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You eat thousands of bits of plastic every year

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Micro plastics are everywhere. They have been found at the bottom of the sea, mixed into sand, and get carried by the wind. They have even been found inside us!

A new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology says it’s possible that humans may be consuming anywhere from 39,000 to 52,000 micro plastic particles a year.

Read the full article here.

Written by: SARAH GIBBENS for National Geographic

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  1. Help end demand for turtle shell products. Souvenirs made from the shell of endangered hawksbill sea turtles are sold to travelers around Asia. Educate your travelers on how and why to avoid these products. Join our Too Rare to Wear campaign for free resources to share.
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Plastic in the ocean impacts sea turtles and other wildlife and travelers are a major source of plastic pollution. Encourage clients to use reusable water bottles, bags, and straws and to recycle plastic where possible. Learn more at Travelers Against Plastic.
  3. Respect sea turtles in the water. Avoid touching, feeding, or crowding a sea turtle in the water, these things can stress them. Get more tips for interacting with sea turtles in the ocean at Divers For Turtles.
  4. Choose sunscreen carefully. Chemicals in some types of sunscreen can damage coral reefs and pollute turtle habitat. Encourage your travelers to avoid any sunscreen with “oxybenzone” and look for brands labeled as “Reef Friendly” and avoid sprays that can pollute the sand where turtles nest. Check out this article in Vogue about the best ways to avoid sunburn. 
  5. Choose responsibly caught seafood. Sea turtles are vulnerable to commercial fishing methods like trawling, longlines, and drift gillnets, becoming unwanted catch (also known as “bycatch”) that is discarded like trash. To help make turtle friendly seafood choices check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch which is also available as a handy app for your phone.
  6. Reduce your carbon footprint. Climate change affects the health of coral reefs which are vital to the hawksbill’s survival. A warming planet also skews sex ratios in baby turtles, changes the abundance and distribution of prey, increases erosion of nesting beaches, and more. Look for ways to reduce your company’s carbon footprint by using renewable energy and public transportation.
  7. Donate to ocean conservation organizations. By supporting organizations working to protect sea turtles and other ocean wildlife, you can show your clients that you care about the destinations they visit. Contact us through SEEturtles.org if you want an introduction to an organization near your operations.

Written by: Brad Nahill, President of SEE Turtles

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Single-use plastic ban, food waste and local produce top priorities in Centara’s 2019 Sustainability Plan.

SOURCE: TRAVEL DAILY NEWS

The elimination of single-use plastic items is part of the “Centara Earth Care” programme. It is aimed at encouraging Centara hotel guests and tourists to be proactive about energy saving, waste reduction and sustainable environmental tourism. Read the full article here. 

Written by Theodore Koumelis 

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For many, resolutions don’t last longer than the first month of the year. Don’t overwhelm yourself on the first week of the year and try this step-by-step resolution guide. With a little effort you can make a big difference in maintaining a sustainable lifestyle!

January: Walk, bike or use public transport

The effects on the environment of using the car are many and of course, all negative. This phenomenon represents 20% of the worlds total carbon dioxide pollution according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

February: Be a sustainability ambassador

Climate change is an issue that concerns everyone living on this planet. Many people are not aware of the consequences individual behavior can cause on the environment, so please spread the word. We as consumers and users should take responsibility of our actions and let people know that we should take care and motivate a conversion into responsible citizens.

March: Stop accepting single-use plastics

Plastic usage has become an increasingly hot topic over the past year, parallel to an increase in awareness campaigns about the health of our oceans. Plastic pollution directly  affects the livelihood of marine life and consequently finds its way into the food chain, affecting us humans. To get tips on how to accomplish this resolution click here.

April: Eat local

Transportation is one of the biggest causes of air pollution. By consuming local food and therefore, cutting down on food miles, you are diminishing the ecological impact of your food as overseas plane flights or long truck rides are not needed. To find out more reasons why is this good for the environment press here.

May: Reduce meat and dairy

As explained in our previous Green Tip, cutting down your meat and dairy consumption is one of the main ways to reduce your environmental footprint.

June: Avoid wasting food

This one is definitely a win-win situation as if you complete this resolution you will not only help the environment but as well take care of your wallet. A recommendation would be to set a weekly menu and buy purely what the menu states. PATA has been campaigning against food waste with its BUFFET initiative.

July: Use ecofriendly sunscreen

Not many people know that regular sunscreen is very damaging to most natural species living in the seas and oceans, specially to coral reefs. Nevertheless, it is indeed a problem that must be fixed, and we can do this by buying reef-friendly sunscreen available in most organic stores or herbalists. Some examples are:
Raw Elements Non-Nano Zinc Oxide Reef Safe (SPF 30+) 
Blue Lizard Sunscreen, Sensitive (SPF 30+)
Thinksport Oxybenzone Free Sunscreen (SPF 50+)

For more tips on travel essentials press here.

August: Eat seasonally

Apart from looking out for the environment (by reducing food miles for food brought in out of season), you would be supporting local farmers instead. Seasonal produce is guaranteed to be fresher and tastier.

September: Give a wide berth to printing

It is quite obvious that there is nowadays less need to utilize paper. Starting from emails, to E-tickets and E-books it seems that printing is a thing of the past, and our mother Earth loves it!

October: Turn off your devices at night

Once you are off to bed, you likely won’t be using your phone or computer. Normally, we think about turning off lights, but we don’t usually turn off devices such as the wi-fi or unplugging our microwave.

November: Use cold water for your laundry

Washing clothing in hot water is not always the best option – some clothes may shrink, and others may see stains being set in. Use cold water to treat your clothing gently, and reduce the amount of energy used to heat water. You will surely see a difference in your energy or gas bills.

December: Resist excessive consumerism

Christmas is quintessentially the month of absurd consumerism- simple living has been underestimated for decades, especially during this time of the year. Just think about where all these commodities will end up when you find no more utility to it, or even all the indirect aspects of it such as the packaging, the transportation and the clutter. If you need tips on how to reduce it press here.


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Credit: Shutterstock

Is plastic food packaging the next thing millennials are going to kill?

More than a million seabirds die every year because of plastic, and puffin numbers on mainland Shetland have fallen dramatically in recent years, in part due to plastic buildup on its beaches. By 2050, it is predicted that 99 percent of the world’s seabirds will have plastic in their guts.

“On an average day, I might buy a plastic-wrapped sandwich from Pret; a plastic yogurt tub or punnet of grapes; sometimes a coffee in a plastic-lined disposable cup. I think about the puffins and feel like a monster.” – Phoebe

Are you worried about plastic pollution too? Read more on why this editor turn away from single-use plastics here.

By Phoebe Hurst for MUNCHIES.

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More than eight million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year.

The BBC is to ban single-use plastics by 2020, after TV series Blue Planet II highlighted the scale of sea pollution.

First, throwaway plastic cups and cutlery will be scrapped by the end of this year, followed by plastic containers in canteens by 2019.

By 2020, the BBC hopes to be free of single-use plastic across all sites.

Tony Hall, director general of the BBC, said he had been “shocked” by the plastic waste featured in last year’s nature documentary.

Announcing its three-step plan on Tuesday, the BBC said some of its kitchens had already started replacing plastic cups with glasses.

Read the full article here.

By BBC News

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There’s no reason to delay the inevitable. No more I-will-do-it-next-week’s, no more I-know-I-should-do-it’s - it’s about time to end the toxic relationship so many of us are still in. For Valentine’s Day, UN Environment is urging everyone to ‘break up’ with single-use plastic. more » Read more

Credit: Shutterstock

 

What does sustainability mean to you personally? How can you engage with issues such as poverty or sustainable consumption that relate to the SDGs?

One approach may be to start by looking at your individual values and establishing a personal sustainability action plan. This should be an achievable, realistic plan to take on a short-term project that you believe in that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle! Identify changes you would like to make in your daily or weekly activities and start to practice these changes until they become a habit. When establishing your personal sustainability plan, check that it meets the RISE criteria: is it repeatable, inspirational, sustainable, and enjoyable?

There’s no reason to wait till the New Year to make a resolution! Raise awareness now, and take action! Inspire others to join the movement. Remember that challenging yourself or someone else can make a big impact through building strong communities of passionate and like-minded people. Be creative and come up with a plan to make the most of the last month of 2017. For example, how about trying to live a…

FREEcember

…with possible action points such as the following:

  • Try a new approach to your diet: how about a meat-free Monday or milk-/dairy-free week? A dietary shift can help to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately have the positive environmental impact you would like to make.
  • Go plastic-free: shop at a local market to avoid unnecessary packaging, use a reusable water bottle, coffee mug or lunch box and most importantly, say no to using plastic bags! You will help keeping our precious world clean and wildlife safe.
  • Spend a gadget-free Sunday: include some time to unplug and disconnect when planning your weekend or your next getaway.  
  • Enjoy a car-free weekend: if you are relying on your car to commute to work during the week, give your car a rest on the weekend and cut carbon emissions by using public transport or a bicycle to get around. This little change will help to reduce pollution from engines and improve air quality.

 

If this is something you are already doing, maybe you find some more idea with a

DOcember

  • Stay healthy: start a fitness– or yoga-challenge, join a gym class or simply take the stairs instead of an elevator whenever possible.
  • Start a 5-minute journal to become more mindful and live with intention.
  • Recycle and upcycle with do-it-yourself projects to reduce waste to landfill and to reduce waste generated in manufacturing processes! You can also donate unwanted clothes or other household items to a charity to help people in need.
  • Carry a reusable shopping bag with you every day, and keep a reusable drinking cup at your office to purchase your after-lunch refreshment in a eco-friendly way.

 

Your passion is the fire that fuels your action, so keep helpful reminders about why you want to live more sustainably. We dare you to establish a sustainability plan that can help guide your way to a more eco-conscious lifestyle.

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