This piece was recently shared with us by one of our sister mermaids, Alexandra Beane, from Wheels for Wishes. Alexandra is an environmental enthusiast who writes for Wheels for Wishes, a vehicle recycling charity benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. With pieces covering topics such as recycling, health awareness, and family activities, she somehow still has time to be passionate about cooking, writing, reading, volunteering, and rescuing animals.
An estimated 50 to 80 percent of all life on earth is found under the ocean’s surface. For this reason, it’s up to humans to keep our oceans clean and free of contaminants. Unfortunately, things like air pollution, refined oil, rubbish, and human pollution are all responsible for polluting our oceans.
Reducing waste, recycling and reusing whenever possible is incredibly important in keeping our lands and oceans clean. At Wheels For Wishes, we run a car recycling program that helps to keep automobiles out of landfills. Instead, vehicles are recycled and reused to build new vehicles. Thousands of tons of waste and trash are dumped into oceans on a daily basis, which is why recycling as much as possible is so incredibly important.
Interestingly, nearly half of all bottled water is actually just tap water, so people can save money and better the environment when they purchase reusable water bottles. Most drinking water is completely safe to drink in the United States, so bottled water is completely unnecessary. Plus, 90 percent of the trash that covers the ocean’s surface is plastic. Plastic bottles break down in the oceans and become ingested by birds and other marine life, but when recycled, plastic bottles can become t-shirts, fleece, car bumpers, dog beds, and even new plastic water bottles!
In honor of the successful Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 19, we wanted to create an infographic that would help to encourage people to reduce their water footprint by drinking local, saying no to bottled water, single-use products, plastic, and pollution. The total carbon footprint of one 500 ml (16.9 oz) bottle of water is 828g of carbon dioxide. Water transported from overseas can have an even higher footprint!
Coastal Cleanup Day inspired us to make a pledge to say no to plastic water bottles, straws, plastic bags, and other single-use items. Instead of letting your items become trash, let them live on to be reused again and again. When they can no longer be used, be sure to recycle them. Currently, only 27 percent of plastic water bottles are recycled in the United States – and they are 100 percent recyclable. Each year, 35 billion plastic water bottles are thrown in the trash in the United States alone.
Encourage other people to reduce their carbon footprint this year, and share this infographic with anyone you can. While it may be difficult to convert your home to an eco-friendly model, or go without a vehicle 100 percent of the time, you can greatly reduce your carbon footprint when you drink local, and when you practice reducing waste, reusing what you can, and recycling as much as possible.