March 21, 2014

Living Plastic Free: Challenge Accepted

Let’s play a game.

The rules: ten minutes without touching some form of plastic.

Items that are made out of plastic are off limits, but so is everything that’s wrapped in plastic! Think long and hard about what you’re reaching for… Go ahead, try! Don’t let this game fool you for the struggle is real my friends!

If after ten minutes you have found yourself standing in the middle of your room frozen and completely overwhelmed by what you can and cannot touch, congratulations! You’ve probably just had a startling realization about the amount of plastic in your own home. Take a seat and breathe deeply for a minute or two as you try to rationalize the situation at hand.

Photo: Julia Ewan, Washington Post

Plastic is everywhere, it is practically impossible to go ten minutes without finding it. Cell phones, computers, cars, packaged food items from the grocery store and even the clothes we wear are all related to plastic.
After evaluating our own 2013 environmental footprint we found a few areas that need improvement. Volunteers and employees at Save Our Shores noticed that the most common sources of plastic within the organization were single-use gloves, garbage bags, water bottles, utensils (plastic/bio-plastic), and packaging (food/supplies).

Recognizing our role as part of the plastic consumption problem is the first step towards finding a solution.

Through our actions we hope to not only motivate ourselves in becoming environmental leaders, but to inspire and encourage environmental responsibility in others as well!

List of Common Plastic Slip Ups:
Plastic bags
Plastic bottles
Plastic utensils
Plastic food packaging
Plastic dishes
Plastic tablecloth
Plastic straws
Zip ties

List of Plastic Alternatives:
Reusable cloth bags
Reusable water bottles
Reusable utensils
Food stored in glass containers, cloth bags, or reusable containers
Glass, ceramic, stainless steel dishes
Cloth tablecloth
No straws preferred. Paper straws if necessary
Twine from natural fiber

-Bronti Patterson
UCSC Environmental Studies 2014 and Lead Program and Outreach Intern for SOS


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