If you have found your way to this blog, you are probably at least a little bit conscious about the planet and its resources, but how do you share that enthusiasm with others around you? Climate Change is a topic that is often associated with large political debates and lots of arguing, but it doesn’t have to be and in fact it shouldn’t be! It should be an open discussion about ways in which everyone can do their part to protect our planet and feel comfortable asking questions when they are unsure about something. So how can we help foster that environment and encourage people to stay informed on the facts?
A study by Yale University found that over 70% of Americans believe we are seeing the effects of climate change right now, which means that people are aware of the risk, but may not know how to help. Like any problem, it can’t be solved if it isn’t spoken about.
Here are 5 facts that you may not have known about climate change and pollution in our lakes and oceans:
1. The Great Lakes are polluted with over 22 million pounds of plastic each year.
2. Over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed by ocean plastic every year.
3. 700 species of marine animals are in danger of extinction due to plastic.
4. If coral encounters plastic the likelihood of it becoming diseased increases from 4% to 89%; a disastrous effect as coral is home to more than 25% of marine life.
5. Over 90% of all seabirds have plastic in their stomachs. While the facts may be disturbing to read, there are ways that you can help!
Firstly, you can reduce or even eliminate your plastic cutlery usage. Most single-use plastics are used for just minutes before being thrown away to sit in landfills or float around our waterways for centuries to come. Try using a reusable cutlery set whenever you can. There are sets that come with a carrying case and you can just pop the whole thing in the dishwasher when you get home, making them really convenient!
Second, you can choose beauty products that don’t contain microbeads. Oftentimes, facial scrubs have microbeads that are plastic and while they may feel good while you are using them, they end up going down the drain and eventually into our oceans.
Thirdly, shop locally and sustainably. One of the best ways to help initiate change is to lead by example. By choosing to spend your money at companies that support sustainability and ocean preservation, you are not only sending a message to businesses, but you are also supporting those that are making efforts to keep our planet as clean and as healthy as possible for years to come.