Plastic is everywhere.  It’s at the bottom of the ocean, it’s in the world’s most remote wildernesses, it washes ashore in the arctic and as of right now.... It can't be destroyed. 500-1000 years. That's how long it takes for plastic to decompose in nature. Throughout that time it breaks into a million tiny pieces, poisons our water and kills wildlife. Yikes.

It's not all bad though. There are people out there every day fighting to clean our waterways and our landfills. There are people out there reminding you of the dangers of plastic and guiding you through the woes of water bottles

Humans are buying a million plastic water bottles a minute. There are 150 million metric tons of plastic floating in our ocean. The equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic being dumped every minute of every day. We’re running out of landfill space too. Much of the United State's recycling and garbage is shipped off to impoverished countries without proper infrastructure.  People are then forced to live and grow agriculture on top of these waste piles. 

Most plastic is NOT recyclable.  Did you know that you can’t recycle plastic bags in your backyard recycling? Only about 9% of all plastic is recycled in general. You CAN return those plastic bags though! When we forget to bring a reusable bag on a grocery run - we save our plastic and return the pile once every six months at a drop off point. Click here to learn more.

Plastic buried deep in landfills can leech dangerous chemicals into groundwater....aka our drinking water. Wildlife is dying too.  Nearly every seabird on planet earth is eating plastic.  Birds are often found dead with up to 250 individual pieces of plastic in their bellies.
Every piece of plastic we use goes somewhere.  Plastic that we have touched has made its way to every ocean, every landfill and every corner of the world.  Now multiply that by seven billion people.

Up until recently major plastic corporations felt no need to push a "green" agenda. Luckily the consumer isn't as easy to fool anymore. People are demanding accountability, sustainability and awareness. So here are a few tips.
Our head writer here at FRAMEWORK, Mikale, is a BIG advocate of this. If you see it on the street, beach, or on a hike, pick it up and throw it away in the nearest bin. And then sanitize your hands! We can all work a little bit harder to keep spaces cleaner. "Leave your campground better than you found it."

Reusable alternatives — from tote bags that replace plastic shopping bags to travel mugs, glass straws, and washable makeup pads instead of single-use cotton rounds — are a step in the right direction. Recycling is not the be-all, end-all answer to our environmental woes, so starting with some reusable basics is incredibly helpful in the long run. Here is a link on how to start your first zero waste kit!
 You’ll use them at a party while playing beer pong, at a fast food restaurant when you need water, on an airplane when you take a sip of soda... they're everywhere. BUT they are avoidable. Here at FRAMEWORK we like to bring our own bottle/mug around so we can avoid using plastic cups as much as possible. People at a party (whenever that happens again) might giggle, but one day they'll be on board too. You'll look good being an environmental trendsetter.  
Takeout rules. Especially during a pandemic. But -- it often comes with tons of plastic packaging, plastic cutlery, and usually a plastic bag.  This can be a lot of waste. We recommend remembering to ask for no cutlery (if you're taking it home or if you have a to go pair in your car) no bag (if you have a reusable one or if you're comfortable carrying it in your bare hands) and to be conscious of assigning your trash to the right bin when you're done. Make sure you don't throw dirty plastic into your recycling! 
Technology is catching up with the green movement. We now have bar soap for everything. It's easier than ever to avoid plastic in this department! There are companies that do bar shampoo and bar soaps. There are laundry tablets and toothpaste bites. Or you could make your own. Youtube has helped us greatly during isolation. Did you know you can use watered down white vinegar for household cleaning?!
Obviously, like any life change, it takes a little more work, but instead of plastic wrap we use tupperware or reusable bags to store food. There are so many great reusable kitchen items available these days. We're linking resources to grab beeswax bags for sandwiches, reusable drawstring bags for picking up fruit at the store and a "how to" on washing and re-using your ziploc bags. It's safe and saves you from putting more plastic in the bin.
One day consumers will be presented with less plastic options and more plastic alternatives. It all starts with demand. The less we demand plastic -- hopefully the more changes we will see from major corporations. I'm glad to be living in a time where we are seeing steps in the right direction, I just wish it had started earlier. Being conscious in our day to day decisions has a big impact on the world around us - even if we don't see it immediately.