The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has come and gone. The decorating, shopping, baking, cooking, and wrapping have settled as the end of the year draws near. One last week and 2020 will be in the rearview mirror - hindsight will truly be 2020. As we enter into the new year, we reflect on what has happened over the past 365 days and what is in store for the coming year.
With the new year comes new beginnings. It is seen as a time to hit the reset button, if you will. We make goals and resolutions to work on for the next 365 days. Many set goals for taking control of finances, losing weight, eating healthy, being more productive, staying in touch, the list goes on and on. At SWZLE, our goal, year round, is to curb the impact of single use plastics, specifically plastic straws, on our environment. This year, we aim to bring our customers more options to amp up their eco friendly choices with more options for sustainable, reusable items.
As more businesses are becoming environmentally conscious, you too, can make a difference on an individual level by setting a goal to reduce the use of plastics and other pollutants that are harming the environment. Eco-friendly, sustainable goals are realistic - something you can do daily from new year until years end. Let us help to make your eco-friendly resolutions a reality with these simple, everyday things you can do to achieve your goals!
Believe it or not, an area you might not be aware of having contributing a large amount of plastic into our environment is clothing. Approximately 35 percent of microplastic found in our ocean can be attributed from synthetic textiles. When you wash clothing made from polyester, acrylic, lycra, spandex, fleece or nylon, up to 700,000 microfibers per wash come loose and end up in the wastewater. Because of their microscopic size, water purification filters are unable to stop them from entering our waterways, consumed or absorbed by animals eventually all leading back to us in our food and water chain (Institute of Mechanical Engineers).
*New Years Resolution: Substitute your daily wardrobe for clothing and textiles made from cotton, hemp, wool and other natural fibers instead.
A large portion of that extra plastic we find in our waterways and landfills stem from plastic packaging and items found in our kitchen or food products. It is estimated that ⅓ of all landfill space are taken up with food packaging and only about 14% of actual packaging is recycled.
*New Years Resolution: Buy in bulk whenever possible, and when shopping, bring your own reusable containers and shopping bags. Use glass or steel food containers for leftovers or other items instead of plastic.
- Reusable bags and pouches
Every year Americans use approximately 100 million plastic bags for our items that we shop for. It is a convenient, status quo way of bringing home whatever we just recently purchased that's very ingrained in our society. Out of that staggering number of bags used annually, only about 1 percent end up recycled leaving a bewildering amount of bags to find a new home elsewhere. Many of these find their way into our waterways and oceans accounting for around 100,000 marine annual deaths when they ingest them or become trapped in them (Center for biological diversity).
*New Years Resolution: Ditch the plastic and opt for a reusable natural material shopping bag for all your purchased items. By utilizing a reusable natural material bag it is estimated you will save 500 bags per year!
- Plastic straws
In the United States alone, it is estimated that 500 million straws are used every single day. One study published earlier this year estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world's beaches. Let’s make sure the only thing left on the beach is our own footprints.
*New Years Resolution: One of the simplest steps to decrease negative environmental impact is to opt out of single use plastic straws - in your water or tea at the restaurant, in your cocktail at the bar, or your iced coffee from your favorite java stop. Rather than plastic utilize a food grade stainless steel straw, high quality paper straw, glass, or even bamboo straws.
- Plastic Bottles
Approximately 500 billion plastic bottles are used annually for beverages, with only half that number are being recycled. Where do the other 250 billion plastic bottles end up? Most believe they will end up in landfills, waterways, and oceans.
*New Years Resolution: Replace those single use bottles with stainless steel tumblers and water bottles as well as glass bottles that you're able to re-use. Many restaurants and fast food and convenience store chains are very open to filling up reusable bottles, not only saving you money but also being a good steward of the environment.
*Spoiler alert: Pay attention to SWZLE in the coming months for new offerings in this market!