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Hey kind krafters!
I have had an awesome couple of weeks enjoying the hot weather and I hope you all have too! As much as this summer has been great for beach days and nights on the patio, I can’t help but think about why Canada has been hit with this unreal heatwave. I have always thought that by recycling, carpooling or walking when I’m able to, having reusable straws, etc. I was doing my part for the environment. But after doing extra research, I have found that there is SO much more I could be doing for our earth.
According to NASA’s website, there are some major signs of rapid climate change that we can’t chose to ignore anymore. Global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreat, decreased snow cover, sea level rise, declining Arctic sea ice, extreme events, and ocean acidification are all large indicators of negative global change. Visit https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ for more information on all of the factors mentioned above. With this summer’s natural disasters such as flooding and mudslides in Japan, wildfires across California, as well as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions across the globe, I got to thinking of what more I can do to help our planet.
One of the most important issues right now is our oceans. Due to several human-made factors, scientists have predicted the loss of commercial fish and seafood species to happen by 2048 if we continue the way we are going. A study conducted by the United Nations has also shown that coral reefs could be gone in 30 years due to the heat stress caused by global warming. Since 2016, half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has died. That’s just two years of harm.
If you’re social media feeds are similar to mine, I’m sure you have seen several videos circulating of mass piles of garbage floating in our oceans. Recently a State of Emergency was declared in Santa Domingo due to waves upon waves of garbage lapping up along the shoreline. A little under a month ago, over 1000 tons of plastic and other debris had been removed from the hardest hit areas. Sadly, Santa Domingo isn’t the only place that is suffering from plastic in our oceans.
It’s easy to feel disheartened when reading about all of the current environmental issues in our world, but letting it get you down will get us nowhere. Take the information and change your actions because of what you now know! I am learning new ways to help the planet every day, and though my small changes may not seem as though they’re doing much, you never know how your actions can ripple out to affect the big picture. Here are some of the lifestyle changes I plan on making to help
1. Refuse plastic bags – There are plenty of reusable options to carry your items in. Take your own reusable bags, or if you go to the store and realize that you forgot a bag, buy one for an extra dollar! Instead of using plastic bags to put your produce in, use the brown paper bags (which are often placed by the mushrooms), or don’t bag them!
2. Don’t buy single-use cups and cutlery when you’re on the go – Instead of using wax-lined cups from Tims, bring your own mug or water bottle. If you know you go out to lunch once a week, bring some cutlery with you so that you don’t have to continue to throw out plastic knives and forks. Or slow down!! If you’re not in a rush, take the time to sit down and dine in which ends up not needing to use the plastic products!
3. Cooler washing cycles - Wash your clothes in cold water, and don’t machine dry! The majority of laundry detergents that are used today don’t need warm water to activate their cleaning solution and so cold water is the way to go. Roughly 75% of the energy that is used in a wash cycle comes from heating up the water! By switching to cold water washes, you won’t only be helping to save the planet, you’ll also be spending less money in your energy bill each month! After your cool wash, hang your clothes outside to dry or on a drying rack in the winter. This way they are less likely to shrink and will last longer.
4. DIVA CUP – For all you folks out there who have visits from Mother Nature herself, this is an amazing investment to make. I have heard nothing but good reviews about the Diva Cup and have been wanting to buy one for ages. To do your own research, visit www.divacup.com/eco-divas/ .
5. Switch up your cleaning habits - Instead of using cleaning wipes around your home that can’t be recycled, use old clothes that you might have thrown away, or other rags and towels that are lying around. I was recently looking through a blog that teaches you how to make your own cleaning liquids and reusable ways to store them, check it out - https://thetareshop.com/zero-waste-cleaning-tips-and-tricks/ .
6. Use your Garbage Goggles - Pick up one piece of garbage when you walk to work or your next class. Someone might see you and do the same thing and then we have a whole butterfly effect going!!! It’s not hard to do and takes no time at all to pick something up and throw it in the correct waste bin.
One last thing before I sign off! I dare you to join the #PARLEYAIR Challenge (http://www.parley.tv/oceanplastic/#parley-air-strategy-1). The challenge is very simple, all you have to do is pledge to ban one plastic item from your life. For me, I plan to stop using plastic bags. Parley is a “space where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction”. They have several projects underway across our oceans and have partnered with several brands in the fashion industry to create sustainable clothing out of ocean plastic. Browse their website for interesting research, information about their projects, and to become a part of the movement!
Good luck with the challenge kind krafters!! And keep in mind our planet as you go through the day-to-day motions! <3
“We must treat the natural world differently, with respect, literally as if our lives depend on it. Because they do.”