Plastics are forever. They do not decompose. They decrease in size and are often mistaken as fish food or bird food. Proper care is required to keep our planet and playground– oceans, waves and beaches– safe.
With that said, it is our responsibility as surfers to take care of our favorite places in the world. Here are 10 ways to Rise Above Plastics:
1. Support plastic bag bans.
Keep reusable shopping bags, jars, and tupperware boxes at an accessible place –inside your car or by your front door– so they will come in handy when you go to your usual grocery store, market or mall. California became the first state in the U.S. to ban plastic bags which will take effect by July 2015. Some cities in California have stopped using plastic bags already. If you are buying a few items at a gas station that you can carry with your hands, why waste a plastic bag?
2. Forget bottled water.
Plastic bottles are one of the top five most common forms of litter found on beaches. Use reusable water bottles instead and fill them up with filtered or spring water.
3. Say no to plastic cups.
Yes, red solo cups are popular at house parties. “Red Cup Sunday” themed day clubs are also getting quite popular. Why not start popularizing reusable cups at parties that are safe to drop, so that both party goers and our mother earth can have more fun? Say no to disposable plastic cups. That goes the same with plastic plates, forks, spoons, knives, etc.
4. Avoid buying items packaged in plastic.
Look for items that are not over-packaged. Often regular items we purchase in grocery and convenience stores are wrapped in layers and layers of unnecessary plastic. Do your best to choose items that are more conservative in their use of plastic products to encourage larger businesses to embrace eco-friendly options.
5. Paper straws.
Straws are one of the top 10 debris items found on beaches. Most people don’t even think how many plastic straws they use daily. Whether you are drinking cocktails or coffee, almost every beverage can be sipped through a straw. If you have the option to skip the straw, do the planet a favor. If not, use a paper straw. These are far more environmentally conscious than plastic straws.
According to the eco-cycle, Americans use 500 million straws each day. If this is discontinued, it will have a huge impact on our environment.
6. Reuse, Recycle.
Recycling is the simplest and easiest way. Reuse what you have and stay away from disposables. Plastics do not decompose, so instead of adding them to the waste, recycle them.
7. Go digital.
Still purchasing DVD’s and CD’s? It’s time to give those things up. All of your favorite music and films can be found online and saved to your hard drive.
8. Volunteer at a beach cleanup.
The Surfrider foundation chapters have beach cleanup events throughout the month. Surfrider is also having a Rise Above Plastics art contest. Collect trash, create something artistic, and enter the contest to win some great prizes that include a Firewire Timbertek surfboard.
9. Spread the word.
Share what you know to your families and friends about the importance of reducing plastic in our lives and the repugnant impacts of plastic pollution. The more people participating, the better chances for a cleaner and fresher environment. Every person counts.
10.Take Surfrider’s Pledge to Rise Above Plastics.
Commit to using less plastic everyday. By pledging, you can learn about the changes you can do to your routine.
To further support Surfrider foundation and help them continue to protect our playground – oceans, waves and beaches, make a donation. Donations are crucial for the Surfrider Foundation to continue their campaigns.