My family and I lived in Costa Rica for several months, and spent hours every day playing on a beautiful beaches. This place was magic; actually one of the World’s 5 Blue Zones.
This place was magic. My kids brought ZERO beach toys, no plastic shovels, crab-shaped sand stencils, umbrellas, no beach chairs. Honesltly, I just planned on buying all that plastic junk 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, gorgeous shells, funky flowers, rotten seaweed, worn drift-turned-into-magic wands, a much-loved plastic ken doll torso, toothbrushes, plastic straws, weird plastic medical parts, combs, did I say straws…teeny tiny micro plastics every color of the rainbow. It was beautiful and disgusting. We collected plastic every day and tried to recycle it. We saw lots of people picking up plastic on their beach strolls. It’s sad, but fixable. So many people are doing all kinds of amazing and creative things to clean up the oceans and reduce our single-use plastic issue.
The Ocean Cleanup is a big (exciting) one
Small scale ideas start with what you chose to buy or not buy. My point is not to be preachy or depressing…but I’ll never look at a pinata filling or the $1 aisle in Target the same. It’s a burden. I’m far, far, far from a low-waste tribe member. I buy single-use plastic snacks for my kids, I use plastic encased beauty products. Plastic medical devices are incredible and life-saving. But I want to commit to a few real things I can do:
Tried and true for me and mine:
- Cloth grocery bags and cloth produce bags (I love the design of these)
- Bamboo toothbrushes, these actually excited my kids
- Bulk nut butter in an old pickle jar – here’s a great article from Wild Minimalista on how you TARE, sounds like hair
- Politely decline the plastic straw and go ahead and gulp a margarita
- Metal straws – there are even wider smoothie straws
I am a very basic beginner, just learning this stuff. Here are some pretty inspiring people doing a whole lot: