The plastic pollution problem is a worldwide, enormous problem to tackle. It makes it seem like a single individual making a single change in their everyday life won’t actually make any kind of difference in the grand scheme of things. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Every single one of us has the ability to make a difference. We like to think of it this way: say you choose to bring a reusable coffee mug to Dunkin Donuts (well, at least in the future once COVID moves on). You get a few dollars off your daily coffee and head to work. Throughout the course of the morning, two of your coworkers compliment your mug. You don’t think much of it. But later that week, one coworker buys the same mug for herself, and the other buys one for himself and one for his wife. Just like that, your one mug has become 4. That’s 4 disposable cups and lids that won’t be used. We have far more influence on the world than we realize.
Being green is also much easier than you might think. Simple changes in our everyday lives can make a huge difference, especially during summertime. For example, beach trash is a huge problem–what if you simply brought a trash bag with you and took all of your trash home to dispose of, rather than littering, or wandering the beach hunting for a trash bin? You could bring a reusable water bottle on a beach trip instead of single-use plastic ones. Don’t like tap water? Water filter pitchers are usually just around $30, and can save you hundreds on plastic water bottles. And one the biggest things you can do is be vocal! Encourage those around you, whether it’s friends, family, or local businesses to make greener (and bluer) choices for our planet. Home compostable straw alternatives are a great initiative for restaurants to take in order to reduce their plastic consumption. There are infinite easy changes we can make daily to change the world.
This week, Tuesday July 14th doubled as both Shark Awareness Day and World Chimpanzee Day. Both of these species make incredible contributions to the ecosystems they reside in. Humans wouldn’t even exist without chimps! And the oceans as an ecosystem would completely collapse if you removed sharks from the equation. Being an apex predator, they place important controls on the species below them, so one species doesn’t “take over” the food chain. Chimps are one of our closest relatives as humans. They share over 95% of our genetic code, and provide incredible opportunities for us to learn about the things that make us truly human. Both of these species are important nodes in the tree of life, and we’re excited to get to spotlight them during the first week of the Summer of Sustainability (want to learn more about chimps and sharks? Drop us a comment HERE and we’ll answer it!).
The future is ours to shape. As we look to transition to a post-pandemic world, it’s up to us to do our part to make that world better than the one before COVID. With the jump-start that quarantine gave us, we should be plenty ahead of the curve, and able to make sustainable choices to maintain and further the healing that Mother Nature started. That’s just what the Summer of Sustainability aims to do: inspire us to continue Mother Nature’s mission to restore our planet to its greatest natural glory. Small changes in our everyday lives are just the beginning. As the summer and the year continue, we can all make a difference and contribute to a greener and bluer future. Remember, by starting small, we only have room to grow.