A combination of recent research and horrifying viral videos from paradise locations such as a Bali and Australia have galvanised the people into taking responsibility for the damage done to the world.
We are destroying our world one plastic bottle at a time, and now we can see it, we’re starting to realise the consequences of our actions.
Researchers have found that 73% of deep sea fish in the North-West Pacific Ocean have ingested plastic particles.
It’s estimated that 80% of the plastic released into the ocean have come through rivers from land.
So, What’s Happening?
Thousands of marine wildlife are dying every year; hundreds of thousands of birds are too.
Animals are eating plastic, which lodges itself in the stomach, releasing toxins and blocking the digestive system of the animal, effectively choking them to death.
The UN has called to take drastic action against the decline of the ocean and its inhabitants.
When travelling the world, it’s vitally important to make an effort to spread this message and practice what is preached, everywhere you go.
As the polluters of this earth, it’s our duty to correct it, here are some simple steps to being a superhero, and to have a beach as clean as this!
Plastic-free; Guilt Free
Check your hostel has a water filter
Water is essential when travelling in hot countries. Sadly, with the need to hydrate, comes the need to buy bottled water.
Here’s a harrowing fact: 60 million plastic bottles are thrown to a landfill every day.
But we still need to drink that water, right?
Here’s what you can do:
- Email your hostel or hotel to find out if they have a water filter before you arrive.
- Buy a metal water bottle to have cold water for longer.
- If you do need to buy a plastic bottle, re-use it, and keep it out of the sun to stop plastic particles from getting into your water.
Eating In Is The New Takeout
When you’re walking around different cities, tasty street food temptations are everywhere you go. Takeout’s and snacks are deliciously convenient, but it’s also one of the biggest contributors to the problem that we are currently facing.
When you purchase your takeout, you’re purchasing and effectively eating polystyrene, as it leaches into your food. It doesn’t stop there, either.
Polystyrene cannot be recycled, so no matter what you do, it’s going to find its way to the ocean.
Before your smile gets turned upside down over losing takeaway food – don’t worry! The shift towards a plastic-free world means being more organised, not losing your favourite 11 am treat. Throw a re-usable Tupperware box into your bag in the morning, so you don’t miss out.
Have A Break; Coffee
Who thought that saving the environment involved so much relaxation! When you think about it, the need to be on-the-go is the main reason we love takeout’s so much.
The trend of coffee shops offering discounts for those who bring their own cup has been on the rise for years; encouraging regulars to adopt an eco-friendly alternative to their morning coffee.
When travelling, bringing your own cup is not so easy. However, is no need to be in a rush- you’re on holiday, right?
Ease into your day and enjoy your morning coffee. At a coffee shop, from a mug.
Get a Rucksack and Say No to Plastic Bags
For me, rucksacks are a fundamental part of life. Being without one is a little bit like losing my left hand (I’m left-handed). I feel a little naked without it, especially since plastic bags were removed from all stores across the UK.
Plastic bags are a top contributor to the amount of plastic that is currently in the ocean. Across much of the Western world, government regulations for supermarkets have helped to combat this but sadly not all countries are there yet.
It’s easy to forget about your recycling efforts when you are in countries that, at first glance, don’t acknowledge it. However, stick to what you know and utilise your rucksack’s awesome abilities, you never know when you could influence someone else to do the same.
Join the Straw Trend
#Refusethestraw, which started in the States, took the world storm; rapidly spreading a positive impact on everyone who encountered the movement.
It’s estimated that 550 million straws are thrown away a day. As the kings and queens of convenience, this is mostly from takeaways, bars and restaurants. If you’ve ever worked in a bar, you know that already.
Once again, when you’re travelling these facts are rarely taken into account.
Ask for a drink without a straw before you order your drink will save a straw being thrown anyway. As someone who asks after an order frequently, I know this is a difficult habit to establish. I’m still struggling with it myself. What we can take from this is that paving the way to a plastic-free world is all about establishing habits.
In addition, you can buy an eco-straw and take it with you. When travelling to countries that don’t speak your language, presenting the straw is a good indicator that you don’t want one.
What are you doing to combat single-use plastics? Let me know in the comments below!