Did you know that plastic fibers have now been found in 80% of the water samples on 5 continents?
New Research Orb and a researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health shows that we are now eating and drinking plastic in our food...
How so? Think of your favorite pair of yoga
pants, or that new Patagonia shirt. Its an involved situation. I challenge you to read the references below and to add to the conversation, Is this true?!
Here are 5 steps
to get involved NOW to ensure that plastics have the least affect on the environment and on our future:
1. Embrace that Hippy Smell-
Ok, maybe not completely...
Avoid putting more plastics in our water by starting at looking at your washing machine. Just by choosing to wash your clothes half as much, you can cut down on the amount of plastics you release into our water via your own washing machine by 50%. If you can wait a day do it. Think about those favorite yoga pants, those stink-free shirts, those recycled plastic shirts that Patagonia is known for (I have a whole closet full of them!) If they just ‘feel’ dirty but look fine and smell normal, make the choice to wait or try spot treating for those tiny spill spots.
2. Wash with Care-
Use the gentle cycle and avoid that 2nd rinse. The more we agitate the water, the more unhappy our clothing is (and the faster it wears out). I heard on 1A, an NPR podcast that just washing those yoga pants releases 150 fibers each time… Research shows that your clothes can dump as much as 1500 fibers into our water per washing! A little help on this front by elongating between washes if you can will help our drinking water and our fishing stream.
3. Buy Food with less Packaging.
The more we make decisions about what we buy, the more we let producers know what we want. Demand changes will change to the supply, sellers want us to be happy. It’s consumerism 101.
4. Try Creative Reuses of Current Plastics
Yes, I’m sure as a caring citizen that you have already thought of swapping over right away… But what about those bags you already have in that kitchen drawer or in the garage?
The average person uses 425 plastic grocery bags (1 lb.) per year.
Better yet, the average person uses 540 baggies (0.84 lbs.) per year.Chances are you still have these laying around the house.
That old plastic bag- it might even be a container that your food arrived in- I challenge you to wash it and use it for produce, then recycle it again in your house for dog poop or packing material.
TIP: You can even use that old plastic bag to freeze extras from Costco (think bacon, chicken, etc) and keep your costs down.
TIP: When you buy vegetables, go a step further and ask them to lay your recycled plastic bag on the scanner and then move each veggie onto the scanner (covered by said bag) to keep it clean and then into your main fabric bag. This ensures that they stay clean without all the plastics.
5. Skip the Straw and Bring Your Own (Insert Implement Here).
WHAT? The average human uses
584 straws (3.4 lbs) per year??
(I’m not even going to mention the stat for cups...)
I challenge YOU to use that paper or plastic coffee cup as many times as you can, and skip the straw...
Your teeth will be fine.
Think of it as a fun challenge. One that will help us to change the future. Think of that can of soda, and about that burger. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be cooking and drinking water full of plastic.
Currently, we do not know the full health hazards associated with plastics in our drinking water. It may take decades. As scientists rush to study this phenomenon, these small things add up to help to push the use of plastics away from single-use consumption designs as well as our favorite clothing to repair our water supply. Hopefully.
“Plastics-are-forever”. The 1A Podcast. NPR.Com Aired 11.1.2017.
Less Waste Challenge Sustainability Tips. Terracycle. Toms of Maine. Accessed November 29th, 2017.
"If you're drinking tap water, you're consuming plastic pollutants."
Morrison Dan and Tyree Christopher. PRI.org Sept 5, 2017.