This month’s National Geographic cover really resonated for us. At first glance, it’s a melting iceberg– no wait. It’s a plastic bag, floating lifelessly in the ocean. The illusion works, and hits a nerve that we feel particularly strongly about. Humans have trashed much of the planet, especially our oceans, using them as a personal dumping ground for our manufactured plastic that will take thousands of years to degrade. We’ve known this for decades, but lately it’s gotten so bad that scientists estimate by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. Let that sink in for a minute. It’s disgraceful and disgusting, and most tragic? Entirely preventable. Human greed, laziness, and a disconnect with our natural systems is the cause. For every good story you hear about people cleaning up beaches or inventing new eco-products, there’s a newfound coral reef that has been decimated. Or a new plastic gyre in the oceans larger than the state of Texas (!!). It’s alarming and depressing, but all we can do is move forward, hopefully in the right direction.
National Geographic’s cover story is part of an effort for them to help curb single use plastic. They’ve made a pledge to stop using plastic covers on their magazines, and have a number of simple yet crucial steps that we need to take to help this global problem as well. Below are a few of them, please take a look.
Your Part: skip plastic bags when shopping, bring your own reusable!
Your Part: Use a reusable container, recycle every time you have to use plastic!
Your Part: Protect the oceans, be aware of packaging waste, and pick up litter when you see it!
Your Part: Ditch the straw, you rarely need it! Tell your local bars and coffeeshops to ditch them too.