Zero Waste for Our Blue PlanetOctober 16, 2019
Human health depends on the health of our oceans, and the health of our ocean ecosystems depends on the choices we make on land. In many New England communities this year, we saw citizens taking a stand to protect our ocean by banning single-use plastic bags. Although this will keep millions of bags from littering our neighborhoods and beaches or piling up in our landfill, plastic bags are only the tip of our country’s waste problem.
From takeout containers to water bottles to product packaging, manufacturers and brand owners have created a throw-away culture by mass-producing disposable goods, much of which ends up in our world’s oceans. In New England alone, we generate around 12 million tons of trash each year for disposal.
But there is no “away.” This waste pollutes our land, water, and air; threatens the health of our communities; and adds to the climate crisis.
While being collected and transported to a landfill, plastic often finds its way into the environment, making its journey from streets to storm drains to our rivers and ocean. The plastic that makes it to the landfill contributes to our growing climate crisis: in the U.S., landfills are the largest source of anthropogenic emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
But this problem is preventable. The trash crisis won’t be solved by individuals alone, but by thinking and living zero-waste, our daily choices are a step forward to changing how we think about waste on personal, community, local, and regional levels. How can you start? Join the Bow Seat Team in pledging to go zero-waste for a week!
Going zero waste means:
- Using reusable containers where possible
- Buying in bulk when you can to avoid plastic packaging
- Ditching disposable plate and drinkware
- Bringing your own tote bags when grocery shopping
- And more!
Our partners at Conservation Law Foundation are hosting the Zero Waste Challenge from November 3rd to November 9th, and you are invited to participate in this New England-wide effort to reduce the trash in our homes and our communities by living zero-waste.
Participate on your own, with your family and friends, or even with your whole class! With your help, we can swap out our throw-away culture for the zero-waste future that our health, our climate, and our environment deserve.
By joining, you’ll discover tips for how to live a zero-waste lifestyle, while also learning about long-term solutions for creating a more sustainable, zero-waste future across New England.
Feature artwork by Nicole Gdula