A combination of recent research and horrifying viral videos from paradise locations such as a Bali and Australia have galvanised the people into taking responsibility for the damage done to the world.
We are destroying our world one plastic bottle at a time, and now we can see it, we’re starting to realise the consequences of our actions.
Researchers have found that 73% of deep sea fish in the North-West Pacific Ocean have ingested plastic particles.
It’s estimated that 80% of the plastic released into the ocean have come through rivers from land.
What does this mean?
Thousands of marine wildlife are dying every year; hundreds of thousands of birds are too.
Animals are eating plastic, which lodges itself in the stomach, releasing toxins and blocking the digestive system of the animal, effectively strangling them to death.
The UN have called to take drastic action against the decline of the ocean and its inhabitants.
When travelling the world, it’s vitally important to make an effort to spread this message and practice what is preached, everywhere you go.
As the polluters of this earth, it’s our duty to correct it, here’s some simple steps to being a superhero.
Plastic-free; Guilt Free
Take a water bottle & check your hostel has a water filter
Water is an essential, especially when travelling in hot countries. Sadly, with the need to hydrate, comes the need to buy bottled water.
Here’s the harrowing fact: 60 million plastic bottles are thrown to a landfill every day.
But we still need to drink that water, right?
Here’s what you can do:
- Email your hostel or hotel to find out if they have a water filter before you arrive.
- Buy a metal water bottle to have cold water for longer.
- If you do need to buy a plastic bottle, re-use it, and keep it out of the sun to stop plastic particles getting into your water.
Eat in is the new takeout
When you’re walking around, tasty street food temptations are everywhere you go. Takeout’s and street food are deliciously convenient, but it’s also one of the biggest contributors to the problem that we are currently facing.
When you purchase your takeout, you’re purchasing and effectively eating polystyrene, as it leaches into your food. It doesn’t stop there, either.
Polystyrene cannot be re-cycled, so no matter what you do, it’s going to find it’s way to the ocean.
Most street food stands offer seating, many also offer the alternative of eating from a normal plate. If they don’t, find one that does and give your feet a well deserved rest while you’re saving the environment.
Have a break, you’re saving the environment; coffee
Who thought saving the environment involved so much relaxation!
But when you think about it, convenience is the main reason we love plastic takeout’s so much.
The trend of coffee shops offering discounts for those who bring their own cup has been on the rise for years; encouraging regular city workers an eco-friendly alternative to their morning coffee.
When travelling, bringing your own cup is not so easy; there is no need to be in a rush.
You’re on holiday, my friend!
Ease into your day and enjoy your morning coffee.
You’ve got a rucksack, use it – say no to plastic bags
Rucksacks are a fundamental part of life. Being without one is a little bit like loosing your left-hand.
Plastic bags are the number one contributor to the level of plastic that is currently in the ocean.
Across much of the Western world, government regulations for supermarkets have helped to combat this, but sadly the rest of the world are not quite there yet.
It’s easy to forget about your recycling efforts when you are in countries that barely have a garbage system; stick to what you know and utilise your rucksack’s awesome abilities.
Join the Straw Trend
#refusethestraw took the States and the UK by storm last year, and quite rightly so.
It’s estimated that 550 million straws are thrown away a day. If you’ve ever worked in a bar, you know that already.
Once again, when you’re travelling these facts are rarely taken into account.
Ask for a drink without a straw BEFORE you order will save a straw being thrown anyway.
Alternatively, you can buy an eco straw and take it with you.
One final note
It’s important to say, that when refusing these items, politeness is the only way, instead of saying ‘no’ and appearing rude.
Explain it’s bad, and make sure you add thank you at the end.