Saving our oceans

World Oceans Day takes place on June 8, with the theme of preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. Here’s what you can do to make simple changes that will reduce your plastic consumption and in turn, help make a world of difference. 

Plastic pollution is causing tremendous harm to our marine resources, which is a massive reason this year’s theme for World Ocean’s Day is preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. With 80 per cent of all pollution in the ocean coming from people on land, there’s something to be said about our patterns of behaviour when it comes to disposing of waste.

More than eight million tonnes of plastic per year ends up in the ocean, wreaking havoc on wildlife, fisheries and tourism. This pollution costs the lives of one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals per year too. While many think their small actions won’t help solve a problem that seems so big, little, collective efforts make a huge difference. By simply swapping out single-use plastics with sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives we can reduce the amount of plastic dumped unnecessarily that often ends up in our oceans. Here are some plastic alternatives you can adapt into your everyday lifestyle that really can make a world of difference.

1. Ditch the disposable coffee cups 

It is estimated that we use 200-300 million disposable cups each year in New Zealand. Cuppa Coffee Cup is a reusable, recyclable takeaway coffee cup. The idea is to reduce the large amount of waste generated by disposable takeaway coffee cups because consumers have a functional and attractive reusable coffee cup option. The Cuppa Coffee Cup is similar in look and feel to a disposable cup, is fully recyclable and has full impact designs.  It is an industry standard 12 Oz cup which has been designed, made and packaged in New Zealand. For more, cuppacoffeecup.com/nz

Similarly, IdealCup is 100 per cent New Zealand owned, designed and manufactured. It’s strong and safe to use, with no leaks or spills. It’s reusable for a lifetime, and can even be returned to the manufacturer to be ground down and repurposed — now that’s real recycling! IdealCup was born after its owners learned that Kiwis are one of the 10 takeaway cup consumers on the planet, with our love of the daily grind, literally being ground into the environment, or the oceans in many cases. IdealCup have a 15% discount for Good readers too – simply enter the keyword REUSE at checkout and enjoy 15% off your purchase (for a limited time). For more visit idealcup.co.nz

Some of the cups available from Cuppa Coffee Cup 
A fun kiwiana design available from IdealCup

2. Purchase your final straw 

By refusing plastic straws in restaurants, clubs, parties and other common places, New Zealanders could divert more than 500,000 million straws heading to landfill – and at times our oceans – each year. This is the vision of CaliWoods reusable stainless steel straws founder Shay Lawrence. “We now have viable alternatives, between reusable options as well as high quality paper straws for hospitality (that don’t go soggy!) This was a major goal for CaliWoods, to provide more sustainable alternatives that actually work,” she says. CaliWoods was born from Lawrence traveling to some of the most isolated parts of the ocean and the shock of seeing how plastic pollution and human consumption had truly left no environment untouched. CaliWoods Reusable Straws come in a variety of sizes and are easy to clean – each pack comes with a specialised cleaner brush. All CaliStraws are made from food-grade stainless steel and are dishwasher safe. For more visit caliwoods.co.nz

CaliWoods reusable straws are changing the game when it comes to pollution of the single-use plastic versions
The brushes on the left are some of the 18 picked up off one Hawaiian beach by artist Sophie Thomas. The brush on the right is one from Toothcrush made from bamboo.

3. Change your toothbrush to a sustainable one 

If we do nothing, the ocean is expected to contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans. Still using a plastic toothbrush? Why not make the switch to Toothcrush – the eco-friendly, sustainably-sourced bamboo handled toothbrush that’s delivered to your door each month for just $5 a month, with your first trial month free! Toothcrush brushes are compostable and bristles are made from industry standard premium nylon – the only bristle material dentists approve. For more visit toothcrush.co.nz

Honeywraps come in different sizes and as single wraps or multipacks

4. Ditch the clingfilm 

Making a simple swap from cling film or other plastic food coverings to reusable beeswax food wraps will make a huge difference to the amount of single-use plastic waste. Developed by three environmentally-conscious mums, Tara, Jo and Amy, who were looking to make alternatives to plastic food wraps, Honeywraps have so far prevented more than 8 million metres of plastic wrap ending up in landfill or our oceans. Made with 100 per cent organic cotton blended with beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil, Honeywraps are reusable and great for wrapping cheeses, lunches, leftovers, salads and snacks to take on the run. Honeywraps help preserve food’s freshness while being non-toxic and reducing landfill. Each Honeywrap is individually handmade here in New Zealand, and there are single Honeywraps as well as multipacks available to buy, as well as different sizes – from small to medium to large and extra large. For more visit honeywrap.co.nz

5. Start a packageless pantry 

GoodFor, New Zealand’s founding zerowaste supermarket may only be a year old, but it’s changing the grocery game. If you’re looking to change your shopping habits, Goodfor is a great place to visit, not only to purchase from, but to learn from! GoodFor offers shoppers a selection of more than 400 dry goods, oils & vinegars on tap, kombucha on tap as well as cleaning and personal hygiene products. They also provide everything you need to create a waste free life style, from glass jars and bottles, organic cotton shopping bags through to bamboo tooth brushes and stainless steel thermal drinking bottles. With approximately 352,000 tonnes of packaging goes into landfills each year, with New Zealanders consuming about 735,000 tonnes of packaging every year and recycling only about 58 per cent of that, Goodfor’s aim is to help the dream of a packageless pantry a reality in households. For more, visit goodfor.co.nz 

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