4 Simple Actions You Can Take this Week to Fight Plastic Pollution for Plastic Free July

by - Tuesday, July 02, 2019

We can see that our planet is hurting. From climate crisis to plastic waste, many of these problems seem so huge that we couldn't possibly make a difference. It's not true. By getting involved, using our voice, and supporting the people on the front lines, we can help. 

Each week, we share a few simple ways to get involved and help. None of these steps take a ton of time, but they do make a difference. 

4 Simple Actions You Can Take this Week to Fight Plastic Pollution for Plastic Free July

This week is the start of Plastic Free July, and we are so excited here. That said, it's important to remember that your personal changes can only have so much impact. We cannot stop plastic pollution without also speaking out to leaders, lawmakers, and businesses to do the right thing.

This can be intimidating to do, and it is hard to know where to start, but there are so many ways you can get involved to stop plastic not only in your own life, but to speak out against the throwaway culture that created this problem in the first place.

1. Join a Plastic Free Challenge

One of the best ways to exponentially amplify your Earth-saving efforts is to combine your actions with others. Plastic Free July is partially magical because you have multiple opportunities to do this. Joining a team or taking a pledge adds to their numbers, gives you a sense of community, and becomes collective action.

My favorite is this Plastic-Free Eco-Challenge from the Coalition of North American Zoos and Aquairums. What I think is most cool about it is that you can join a team or act as an individual, and then you get points depending on the actions you take. It seems pretty addictive.

I also love the pledge you can take on the Plastic Free July Challenge's website, though I really wish they gave more info about how many people have signed up with you! I find that kind of info encouraging, but I know it is growing, which is pretty exciting all on its own.

Signing one of these is a nearly effortless way to combine your plastic-free commitments with others. It makes things add up that much more, and hopefully businesses will take notice and suck less.

2. Fight Back Against Fishing Nets

Fishing nets are the largest source of plastic in the oceans. The fishing industry is absolutely out of control. Step one is to dramatically decrease how much fish you buy and to know exactly where and how what you buy was fished.

Step two is to get involved with the groups that are standing up to the fishing industry or cleaning up fishing nets. Here are two you can get involved in or donate to- it makes a big difference!

Ocean Voyages Institute just made the news this week for pulling 40 tons of fishing nets out of the oceans using technology to find the nets easily. We know this is the tip of the plastic iceberg, but this group has found a system that works, You can donate to their mission here.

Surfrider is a grassroots program based out of California, and they have 127 campaigns going right now to fight ocean and beach plastic, including things that consider fishing nets. Check out their campaign page to read about what they are doing and to get involved.

The Olive Ridley Project is also specifically targeting ghost nets and helping with clean up and education around the issue. Check out their super interesting website with really helpful descriptions of the problem.

3. Join Greenpeace's Plastic Initiatives

Right now, environmental justice titan Greenpeace is taking on plastic production and distribution, and they are going HARD. If you are worried about the plastic in our water (and you really should be), sign their current petition to stop grocery stores from using so much unnecessary plastic. You can also read their scorecard on which supermarkets are doing the best at limiting plastic waste.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. They are currently confronting companies like Nestle and Coca-Cola, who are responsible for millions of pieces of plastic waste a day. They recently put "plastic monsters" outside of Nestle's offices, and they have started their own petition and call chain to fight Target on their plastic bag policy. You can sign their petition to these corporations here.

If you want to give some money to help the environment and specifically our oceans, consider becoming a Greenpeace member or donating specifically to their plastic campaigns.

4. Stand up Against Nestle

Bottled Water companies are consistently the worst, but no one is worse than Nestle, who steals water from poor rural areas and even indigenous communities. Nestle absolutely needs to be stopped. You can start by signing this petition.

If you want to learn more, check out the Story of Stuff website. They have tons of excellent information, and you can get involved in their "Unbottle Water" campaign by simply signing up.

4 Simple Actions You Can Take this Week to Fight Plastic Pollution for Plastic Free July

Happy Plastic Free July! So glad you are here and fighting this battle with us. We will have more actions to take next week so you can let your inner activist shine!

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