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Saving Nemo – 5 (+1) tips to fight microplastics and become a marine hero!

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We have all heard about the increasing impact of plastic pollution on our planet. Did you know that there is a huge pile of garbage 20 km wide floating in the sea off the Mesoamerican barrier reef? And that this is not the only one?

(You can find a more detailed picture of such a garbage island further down in the article).

In Germany alone, over 3 million tons of plastic packaging waste is produced every year1 and unfortunately the ocean is often the repository for all this waste.

So much plastic waste! But what exactly is microplastic? And how can we fight microplastics in the sea? And what this has to do with friendships – you can find out here.

Microplastics – the real monster under your bed

What is microplastic? Microplastics consist of tiny plastic particles that accumulate in our rivers and oceans. From there they enter the food chain, where they have a toxic effect on animals, plants and humans.

The danger is very real – scientists estimate that we already eat, drink and breathe in over 20 kg of microplastics in the course of our lives2.

Where do all the microplastics in the sea come from? There are several sources: Synthetic fibers, for example, contribute a lot. But the biggest is of course plastic waste.

If plastic waste is simply left in the sea, it doesn’t disappear – it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, and these are known as microplastics.

No, there’s no real monster under your bed, honest! Okay, maybe a dust bunny or two … A candy bar wrapper? That Halloween mask that was so much fun last October? Oh no! This leads us to our next point…

Now that you know where microplastics come from, let’s talk about how to save our oceans and fight microplastics.

5 tips on how to reduce microplastics

We can’t learn to live without plastic overnight. We already know that… But there are little things we can do to reduce plastic waste in our lives that together make a big difference.

Support environmentally conscious and regional companies

What did you bring home from your last grocery shopping trip? How many of the items were wrapped in plastic? But it’s not just about what you see, because there’s a lot more involved in transportation.

Make conscious purchases from local companies that actively reduce the amount of packaging and plastic they use. They deserve your support!

(And if you get to know them, they’re probably really nice people too – we all need more friends in our neighborhoods, don’t we?)

You also want to know, how you can protect trees? Find out more here.

Switch to reusable products

To stay hydrated on the go, you should invest in a good reusable water bottle. Unlike plastic, metal bottles don’t sweat and keep your water pleasantly cool for hours!

There are lots of great options for reusable containers, metal straws and compact cutlery sets. And even better, they also make perfect gifts for all your loved ones!

And your long-forgotten Halloween mask? You can also reuse them later in the year as part of your Halloween decorations!

Are you looking for gifts right now? You can find 20 super cool ideas for sustainable gifts here.

Wear clothes made from natural fabrics

Did you know that fabrics made from synthetic fibers release microplastics when washed3? Not all of them are captured during wastewater treatment. Polyester and nylon in particular often end up in the sea as microplastics.

Choosing natural fabrics like hypoallergenic, sustainably grown bamboo is kinder to our oceans and your skin!

Say “no” to the chocolate bar

Yes, that will be really difficult… But did you know that chocolate bar packaging made from a combination of plastic and foil is almost impossible to recycle?

And when you consider where so much of this packaging ends up, it really is worth thinking about alternatives. Especially when these alternatives include delicious homemade cookies!

Take a look at some of these delicious vegan recipes for inspiration.

What is your favorite sweet recipe? Please share it with us. (We love cookies and cakes!)

Take part in a city or beach cleanup

Take a look at the notice board in your community – there are clean-ups in many places these days. They’re great fun and a great way to meet new people and get out into the fresh air.

If no clean-ups are currently planned, you can organize your own! Gather a few friends, get some gloves and bin bags and go for a nice walk.

Even better, organize a competition, whoever collects the most garbage wins! Take photos of your weirdest & coolest finds and share them with us on Instagram.

Bonus tip: Remove plastic from the sea

But what about all the plastic that is already in the sea?

It is worth mentioning projects such as Trees for the Seas. Based in the Philippines, Trees for the Seas plants beneficial mangrove trees that protect the coastline from storm damage and erosion (as well as providing a nursery for wonderful marine life).

Not only that: for every mangrove tree, 1 kg of plastic is removed from the sea. This not only provides young marine organisms with a protected environment to grow up in, they also benefit from safer food sources.

So if you want to make the special people in your life really happy (maybe because they just baked you fantastic cookies!), plant a tree in their name.

Trees for cookies – what a great idea!

You might also be interested in this: The 10 biggest climate change myths revealed.

Microplastics in the sea – make a difference

Every year, tons of microplastics end up in the sea, forming huge accumulations like the Giant Pacific Garbage Patch – the largest garbage island in the ocean.

From there, microplastics enter the food chain, where they have toxic effects on plants, animals and humans.

We can reduce the pollution of our oceans by using less plastic – for example, we can switch to reusable water bottles, avoid foil-wrapped chocolate bars and wear clothes made from sustainable natural materials.

If everyone makes a few small changes in their lives, we can achieve great things together!

If you like this article, share it with your friends and let’s do great things together!


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