Why We Go Green

It seems as though everywhere you look, there are articles, Pinterest boards, and YouTube how-tos about how be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. But, why? Every day we are told that we need to change our lifestyles in order to save our planet and the animals that inhabit it. How do these changes help? Do they help at all? There certainly must be a reason as to why it is one of the hottest topics in recent months.


By now, we all know that Starbucks has begun their “no more straws!” initiative. This, of course, raised a lot of questions. Will skipping the straw in my iced caramel macchiato really save the sea turtles? Well, no. I mean, it is true that they are an issue. According to Get Green Now, it takes up to 200 years for one straw to decompose, and they are not easily recycled. In 2017, plastic straws were the 11th most common piece of found ocean trash. While this all seems so scary, there are much bigger issues on hand.


Over 100,000 fish are killed each year by plastic consumption, says Ocean Crusaders. Fish often confuse the tiny plastic bits for food, and do not understand the effect it has on them. Perch larvae have been turning to microplastic instead of their usual plankton for food.


As a matter of fact, plastic water bottle are the most common pieces of garbage found in our oceans. Reusable water bottle have also become a trend in recent years. This one has a much larger impact.

Environmental benefits aside, using a reusable water bottle can save you up to $1,800 a year, just from no longer purchasing plastic bottles, according to Greener Ideal. Save some green by going green! The bottles you purchase, even if you recycle them, will likely still end up in the ocean.


Plastic bags are another large contributor to the dumpsters in our oceans. Switching to reusable bags is easy, affordable, and definitely makes a difference. Plastic bags do not biodegrade; they only photo degrade, decompose through light. This breaks the plastic down into tiny, toxic particles that poison the Earth they are left on. Even if you think you’re solving the problem by recycling plastic bags, that is not the case. The price to recycle plastic bags is much more than they’re worth, so most facilities will just dispose of them with the regular garbage.


All of this being said, the most impactful way you can save our fishy friends is simply to stop eating them.