The inspiration and hard work of one man in Mumbai, India and his 84-year-old neighbor turned into a two-year beach cleanup project with over a thousand volunteers. The beach that was unwalkable in 2015 has now been returned to its former beauty and the momentum of this success is leading to plans to clean up more of India's shoreline. Whenever you start to think that you can't make a difference on your own, remember Afroz Shah and his dream, and know that you can.
NPR.org, Millions of Pieces of Plastic Are Piling Up On An Otherwise Pristine Pacific Island
Sarah Wilson Blog, 8 bits of plastic you can quit right now
Recycling plastic is not enough. We need to replace plastic use with other ways of storing and delivering products. This one beautiful island in the Pacific's Pitcairn Island chain is a minuscule example of the trash dumped into waterways that is hurting marine life and birds and destroying habitats around the world.
Sarah Wilson shares these easy tips for starting to make the switch:
Glass containers; plant-, paper-, and cloth-based containers; and unpackaged goods are all alternatives to using plastic. In our own home, we are starting to realize how many plastic containers we recycle each week from store-bought beverages and we are starting to try using concentrated juices that have less packaging and making homemade beverages in our own reusable containers.
This new economic model, developed by Kate Haworth, takes into account the finite limits of our one planet and the basic needs that humans must have to live safely to show the "sweet spot" for how our world economy must function going forward. To learn more, see the TED Talk video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BHOflzxPjI
Sustainable practices are beginning to make their way into large events and we hope they will continue to become commonplace at all events, not just when the event has a "green" theme. Examples of good ideas we've seen at events are providing reusable or compostable plates and cutlery, composting food waste, and making recycling containers available.
Another sustainable practice at large events is to provide water coolers for attendees to refill their glasses and water bottles rather than wasting hundreds of plastic water bottles that have to be recycled later. We were at The People's Climate March in Washington, DC in late April. With over 200,000 people marching together and temperatures in the high 90s on a sunny day, there was a desperate need for water, lots of water.
With all of us toting our reusable water bottles, it was thoughtful and appreciated that the march organizers provided huge water reservoirs, called Water Monsters, and kept them refilled throughout the day. They were perfect for the huge crowd, with multiple spigots on each barrel. Thank you to all who helped keep us hydrated and comfortable without using wasteful plastic. It was a perfect way to take our water to go as we marched to raise awareness of climate change and the need for making changes to live lightly on the earth.