What would the world look like if we spent as much time taking care of the earth as we do our bodies?
Let’s Start With Plastic
There has been a rapid increase in the production of plastic over the past six decades. Since 1950, over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced. Shockingly, only about 25% of all plastic in the U.S. gets recycled.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Since plastic takes 450 years to decompose, this means that the vast majority of all plastic that has been produced still exists in its original form. Simply throwing your plastic in the trash (often in a plastic bag), and leaving it on the curb to be picked up by someone else takes the problem out of sight and out of mind, right?
We might not all be able to see it now, but by mid century, it’s estimated that the ocean will have (ton for ton) as much plastic as it does fish. In fact, if you haven’t seen anything about the growing rate of plastic in our oceans, you may not be looking hard enough. A second floating “plastic patch” was discovered in July 2017, and it’s estimated to be larger than Mexico. Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic are added to the ocean. Plastic makes up 90% of all trash on the ocean’s surface, and has a devastating effect on wildlife.
As Americans, we so often default to easy. It’s easier to simply throw something away than it is to recycle. It’s easier to use the plastic bags they give you at the grocery store than it is to bring your own. It’s easier to buy a plastic bottle of water at the gym if you forget yours at home, than it is to walk back and forth to the drinking fountain. Maybe this is why we are so far behind some European countries, that have citizens recycling upwards of 60% of their waste.
Where to Start?
Taking care of the earth, just like taking care of our bodies, starts with building better habits. There are lots of wonderful articles and infographics out there that will give you lists and lists of ways to lessen your ecological footprint.
The problem ls information overload. Take a moment and think about all of the ways plastic affects your day-to-day existence. It’s the lid of your morning coffee. It’s the utensils on your lunch break. The grocery bags you use at the store. The list goes on. So, let’s apply what we know about health, fitness, and taking care of our bodies, to recycling, consumption, and taking care of our earth. This means starting small, with one habit change every month.
This month, let’s start easy. Commit to not buying a single disposable water bottle. That’s it.
- Only 1 in 5 plastic bottles are recycled
- Americans consume over 8.6 billion gallons of bottled water
- Most tap water is more heavily tested and regulated than bottled water
- Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose
- It requires 3 times the amount of water to produce a plastic bottle than it does to fill it
- Bottled water costs over 1,000+ times more than tap water
- Last year, the average American used 167 water bottles, but only recycled 38
- In many taste tests, tap water was preferred over bottled water
- The NRDC conducted a comprehensive four-year scientific study of 1,000 brands of bottled water. The results showed that one third of the bottled waters violated their own industry standards for water quality
- It takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce plastic bottles yearly. This could fuel 1 million cars for a year
Klean Kanteen is a great resource for you to get water or a beverage on the go, without the need for plastic.
So, are you with us? Let’s work together to make the earth a better place. Our individual actions combined can create a lot of collective good.