GOOD

End Plastic Pollution: Pick it Up. Bin it. Take Three for the Sea

Take 3 calls upon citizens to take 3 pieces of trash with them when they leave the beach, waterway or…anywhere!

Plastic… it’s everywhere. We sit on it, we eat from it, we spend with it, we wear it, we complete surgery with it. In fact, the device you’re reading this from now probably has plastic in it. The uses for plastic are endless. This remarkable substance has quite literally shaped our future—we live in the “Age of Plastic.”


For all the positives, there are serious downsides to the “Age of Plastic” too. Depleting fossil fuels used to make plastic (yep, plastic is made from oil and gas derivatives), climate change, and uncertainty about the human health impacts of plastic (for example BPA, phthalates, etc.) Of course, there’s another big downside—the pollution of our planet with plastic trash, and how this is impacting ecosystems, including our oceans.

Anyone who hasn’t heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will be astonished to hear that our continued abuse of plastic—in particular disposable plastic products—has led to the gathering of astronomical levels of plastic debris in our oceans. Sometimes wrongly referred to as “floating islands of rubbish,” these large networks of ocean currents called “gyres” are incredibly big, and incredibly complicated.

In fact, there are no islands of rubbish in our oceans, it’s more like a giant plastic soup. Any plastic we allow into the sea gradually breaks into smaller pieces but never truly “biodegrades.” What we see in the five gyres is a denser accumulation of debris transported by the slowly circulating currents, but in fact, there’s plastic in every corner of the ocean.

The majority of the problem is actually microplastic (less than 5mm) and depending on its density, some sink, some float, and some just hover in the water column. This is where it gets scary—because the plastic resembles food, it is eaten by a huge range of animals throughout the food chain, including fish, birds, turtles, whales, and even microscopic plankton.

It would be great if crazy inventions (eg. Boyan Slat’s Ocean Array) could clean plastic from the gyres, but it’s impossible. The ocean is too big, too wild, too deep, and the plastic is too small, too dispersed, and home to way too many creatures to make it possible. We have to instead focus our efforts on stopping more plastic getting there in the first place.

As part of Take 3, an organization based in Australia, we have developed a novel approach to education around the impacts of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways. In doing so, we are asking the world’s population to help prevent it by calling on everyone to simply take three pieces of trash with them when they leave the beach, waterway or… anywhere!

The ocean is downhill from everywhere so people all over the world can pick up trash and be part of the solution. Imagine if one million people took three everyday… the world would be a much cleaner place.

To prevent pollution, Take 3 also asks people to re-think using plastic. By refusing disposable items (like plastic bags, cups, straws, coffee cups, plastic cutlery and, of course, plastic water bottles), and using reusable alternatives instead, we can all help reduce the waste we create.

Help us at Take 3 continue to do GOOD things, by sharing a photo of your "Take 3" to our Facebook and Instagram pages. People have already submitted pictures from faraway locations including Mount Everest and Peru, so get picking, and show the world that you’re part of the solution to marine pollution.

Tim Silverwood is Vice-President & Co-Founder of Take 3. Watch his TEDx talk on plastic here.

Articles
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

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Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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