The Summer of Sustainability – with UrthPact!

Jul 14, 2022

What is it about summer that makes want to make even more sustainable choices than the rest of the year? Could it be that we spend more time outdoors during the summer at the beach, hiking in the wilderness, or spending time with family and friends? Is it that we associate summer with our oceans and sustainable seas are one of the most important areas of sustainability? Or could it be that humans are continuing to dump millions of tons of plastic waste into the ocean? If you agreed with any of the above, you’d be right! During the summer time, people have a tendency to spend more time outside, making them more aware of their natural world and their own effects on it. And for those of us who don’t mind sand in our toes and salt in our hair, a lot of that time is spent at the beach, where we can often see marine plastic pollution first hand. And it’s currently estimated that up to 200 million tons of plastic waste is already in our oceans; a number that continues to rise as plastic waste production reaches all time highs. We bring you the Summer of Sustainability to encourage you to make sustainable choices this summer, and give you some tips to be greener and bluer!

One of the easiest ways to be more sustainable while adventuring this summer is to try and use all reusable products and containers on your trips! Water bottles, reusable plastic containers, and metal straws are all easy products to carry along with you to store all of your snacks and beverages, and they help to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste we put into our waste system. If you do have to use a single-use plastic – like a plastic water bottle or a chip bag – be sure to dispose of it in the right place! If you’re at the beach, bring a trash bag for all of your disposables, and carry them home. If you use a plastic bottle on a hike, put it back in your bag to recycle it at the bottom of the trail or at home. By ensuring we dispose of our trash in the right places, we greatly reduce the chance of it ending up as litter somewhere, whether that’s the land or the sea.

Another tactic if you need to use disposables this summer is try and find more sustainable disposables than traditional, petroleum-based plastic ones. Plastic straws and cutlery have lifetimes of hundreds to thousands of years, and they only ever break down to tiny microplastics. These microplastics are then ingested by animals that are consumed by humans, absorbed by plants, and even scattered about the world via wind and water. New studies show that humans are consuming 5 grams of plastic a day! Let’s put that in perspective: 5 grams per day is 1,825 grams of plastic per year, or about 4 pounds, or the same weight as your average bottle of ketchup. That’s A LOT of plastic for humans to be consuming! And the same negative effects that plastic waste has on wildlife also applies to humans: toxic leeching, risk for disease, and everything in between. By choosing disposables that are compostable, and overall, more sustainable, you not only protect the planet, but yourself as well.

The Summer of Sustainability is only 3 months out of the year. At UrthPact, we use this time of year to encourage our team and our partners to make more sustainable decisions for our planet. But in reality, only being sustainable in the summer isn’t enough. In order to reverse the damage done to our planet by plastics, we need a full year of everyone making more sustainable choices. No single person can do it alone. So encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and business partners to make more planet-friendly choices, not just this summer, but all year round. 

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