How to reduce plastic waste and help the oceans

We’re all talking about Instagram and how much of a influence it has on us. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s the other way around, but the most important thing is who do we choose to follow. You can’t say that a person has a negative influence on you if you don’t follow/listen to her.

That’s why I choose to only follow people who can have a real and good influence on me. And this is how my ‘reduce plastic’ era begins. It didn’t happen overnight, my habits didn’t change drastically, but with every day counting I knew I had to change something. I’m still learning and I don’t consider myself an expert, but I do hope that this article will show you how easy it is to help save the oceans.

I had one bag of plastic straws which I stopped using. I was drinking smoothies, photographing them and stopped adding straws to my photos so people wouldn’t  be inspired by that combination. Visually, it looked great, but I was constantly thinking about sea turtles ingesting them.

I didn’t understand that much then so I decided to watch some documentaries that could help me learn more. Here’s the list of series I watched:

  • A plastic ocean
  • Chasing Coral
  • Earthling
  • Blue
  • Cowspiracy
  • Food Choices

It’s really different when you see for yourself. Things like this should not happen. After a while, I started listening when people I follow on Instagram talked about plastic waste and sustainability. It seemed like such a hard thing to do. Where I could find all those things? Would it make a change if I swapped those products?

I took me months before deciding to shop wisely. For starters I only wanted some stainless steel straws. I was ready to make this thing work. While shopping for reusable straws I found a romanian website that only sold reusable products. That’s how I got my hands on fabric pads for make-up removal, solid shampoo and a bamboo toothbrush. All products can be found here

I didn’t become the queen of recycling overnight, but I did make some changes that I’m very proud of. Next things I bought were a loofah (luffa), a reusable water bottle and a container for my food. I also swapped the plastic bag for a fabric one.

I know there are a lot more things that can be done in order to help the ocean, but I think this is one easy guide to start with. For those of you who are constantly drinking coffee or tea at your local coffee place, bring your reusable cup. And if you don’t know where to buy one, try here or search on Amazon, you’ll definitely find something that works for you, just make the change.

You can find here more ways of reducing plastic.

„As of 2018, about 380 million tonnes of plastic is produced worldwide each year. From the 1950s up to 2018, an estimated 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced worldwide, of which an estimated 9% has been recycled and another 12% has been incinerated”

Plankton, fish, and ultimately the human race, through the food chain, ingest highly toxic carcinogens and chemicals. Consuming the fish that contain these toxins can cause an increase in cancer, immune disorders, and birth defects.

Sea turtles are affected by plastic pollution. Some species are consumers of jelly fish, but often mistake plastic bags for their natural prey. This plastic debris can kill the sea turtle by obstructing the oesophagus. So too are whales; large amounts of plastics have been found in the stomachs of beached whales. I won’t post photos like that here, but a simple google search will show you all of that. Deep sea animals have been found with plastics in their stomachs. In June 2018, more than 80 plastic bags were found inside a dying pilot whale that washed up on the shores of Thailand

Plastic pollution does not only affect animals that live solely in oceans. Seabirds are also greatly affected. In 2004, it was estimated that gulls in the North Sea had an average of thirty pieces of plastic in their stomachs. Seabirds often mistake trash floating on the ocean’s surface as prey. Their food sources often has already ingested plastic debris, thus transferring the plastic from prey to predator. Ingested trash can obstruct and physically damage a bird’s digestive system, reducing its digestive ability and can lead to malnutrition, starvation, and death. Floating plastic debris can produce ulcers, infections and lead to death. Marine plastic pollution can even reach birds that have never been at the sea. Parents may accidentally feed their nestlings plastic, mistaking it for food. Seabird chicks are the most vulnerable to plastic ingestion since they can’t regurgitate like the adult seabirds.

There are so many photos out there that show you how beaches are flooded with plastic bottles and straws, dead sea animals and so on. It takes time to get conscious about this and I remember how I used to swipe on Instagram whenever someone started talking about this topic. Not anymore. I want to know as many details as possible. I want to know what happens to this world and how can I help with its growth, not its downfall.

As I told you, there’s a larger list with things to be done, but change must happen with us. So that’s why I wanted to show you a little trick with the things I’ve done. There are a lot of websites that now sell a lot of reusable products so it’s pretty much a single order that you have to make. You save money and also helping the environment. Doesn’t that sound right?

Feel free to share here or on my Instagram any other tips and tricks you know regarding this topic!

Flav

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