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6 Ways to Become More Environmentally Friendly

Most of the waste that ends up in our oceans, such as plastic pollution, starts from the litter in our land. Single-use plastic not only affects our planet but a minimum of 267 species worldwide. Plastics photodegrade into tiny pieces that marine life can mistake for food and can often times lead to fatal consequences. Fortunately, there are small changes that we incorparate into our daily routines to become enviromentally friendly.

 

1. The K-Cup

The K-Cup might seem like one of the greatest inventions to-date… I mean it makes the perfect cup of coffee in a variety of flavors. Unfortunately, what may seem like a convenient invention is actually really bad for our environment. Over nine billion K-Cups were sold last year and they are not recyclable or biodegradable. There are enough sitting in landfills to go around the earth over 10 times. Fortunately, we can still enjoy our single-cup every morning by replacing the single-use K-Cup with a reusable one!

 

 

All you have to do is fill it up with your favorite ground coffee blend and just rinse it after.

 

2. Water Bottles

Landfills are flooding with two-million tons of water bottles alone. Only one out of every five bottles is recycled and the plastic used to make them takes over 1,000 years to bio-degrade. Luckily we can help reduce the amount of water bottles that end up in our landfills by using re-usable bottles instead.

 

3. Plastic Straws

Ditch the plastic straw and opt for a metal or bamboo one instead! One-time use plastic straws are not only dangerous for oceanic life but are also non-recyclable. Since plastic contains BPA and degrades very slowly, it pollutes our ocean and our land as well.

 

 

4. Reusable bags

A single plastic bag takes up to 500 years to degrade. Although many cities have banned the plastic bag, Americans still use and throwaway 100 billion plastic bags per year. Taking reusable bags into grocery stores is a great way to help minimize the number of bags that end up in the ocean and landfills. Additionally, many stores will grant you a small discount for bringing in your own reusable bag(s).

 

5. Paper Coffee Cups

This one’s for my Starbucks lovers! At Starbucks alone, 14 billion paper cups are thrown away each year. That’s 900 million pounds of waste that can circle the earth 55 times – that doesn’t include the plastic lids and cardboard sleeves. Luckily, we don’t have to stop our coffee addiction! We can simply help by brining in a re-usable coffee tumbler or travel mug into our local coffee shop. As a bonus Starbucks will deduct 10 cents from your purchase when you bring your own reusable drinkware into the store.

 

6. Beach Clean Ups

Getting involved in local beach clean ups can help reduce waste in our local IV beach. Save the Mermaids UCSB is a great club dedicated to reducing plastic pollution to help save oceanic lives. 

 

 

What are some other actions we can take to become more envirometally friendly?

 

Janet is a fourth year Sociology major at UC Santa Barbara. She is originally a big city girl from the Bay Area who enjoys discovering new places and eateries. In her free time you can find her dancing, eating, and drinking coffee or wine, depending on the time of day. After UCSB she plans to pursue a career in public relations or marketing. Find out what she’s up to on Instagram @Janet_Q_
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