When you throw something "away", where is away? Everything we manufacture has to go somewhere when we are finished with it. That somewhere is in the land or out at sea.
Although the problem of ocean trash can seem overwhelming, there are some simple things you can do every day to minimize your impact on the ocean. If you think it isn’t worth the time and energy, remember the animals who make the ocean their home. Afterall, everything we do, not only affects them, it filters down to us - we eat the same food and we swim in the same water - and the ocean is the planet's biggest life source.
- Cut apart six-pack plastic soda can rings. If left uncut in the trash, they can make their way to the ocean and trap an unsuspecting, innocent animal.
- Reduce the toxins you use in your yard, as those affect the waterways via run-off.
- Bring your own reusable shopping bags whenever you shop.
- Be sure to properly dispose of fishing lines and lures, as animals can mistake them for food if they end up in the water.
- Try not to use helium balloons, since both the balloons and their accompanying strings often end up in the water. Choose another way to decorate a party instead.
- Select reusable items whenever possible and repurpose old items.
- Buy in bulk and bring your own container to the store for flour, rice, beans and other dry goods.
- Try buying milk and yogurt in glass and ceramic containers that can be returned to the grocery store.
- Recycle everything. More and more items can be recycled if you take advantage of proper recycling stations and centers.
- Bring your own reusable cup to the café when you buy your morning latte.
- Carry a reusable water bottle to work and school.
- Choose a product that has less packaging over those that are individually wrapped. Better yet, can you buy it in bulk?
Whatever you do, remember the 4 R's - REDUCE, REFUSE, RECYCLE & REUSE.