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Plastic Alternatives for a Plastic Free 2020

Plastic Pollution is taking over our oceans but with so many eco-friendly alternatives, it is becoming a lot easier to make a difference.

Plastic alternatives are a big deal right now because plastic pollution is suffocating our oceans! Single use plastics are not going away anytime soon, no matter how many photos are shared of suffering sea life.

An estimated 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics had been produced as of mid-2017. It is overwhelming to think that every toothbrush you’ve ever used as well as the plastic packaging it came in, is still in existence today. It is also astounding that plastic can release potentially carcinogenic phthalate acid eaters into the soil. This agricultural waste poses a threat to human health. With plastic debris projected to outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050, it’s easy to feel powerless, but there is something you can do!

As we work towards a plastic free 2020, here is a list of common plastic debris with corresponding environmentally friendly alternatives that even if implemented by just a few humans, can make a huge difference for the future health of our oceans:

  1. Bags - Ditch the plastic bags! Bring your reusable bags to the grocery store, pet stores, and other retail stores! Say no to the plastic bags! Purchase your own reusable bag here! Garbage bags are also an offender that can be remedied when you replace plastic garbage bags with compostable garbage bags.

  2. Pens - Use eco-friendly pens versus plastic pens! This pen is made out of paper and biodegrades if you throw it out when it dies!

  3. Balloons - Skip the balloons! Balloons don't actually go to heaven. They go to the ocean and they kill our sea life. You don't need balloons at parties, and alternatives to balloon releases are floating flowers, planting a tree, lighting candles, and blowing bubbles. Balloons are never the answer!

  4. Dental Floss - Imagine what thousands of miles of plastic floss in oceans and landfills can do to our planet’s animal inhabitants. Before you floss your mermaid fangs, check out our biodegradable silk floss packaged in renewable plant based material here!

  5. Shampoo/Conditioner - Mermaid hair is way more magical when it's not using products packaged in plastic. Have y'all tried shampoo and/or conditioner bars yet? Made with all natural ingredients in a self-contained bar, it is definitely the way to go to help our planet! I use it every day and my mermaid hair is as magical as ever! The brand I recommend is Naples Soap Company so be sure to check them out!

  6. Toys - Choose eco-friendly or upcycled toys for your kids to play with! One great eco-toy that we recommend is Shore Buddies plush animals! Each plush is made from 6 recycled plastic bottles and they are super cute! Purchase your Shore Buddies plush here!

  7. Cigarettes - Cigarette filters are made of plastic and with the beach being made of mostly sand, it often gets used as an ash tray by those who are lazy. And then what? And then they get collected by individuals who care about the ocean and made into a cigarette sea turtle! OR what really happens: the tide rolls in and sweeps them out into the ocean, polluting water quality and ending up in the stomachs of my favorite sea life friends. It's also bad for you. No alternative solution offered here because just stop.

  8. Coffee - Did you know that those little coffee pods are made of plastic and often end up in landfills and oceans? San Francisco Bay Coffee Onecup makes compostable coffee pods in recyclable cartons and it tastes great too! Check them out and make the switch so your mermaid fuel is eco-conscious too!

  9. Fruit/Vegetables - Buy whole! I know it is A LOT easier to purchase pre-cut fruit and vegetables, however what are those precut morsels packaged in? Plastic! Put in the extra work, purchase whole, and cut them on your own! They'll stay fresh longer, and you'll feel better about saving the environment!

  10. Bath Soap - While bathing can be super relaxing, how relaxing is it really when you think about the plastic packaging your body wash comes in? And then you consider the fact that your body wash has microbeads in it… Luckily there is a super simple solution to this one: just use a bar of soap instead! No plastic, with the same amount of clean!

  11. Sunglasses - I find way too many plastic sunglasses at the bottom of my ocean living room every year! (And they never go away!) Switch to bamboo sunglasses! They're way better for the ocean and you can't look this mermazing with plastic shades! They also float which means if you drop them in the water when you're leaning over the boat to see a mermaid, said mermaid can easily retrieve them and you haven't just lost another pair of sunglasses!

  12. Jewelry/Accessories - A lot of jewelry and hair accessories are made from plastic! Try only buying plastic-free items such as 4ocean bracelets made from recycled glass and/or our signature resin starfish hair clips which can both be found here!

  13. Face Wash - A lot of face wash has microbeads in them to help exfoliate. Choose a face wash that doesn't have these tiny little plastic beads in them! Although it may be difficult to find, purchasing face wash packaged in compostable packing is also a great option when available!

  14. Leftover Containers - Wasting food is bad, too! Instead of taking your leftovers in a plastic container which the restaurant provides, bring your own and reuse it! It is also noteworthy to add that food grade plastics can still subject your food to BPA and other chemicals when heat is applied.

  15. Straws - Plastic straws are bad news! Try an eco-friendly solution such as using a metal, silicone, bamboo, or glass straw instead! Check out our metal straw set here to help you Be a Better Human!

  16. Birthday Parties - Birthday parties can be a HUGE plastic contributor! From plastic cutlery and tablecloths to balloons and wall decor. Check out our Mermaid Birthday Party Kit which is eco-friendly AND affordable! You can choose what you want making this buffet-style birthday kit the most eco AND wallet friendly option for the mermaid lover in your life!

  17. Diapers - Okay, so I may not know a lot about human guppies, as I only ever get to see them from the water, but I DO know that their diapers never biodegrade. Cloth diapers are an eco-friendly alternative that also save you money! Consider the switch!

  18. Water Bottles - Say no to plastic water bottles! Use a reusable bottle, or try boxed water! Did you know: If you ask for water on our boat tour, we supply boxed water to all of our guests! Boxed water really is better!

  19. Lighters - Lighters are made of plastic too! While not everyone is able to use fireflies instead, did you know they make rechargeable lighters? You purchase it once, and then no more waste! Just recharge!

  20. Toothbrushes - We already went over flossing your fangs, but what about brushing? Toothbrushes are made of plastic and humans go through (on average) 3-5 toothbrushes a year. That is 3-5 toothbrushes PER PERSON ending up in landfills. Try out our Mermaid of Hilton Head® bamboo toothbrushes make from bamboo - which means they aren't in the environment forever and ever!

  21. Batteries - When Professor Al G. is coming for your but your bubble wand runs out of battery power... Rechargable batteries are always on hand, you never run out, and they're better for the environment! Switch over to rechargeable batteries and make sure your bubble wands are always ready to defeat an evil villain!

  22. Receipts - What?! How does this save on plastic? Did you know a lot of show tickets are made of plastic materials? ALSO: If they are purely paper, the receipts you get from your purchase are plastic! Just don't buy a ticket to any dolphin show and reduce your plastic use! It's that simple! (This can also be applied daily when making purchases everywhere, just sign up for email receipts or as for no receipt at all.)

  23. Laundry Detergent - Laundry detergent always comes in those big, bulky, thick plastic containers. Switch to Dropps which biodegrade, and they are made with natural ingredients. What are they packaged in? This cardboard box that can be recycled, of course! Sidenote: This is the only laundry detergent I use and it smells AMAZING! I love it!

  24. Clothing - Did you know a lot of clothing contains plastics such as polyester, nylon, and acrylic which means you know that unicorn shirt you had when you were 3? The one with the sequins? It still exists somewhere today...probably the ocean. Purchase clothes made of 100% cotton to reduce your plastic use. Check out our Mermaid of Hilton Head® shirts for an eco-friendly option!

  25. Toothpaste - The last piece to the eco-friendly dental hygiene puzzle: toothpaste! Toothpaste can often have microbeads in it and is packaged in plastic that never gets recycled. Check out our eco-friendly toothpaste made with natural ingredients, no microbeads, and packaged in plant-based, biodegradable material!

  26. Glitter - When glittering (can that please be a verb?) use ONLY biodegradable glitter or skip the glitter altogether! Do y'all know what glitter is?! It's pre-made micro plastic!!! (That we don't NEED).

  27. Makeup - Most makeup (if not, all) comes in plastic containers that often get thrown out. Two tips here: 1. the rule of one, which is have only one mascara, one eyeliner, etc. at a time and 2. Find a location near you that recycles makeup packaging. (Some only take specific containers such as mascara or blush but some take them all!) Wood pulp is also becoming a more common alternative to plastic containers and may end up in the make up industry soon.

  28. Razors - Mermaids may not have much experience with razors, but jellyfish stings can hurt like a razor blade so here is my expert razor advice: bamboo razors with replaceable blades. No plastic handle, no plastic cartridges, no plastic packaging! That is a win, win, win!

  29. Travel - We all love to travel, right? Many of us end up in hotels that offer a continental breakfast. Sadly, many of these breakfasts include plastic utensils, cups, dishes, straws, and even condiments in plastic packaging. Although there isn't much we can do about the condiments, if y'all bring your own bamboo or metal utensils and straws, it makes a huge impact on our plastic consumption as a population.

  30. Deodorant - This is a tough one, because the majority of deodorant comes in plastic packaging that can't be recycled due to the product chemicals inside. Solution: Myro deodorant. It is made from all natural ingredients (but it also works!) and it comes in a one-time plastic case that can be refilled which reduces deodorant sourced plastic waste a lot!

Mermaid on the beach holding a eco friendly product

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