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How to avoid single-use plastics in our lives

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How to avoid single-use plastics in our lives

By: Dex Jones

What Are Single Use Plastics, and Why Are They Dangerous?
Single use plastics are non-reusable items such as water bottles, plastic grocery bags, straws, and utensils that are meant to be disposed of after one use.

Think of the plastic forks you get when you grab takeout, or the 24 pack of water bottles in your garage. While convenient, these one-time-use items often end up as debris that finds its way to the ocean, disrupting the natural ecosystems. Visit our store to shop for Ocean Friendly Brands.

How Do Single-Use Plastics Affect our Oceans?

Since the beginning of mass plastic production nearly 70 years ago, over 8 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced. Over 75% of that plastic ends up in waste, polluting landfills and oceans.

Although the convenience of single-use plastic makes our day a little easier, what happens after you toss that plastic? 

This is where the real issue sets in. 

That same plastic waste absorbs harmful chemicals and carries toxic surface waste from debris in landfills. 

“Plastic” itself is not a single element, but rather a combination of various materials and chemicals made from fossil fuels. These materials, while durable, are toxic, and take a minimum of 400 years to break down naturally.

How Does it Get To The Ocean?

As rain, sleet and snow fall from the sky, it settles in an area of land that acts as a drainage basin, called a watershed. These watersheds, or ridges of land, separate water that flows into different bodies of water, like rivers, creeks, and eventually releases into the ocean. 

Along with these natural elements, a whopping seventy-nine percent of single-use plastics and the pollutants they carry don’t make it to recycling and end up stuck in watersheds, landfills or runoffs into the nearest body of water.

There are about 26 million tons of plastic entering our oceans every year. To contribute to stopping plastic pollutionOcean Blue Project has dedicated teams teaching K-12 students about the importance of watersheds, and what we can do to help.

Ocean Blue Project Creates “Blue Schools”

In 2009, when Ocean Blue Project was founded, we were on a mission to clean up our oceans and keep marine wildlife safe. Now, we’re piloting a program called Blue Schools, a watershed education program for K-12 students.

Blue Schools was designed to educate and empower students to help take action against plastic pollution, and inspire a cleaner, brighter future for our oceans. 

Blue Schools watershed education program serves primarily economically disadvantaged students by implementing a 4-segment program uniquely tailored to each school’s needs and watershed location.

Ocean Blue Project Creates “Blue Schools”

In 2009, when Ocean Blue Project was founded, we were on a mission to clean up our oceans and keep marine wildlife safe. Now, we’re piloting a program called Blue Schools, a watershed education program for K-12 students.

Blue Schools was designed to educate and empower students to help take action against plastic pollution, and inspire a cleaner, brighter future for our oceans.

Blue Schools watershed education program serves primarily economically disadvantaged students by implementing a 4-segment program uniquely tailored to each school’s needs and watershed location. Become a volunteer of the year!

The 4 segments of Blue Schools are:

  • Classroom Learning: Students learn about the production of plastic and the connection between plastic, watersheds and keeping our oceans clean.
  • Stewardship Action Projects: Outside learning activities that teach students to see nature from an ecological perspective, and how they can be a steward for local watersheds.
  • Community Integration: Stewards get the opportunity to share their knowledge with their parents and peers, bringing them together in community events dedicated to clean-ups and sharing educational resources.
  • Synthesis: Students in Blue Schools have the opportunity to present what they’ve learned to their peers, share experiences, and continue their stewardship on a journey to educate future generations on the importance of watershed maintenance to create a thriving ecosystem for our marine wildlife.

How You Can Make an Impact

Blue School is a developing program for K-12 students to empower younger generations to become stewards of our ocean and a cleaner environment. 

Ocean Blue Project will be partnering with foundations to provide students with plastic free reusable item kits, and education resources that teach students how important it is to value our waterways.

Funding will primarily be given economically disadvantaged student populations. You can donate here to give our next generations the best possible chance to save our oceans, before it’s too late.

This is one school you’re going to love.

Dex Jones is an adventurer, mom, writer, and PADI scuba diver living in California.

Help Reduce Single Use Plastic

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