Reduce Your Plastic Pollution
Earth Day 2018
On Sunday April 22, more than a billion people around the world will celebrate Earth Day. The movement began in 1970 and is credited with instigating many of our current environmental policies, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act.
This year, Earth Day is dedicated to combating one of the ocean’s largest problems- plastic pollution. This issue hits close to home, as more than 8 MILLION TONS of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year. That’s similar to emptying a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute. If this continue then…
“By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in oceans. Today, 50% of sea turtles have already consumed plastic. ”
Living and vacationing on the Gulf Coast gives us the opportunity to make a difference. We hope that no one intentionally throws plastic into the ocean. However, even when you recycle your plastic in the appropriate bin it can still make its way into the ocean. The only way to truly ensure that plastic pollution decreases is to stop using so much plastic!
7 tips to to use while on vacation to reduce plastic pollution:
- Bring your own shopping bag to the grocery store. Eliminate the need for all of the tiny plastic bags by bringing your own tote. When you arrive at a Five Star luxury vacation home, you will find a complementary reusable shopping tote already in place. Many of the stores also sell these reusable bags that you can take to the store, beach, or gym.
- Skip the plastic produce bags. It doesn’t really matter if your lemons touch your oranges. This is an easy way to reduce the amount of plastic you use.
- Carry a reusable water bottle. Bringing your own water bottle to the beach will not only save a ton of plastic water bottles from potentially making their way to the Gulf, but it will also keep your beverage considerably cooler!
- Bring your own coffee cup. When making a coffee run you can use your own cup and will even receive a discount for doing so.
- Pack your lunch in reusable containers. Our vacation homes come equipped with tupperware! If you are planning a day at the beach pack a lunch or snacks in these reusable containers and eliminate the need for plastic.
- Say no to plastic silverware and straws. If you are ordering takeout to eat at home why not just use your own silverware? Take it a step further and stop using plastic straws at restaurants to cut down on even more plastic use.
- Share these tips with your friends! The more people know the more they can do!
Recycle your Plastic Bags!
If you do find yourself at the store without a reusable bag or have collected some plastic bags during your stay don’t worry. Simply drop them off at the nearest Publix, Winn Dixie, or Walmart and use their plastic bag recycling program.
Local Cleanup Efforts
Celebrate Earth Day at the beach by volunteering for a beach cleanup from 8-10 a.m. April 22 at Henderson Beach State Park in Destin. All ages welcome. Wear closed-toe shoes, gloves and sun protection, and bring a reusable water bottle. Entrance fees are waived for volunteers. For more information, call 650-5928.
The Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance and the city of Destin will hold the annual Earth Day Coastal Clean-Up from 8-10 a.m. April 22 at Norriego Point Beach Access and Park, Gulf Shore Drive (Holiday Isle).
Whether you are participating in an organized clean up effort or simply taking on a new habit to help the environment, every effort matters. Let’s continue to make our beaches some of the most beautiful in the world!