Written by Brittany Shenk

Awareness is the first step to solving a problem, but action is the key to any forward movement. We’re finally banning plastic straws, balloons, Styrofoam, and other non-biodegradable items, which is a huge step for humanity. I mean, look at us, using our power as consumers to demand more from companies to protect our home. Now that’s something to be extremely proud of, so let’s keep this momentum steamrolling down the highway and channel our straw-banning-achievement-high toward other issues that need to be addressed.

Plastic straws were just the beginning of the journey, it’s definitely not a place to pull over the park the car and camp for the week. It’s more like a rest stop to let your little ones get out and pee. Throw that car back in drive, blast your favorite road trip music, and sing as loudly as possible until your kids cover their ears in annoyance, because we’ve still got a long way to go to set the standard for what we expect from all businesses in the disposable plastic movement.

Take a glance around the room, your office, think about the items you use on a daily basis. What other ways can we decrease our footprint as consumers? Get creative, use that beautiful brain of yours to use this as an opportunity to be innovative. What about those ear plugs you used once and then threw away – could you swap those cute little disposable foam plugs for some longer term wax ones? What about the little plastic floss box you toss in the trash every three months, assuming you’re on top of your flossing game (if you haven’t heard about Dental Lace, now’s the time)? Ever thought of swapping plastic self-care product bottles out for a zero-packaging bars? How about reusable cotton pads for your daily skincare regime?

Now, consider your contact lenses, an item easily overlooked as causing potential harm to the planet. Millions of people use contact lenses, and they all end up somewhere, eventually. We’re not referring to the act of purchasing or using contact lenses, but how you dispose of them. Where do you drop those babies when you’ve finally let them scratch your eyeball enough times? Check out this article from the New York Times about proper disposal of your lenses to lessen your impact on the planet.

Look at eliminating unnecessary plastic from your life as a way to be creative and extraordinary, and for those items you may need, become more aware of how to safely dispose of them. Your homework? Tell us alllllllll about it. We wanna hear your voices and watch your imaginations take flight into space, and then come back down to share what you discovered on your travels. We’ll be waiting for you.