I spent two months in Costa Rica with my family, we spent hours everyday playing on a beautiful beach in one of the World’s 5 Blue Zones. This place was magic. My kids brought 0 beach toys. No plastic shovels, crab-shaped sand stencils, shade umbrellas, or beach chairs. Honestly, I just planned on buying all that plastic mess once we arrived…but I never did. I watched my children (5 and 3 at the time) delight in all the treasures and trash they found on the beach. Hermit crabs, sand dollars (at least 10!), gorgeous shells, funky flowers, rotten seaweed, worn drift wood quickly turned into magic wands, a plastic ken doll torso, toothbrushes, plastic bread tags, straws, medical parts, combs, did I say straws? A mosaic of teeny tiny rainbow-colored plastic bits blended with the sand almost as though it was a part of the ecosystem.
It was beautiful and disgusting. We collected plastic everyday and attempted to recycle it. We saw so many people doing the same. It made me feel sad, but hopeful. So many people are doing some pretty amazing things to clean up the oceans and reduce our single use plastic issue.
Like The Ocean CleanUp
My point is not to be preachy or depressing..but I’ll never look at a filling up a pinata or the $1 aisle in Target the same. Its a burden to me and to our waste system, I’m far, far, far from even close to perfect. I buy one-use plastic snacks for my kids, I use plastic encased beauty products, and plastic medical devices are incredible. I do want to commit to a few real ways I can change:
Tried and true for me and mine:
- Cloth grocery bags and cloth produce bags. I like these.
- Bulk peanut butter or nut butter in an old pickle jar – here’s how you TARE (rhymes with hair)
- Metal lunch boxes for yourself of your kiddos. I’ve had these for 8 years strong and I put them in the dishwasher everyday.
- Ditch plastic jugs of laundry detergent, replace with laundry sheets.
- Politely pass on plastic straws
- Metal straws – there are even wider smoothie straws
I am just dipping a toe in this world, but here are some amazing and inspirational people doing a whole lot more: