500 Million! That's a pretty large number wouldn't you say? What do picture when you think of 500 million?
$500,000,000 would be pretty flippin great... right? :)
How about 500 million plastic straws floating around in the ocean.
Not so great... I know. But unfortunately, it's true.
As reported by strawlessocean.org a majority of the straws we are using to sip on our iced coffee lattes or suck down our afternoon smoothie are contributing to the massive amounts of plastic pollution in our oceans that are not only having a toxic effect on the water but also killing off our precious marine life.
They predict by the year 2050 that if we don't change things now, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish!
We can tell you from our own experience that IS A REAL PROBLEM INDEED!
A few years ago we relocated from a small town in Pennsylvania to the glamorous world of Palm Beach Florida!!
Naturally, one of our favorite activities became going to all the beautiful Florida beaches.
Ahhh.... warm sunshine, fresh sea air, salty ocean water and of course the soft, grainy sand.
You dig your feet way down in the cool, wet sand and wiggle them around getting a natural foot exfoliating massage.
Then... you look down and there's a plastic straw stuck between your toes. Can you say G-R-O-S-S!
It became so disturbing to us that we started getting involved with volunteering some of our Saturday mornings to participate in the local beach cleanups. This put into perspective how bad the situation really is.
There are a ton of wonderful and caring people out there doing their best to make a difference with the cleanups and they are doing an amazing job!!
But... what also needs to happen is eliminating the use of plastics or at least severally reducing our dependency.
Not just in beach communities, but everywhere!! You may be thinking to yourself well... I don't live near the beach so my straws aren't contributing to the problem. Not true!
How so? Well, a good rule of thumb to remember (also stated by strawlessocean.org) ALL GUTTERS AND STORM DRAINS LEAD TO THE OCEAN!
So even if you are throwing them into the trash or trying to recycle them its still not a viable solution. Straws are so lightweight, lots of times they blow out of garbage trucks and landfills, and into the drainage systems and eventually make their way to the ocean anyways.
Pretty nuts when you think about how far things can travel. That's why it's so, so important that we all band together and stop the use of plastic straws, even the ones that are supposedly made of biodegradable plastics.
Biodegradable plastics do not work the best either, unfortunately. They will only break down in certain conditions like a particular temperature and environment, which does not seem to be the ocean. (source: amp.theguardian.com)
There are a bunch of alternatives out there that making a switch to something reusable is super simple and cost-effective. You can stick one in your purse and use it when you're on the go, throw one in your desk drawer at work and so on.
Options range from metal to glass to even bamboo! Plus there are paper ones too! There are a lot of super cute designs available! It's a stylish way to make an eco-friendly statement and show how much you care at the same time.
It's all the new rage! Like who lets plastic touch their perfectly pouty lips anyways?
In all seriousness though, it really can make a huge difference just starting to eliminate this one simple plastic item.
If you're extra feeling motivated to make a difference, join us in making more of an impact by cutting out the use of the BIG 4 (as reported by Surfrider Foundation Broward County Chapter)
The list consists of Plastic Bottles, Plastic Bags, Plastic Straws and Plastic Cups.
What do you think? Are you on board?
Will you help us in making a conscious effort to reduce your use of plastics and start with eliminating the Big 4?
Be sure to let us know how it goes in the comment section. We would love to hear all about it ♥