This quote sure rings true as Earth Day approaches. In this blog I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite non-profits who have helped and inspired me to move forward on my Zero Waste and plastic free journey. In case you are wondering- plastic free is all about limiting your use of plastic to essentials and eliminating single use plastic. Single use plastic is plastic that is used once and then discarded- straws, coffee cups, drink lids, water bottles, grocery bags………. Zero waste is a philosophy that focuses on rethinking how we live in order to produce as little waste as possible.
And now here are some of my favorite hard working groups. First, for a trashy tour around the world check out Grabbits. At Just Grab Bits you are encouraged to do four simple acts-
- Pick It- pick up some trash on your next walk wherever you happen to be, from the sidewalk, nature trail, dog park, playground, beach…..
- Snap It- take a picture of your trash.
- Bin It- get that trash to its proper home.
- Tag It- enter your trash into their trash picking contests by using #JustGrabBits
Just Grab Bits actually has lots of different categories to enter. “Find It, Fill It” is finding a found object, bag, glove, boot and filling it with nearby trash. “Helping Handful” is a shot of your hand full of the trash you just saved. “Scenic Bits” is the beauty of the world along with some un-beautiful trash and the another category is “Trash Monster” where your trash turns into a monster. There are quite a few fun, quirky categories so pick one that inspires you.
The cool thing which really helps expand your understanding of trash is entries are from around the globe. I’ve seen trash shots from Australia, South Africa, Scotland and of course the USA. Each month all the entries are entered into a prize spin and three lucky winners are rewarded with cool, sustainable gifts including art work, bamboo straws, and our own Rambling Man bars. It’s heartening to see folks from everywhere looking after the Earth. The folks at Just Grab Bits, “realize picking up will never be the upstream solution, it is however necessary.” So “pickitup” and follow them on Instagram @justgrabbits.
My next organization is Balloons Blow– Don’t Let Them Go. This non-profit is dedicated to providing information about the destructive nature of balloons, including biodegradable ones. Beach litter surveys have shown that balloon trash has tripled over the past ten years. And if you think about it, a deflated and tattered balloon looks very similar to a tasty morsel to a sea critter and many animals have been found with balloon bits in their stomachs. At Balloons Blow they believe, “Education is the key in the fight for the planet, on this issue and all environmental issues. People need to know that by using science we can make informed, non-biased decisions.” Their Instagram site is @balloonsblow
And finally, The Last Plastic Straw. In the US we use enough plastic straws to wrap around the Earth’s circumference 2.5 times a day. That’s a lot of straw sipping. They have a straw challenge for restaurants and bars to provide straws upon request. I’ve yet to see a restaurant with “Straws available upon request” printed on their menu but it’s a great and easy way to educate. I struggle when traveling to remember to say, “No straw, please” and often a straw is simply placed in your drink without giving you the choice of refusal. Their restaurant guide is super helpful and you can find them on Instagram @noplasticstraws. There was even one restaurant in Maine listed- hats off to The Maine Grind in Ellsworth, plastic straw free since Oct 11, 2013!!!
What’s your favorite Earth educating site?