Updated: May 12
We all know that plastic – in all its forms – is making its way into our landfills and waterways by the tons. Its also injuring, and even killing, wildlife. And you might think, “I’m just one person. Any effort I make is only a drop in the ocean and really won’t help. Besides, there’s recycling, right…” Well, you’d be wrong!
I thought that recycling was the answer, so every week we’d fill up that blue box and drive it to the recycling center (no recycling pick up in my neighborhood), dump our stuff in the proper bins, and start all over again. It made me feel good. But about six years ago, our garbage company stopped accepting glass, paper, and plastic products for recycling and our big 95-gallon garbage can was getting filled every week – really fast!
And I didn’t like it.
It made me feel yucky.
I knew it was time to make some big changes – and those changes have really added up over the years. And the changes that you – and everyone in your household – make, will be really big over the years, too!
And it’s not just about single-use plastics. There are so many easy – and free – things you can do to help save our planet. Here are five of my favorites:
1. Buy a reusable water bottle that’s insulated and easy to clean: I’ve been using a 24 oz. Tervis tumbler similar to this one every day for six years! I drink a lot of water and I estimate that over the years, I alone have kept over 2,500 plastic water bottles out of our landfills! Imagine if everyone in your household did this - what a huge impact in saving our planet that that would be.
2. Donate to an ocean charity and it won’t even cost you a single penny: If you’re like me, I buy a lot of things from Amazon and if you buy from Amazon Smile – which is exactly the same, but with a giving component. Amazon will give 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to a charitable organization of your choice! Simple, right? And you can change your charity at any time.
3. Back to single-use plastics… Across the world, billions of straws end up in our landfills each day! They also kill or harm wildlife. So, buy some reusable, eco-friendly straws. I say some, because you’ll want a couple for home, your car, your backpack, your purse, or keyring. We, here at Duk Gear, are your environmental advocates and we have super-cool reusable straws and with Promo Code 6PACK, you can buy 5 and get 1 free! I have personally kept hundreds of straws out of our landfills – so far.
4. Watch what you flush: Things like medicines, cotton balls, wet wipes, feminine products, dental floss, cat litter, insecticides, paint, vegetable oil, and even ‘flushable’ wipes (which are not flushable at all!) should not be flushed or poured down drains, as they are harmful to our oceans and marine life.
5. Buy reusable cloth masks instead of using paper masks: With literally hundreds of thousands cool cloth masks available in stores and on websites like Amazon and Etsy (or direct from your grandma’s sewing machine), you’re sure to find some that will suit your unique style. But if you must use paper masks, cut the straps which can get entangled around an animal’s legs, beak, or neck, and dispose of them in a covered trash can or bag.
So, are you ready to do your part? I promise you, every effort will add up to save our earth over the years – and it's so freakin' easy. Share this post with your friends and family to help them do their part, too! The environment and wildlife will thank you.