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Plastic Not So Fantastic: Urban Surfer’s Guide to Living a Plastic Free Life

Plastic is quickly becoming one of the most damaging materials to our world. The domino effect is wide reaching and increasingly worrying. From contaminating oceans and harming nature, to jamming up landfills for decades and never decomposing. It is easy to see the devastating effects that plastic is having on our planet.

Plastic is cheap, lightweight, very easy to mould. It has therefore has been a number one choice for many companies for decades. As a society we have all become incredibly dependent on the use of plastic products. Choosing to live with less plastic can initially seem daunting, perhaps even impossible!

In order to help those of you who are willing to make some changes towards living a plastic-free lifestyle, we have put together a little guide of sorts to point you in the right direction!

How is there so much plastic in our oceans?

Every year 12 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into our oceans, that is equivalent to a whole container full of the stuff being dumped into the sea every single minute.

  • People not recycling plastic –  staggering figures show that only a miserable 9% of all plastic ever produced is recycled, the rest makes its way to landfill and often finds its way back out into the environment and eventually in the sea.
  • Plastic litter – if plastic is left on beaches or on the streets, it can be blown into drainage systems and rivers that again end up back in the sea.
  • Industrial seepage – if plastics are not correctly disposed of during the production/transportation process.

Some Tips to Get Started

  • Use a reusable water bottle or mug for your beverages.
  • Avoid single use plastic bags, bring some canvas bags with you, we like to just leave a few in the car, or in our handbags at all times!
  • Stop using straws. If you must use a straw, buy a reusable stainless steel or glass straw.
  • Buy some reusable utensils instead of single use plastic.
  • Buy fresh bread that comes in either paper bags or no bags.
  • Shop at your local farmers market, and don’t forget to bring reusable bags with you!
  • Use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap.
  • Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container.
  • Don’t use plasticware at home.
  • Make fresh squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles.
  • 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.
  • Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.
  • Take part in local clean ups.

These are a few simple steps to get you started, check this site for some more good resources.

 

Brand Spotlight – Mizu

Mizu is a brand designed specifically to meet the needs of world-class athletes. Mizu is also one of the very few brands that puts the planet before profit! Jussi Oksanen, pro-snowboarder, had a vision to create a reusable product that is both functional and stylish. Their fantastic products promise round the clock icy cold water, steaming hot coffee, lifetime warranties, and to top it all off they look great!  “When I started Mizu with Brad Kremer 10 years ago, it was for one reason and one reason only — to do something to help curb our planet’s problem with single-use plastic. We thought it would be cool to create a product that would encourage all of our friends to use reusable products, and it just grew organically from there. Our mission hasn’t changed since that first day.” Check out some awesome Mizu products here!

Conclusion

Going plastic free may seem like a daunting task but it really is super easy and by just thinking about some of the things you buy on a daily basis, you can drastically reduce your consumption instantly!

BBC recently reported that the amount of plastic in the ocean is set to triple in a decade unless litter is curbed. By making small changes in our daily lives, we can help to reduce this staggering figure.

Surfers Against Sewage is a great organisation that regularly organise beach clean ups, they can even assist you in organising one of your own. So, gather your friends and family and start making little changes! Keep us posted. Let us know how you are getting on or if you have any further suggestions be sure to comment below!

 

Stephanie Contomichalos

Stephanie Contomichalos is a sports enthusiast. She is an avid crossfitter, wakeboarder and has recently qualified as a Level 1 CrossFit coach. She is also an advocate for women’s sport and for using sport as a tool for development. She is currently living in Athens, Greece.

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