The use of plastic is a huge burden on our planet. Perhaps you have heard about the term plastic soup. In 1997, Captain Charles Moore discovered large pieces of plastic floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He called it the ‘plastic soup’ and returned later to do research. More and more plastic is floating in our oceans and seas. It comes from rubbish that we throw away on the street, fishnets that are discarded, and from washing synthetic clothing and brushing our teeth. All these different types of plastic together form the plastic soup in the seas and oceans. Plastic is a really serious problem for our planet can also seriously damage our health. “If we continue like this, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish in 2050.” (Ellen McArthur Foundation). To get more knowledge about this problem you can download the ‘my little plastic footprint’ app. The app will help you to gain knowledge about this problem and it challenges you to reduce your plastic usage in daily life.
Plastic is used in a lot of cases as packaging material. Have a look around in the supermarket and you will see lots of stuff wrapped in plastic. More and more products are packed in a different way and we need to be aware of how we deal with plastic. In many countries it’s possible to separate waste and when shopping, you can take your own shopping bag.
Plastic on your holiday
On holiday, the use of plastic is even bigger for many people than being at home. This is mainly because we cannot drink tap water in all countries. If you go on holiday for 2 weeks, you have used about 30 water bottles per person. If you bring your own refillable water bottle, you can save a lot of plastic. This allows you to buy larger water jugs from which you pour water over to your own bottle.
More and more countries and people become aware of the plastic problem. This is way, in many places initiatives have been set up and refill points are installed.
Some examples of great initiatives:
If you visit one of the above mentioned places, you can make use of the existing initiatives but of course these initiatives are not installed in all countries yet. Still you can make a change and purchase a Lifestraw Go water bottle or Steripen water purifier. The Lifestraw Go water bottle is a drinking bottle with its own water filtering system. Because this filter system removes 99.999% of the bacteria and 99.9% of the parasites, the water is safe to drink. The Steripen water purifier is a compact device, which purifies half a liter of water in 48 seconds using ultraviolet light. This device also ensures 99.99% purification of the water, without any aftertaste.
Save energy and water
For many people holiday equals some extra luxury compared to home. When we visit a country with high temperatures, many people make use of the air conditioning the whole day, even when they go out to make sure it’s nice and cool when they come back. Try not to do this as it costs a lot of energy. In most countries it cools down during the evening, so it’s often sufficient enough to open a few windows. If this is not the case, you can always turn on the air conditioning when you come home. You will see that it cools down very fast.
The same rule counts for the use of water. It sounds like an open door, but do not turn on the shower until you really stand underneath, try to reduce shower time and turn of the tap while brushing your teeth.
Something small but it helps; use your towel for two or more days. If you drop your towel on the floor, the hotel will change towels which means they need to wash the used ones. We’re quite sure that you don’t use a new towel at home every day so why should you do this during your vacation?
Are you using a lot of plastic during the day? What do you do to reduce the use of plastic in your life and on your holiday?