In the previous two episodes, we discussed ways in which we can reduce our plastic footprint and in so doing, become Ocean Superheroes and save some Marine lives.
Today, in the final episode of this trilogy, we take a closer look into our cupboards and see how a change in our personal products can turn us into Ocean Superheroes.
1. Glass is class:
Whenever possible, choose personal care products which are sold in glass containers, instead of plastic. Glass is better for the ocean and has no toxic seepage sneaking into your product, which inevitably builds up in your body.
2. Beware of your butt.
Cigarette filters are not biodegradable, so please do not just flick them out your car window! They are made of plastic fibres and are filled with chemicals and carcinogens. This deadly combination seeps its toxic concoction into the environment, causing a wake of death. Smokers, please be responsible with your butts and ensure that you place them in a bin, where they can be disposed of properly and not end up in the ocean.
3. Ban the Bead!
Plastic microbeads are everywhere! Grocery aisles are beset on all sides by these micro-tyrants. What are they? Tiny, little balls of plastic.
They are usually colourful to catch the consumer’s eye and you will find them in your toothpaste, your facial or body scrub, in your wrinkle fillers, in your laundry powder, your cleaning detergent or in your shower gel. These microbeads are ineffective as exfoliators (whether on your skin or on dirt) as they are so smooth and round that they offer zero exfoliation. Instead, they wash down your drain, pass through the water filtering plants and rinse out into our waterways, ending up as lunch for some unsuspecting fish, crab or oyster. In just 1 shower, you can release 100 000 of these microbeads. So, ban anything which states “Now with micro-particles” or has any of the “poly’s” in its ingredient list. They may look pretty, but they are useless and deadly!
4. Go natural!
If and when possible, choose natural products over synthetic/chemical based products. From personal care products to cleaning products – eventually, they all end up in our drains and further downstream in our waterways. Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda can replace several bottles of chemical cleaners in your kitchen cupboard – cleaning more effectively, costing less than ordinary scrubbers and being far kinder to the environment. You will also be surprised to learn how many little tubes and bottles in your bathroom cabinet can be replaced with lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda or coconut oil! Don’t believe me? Go on, Google it!
The most important message I wanted this trilogy to get across to you, is this:
If it is better for the environment, it is better for you too. How much is your health worth to you? How much is the health of your environment worth to you? Make the switch, it won’t cost you more, it simply takes a shift in thinking and changing gears in the daily choices you make. Fight the scourge which is ocean pollution and become the ultimate (and healthy) Ocean Superhero!