown materials provide carbon for your compost, the green materials provide nitrogen. You should also add organic materials of different-sized particles.

There are two different styles that can be used to compost. The first is Add-as-you-Go which means that you throw the materials into the compost as you use them. This is a convenient and widely used practice for backyard composting, however, the end product may not be as refined and the cycle takes longer to create the compost. The second style is a Batch System which means that you store your excess items for compost until you have enough of all of the materials. Once you have enough materials, you add it the compost pile in a batch which gives you a better end product and works in 1/3 the timeframe than Add-as-you-Go.

Here is a great link to backyard composting for more information.

Form a Hazardous Waste Site

hazardous_waste-1537292248-7592.jpg

Hazardous waste when not disposed properly or thrown away with normal waste can be a serious threat to humans and the environment. Items commonly found in an American household such as cleaning and polishing chemicals, pharmaceuticals, petrol, kerosene, motor oils, thermometers, and batteries etc. require proper disposal. These items, when mixed with ordinary waste and dumped into a landfill, can cause water, soil, and air pollution and take a serious toll on the environment.