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Scary Stats and Not-So-Scary Ways to Make an Impact

Two halloween pumpkin for scary stats on sustainability

At Sustainable Travel & Living, we are self proclaimed eternal optimists. However, when it comes to the current (and future state) of the environment, we have found that some blatant honesty is necessary. And with Halloween just around the corner, it seemed appropriate to share some of the scary realities we are working to combat in order to protect our planet. Don’t worry though, we will enlighten you with some not-so-scary ways to make a positive impact. You’re always invited to join us on our eco-friendly mission as we continue to prove that amidst the waste there’s always a way to make things better. We promise there are no tricks, just ways to treat the planet better.

empty plastic coke bottle on beach for plastic waste

Plastics Are A Problem

FACT: According to iBanPlastic, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050. This is in large part due to the way we currently handle our plastics. Less than 10% of plastic get recycled resulting in nearly 40 percent ending up in landfills. And now, we’re each ingesting a credit card of microplastics a week – more on the problem with plastics here.

ACT: Everyday items such as straws, disposable coffee cups, and utensils pile up fast. So do things like take-out containers, grocery and other product packaging. We’ve simply got to take stock of the single-use plastic we use every day to see where you might be able to cut back – and in the process, let big business know your stance. Here’s where we’ve got your back on a slew of quality, reusable products from food storage, to-go utensils and drinkware to reusable product bags that make reducing plastic waste a breeze. 

Young girls with Love CO2 is in the air protest sign

Air Quality Control

FACT: It’s estimated that each American emits over 15 tons of CO2 annually, all of which gets trapped in our atmosphere, causing global warming. This includes the vast majority of actions such as leisure, travel, domestic energy use, commuting, and overall consumption. Every day we make decisions that contribute to our carbon footprint that is significantly larger than it needs to be. 

ACT: You can start by calculating your carbon footprint here. Choose to drive or fly less and carpool, bike or use public transit more. When traveling, pack light (and purchase wisely, like with our eco-friendly travel products). Eat less meat, especially red, as it uses a lot of feed, water and land, and try to reduce your food waste with better meal planning. Save energy (and expense) in your home with LED lightbulbs, Energy Star certified appliances, washing with cold water, ensuring good insulation and unplugging things not in use for starters. More on these ideas here. Help yourself, help the planet.

Hands of two youth doing beach clean up

Time To Talk Some Trash

FACT: According to the Keep America Beautiful Organization, U.S. litter clean up costs more than an estimated $11.5 billion per year. Things thrown on the ground instead of in the trash or recycling bin doesn’t just negatively impact the environment, it is costly to the quality of life for the population at large. 

ACT: We can all chip in this one! Make an effort to properly dispose of your trash and pick up someone else’s litter in your neighborhood and hiking trails. Why not start with a clean-up or tree planting activity through a Keep America Beautiful chapter near you. And be sure to teach your children eco-friendly habits and the importance of respecting the planet. Imagine all the good we could do with those funds! Hint: We could solve 40 percent of the world’s current hunger problem or buy solar panels for approximately 300,000 homes! And that’s just the start.  

In the case of our environment, ignorance does not prove to be bliss. We must work together to face these ecosystem issues head on and do our part to steer things in the right direction. It should make you feel good to know that there are many easy, feasible ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Pumpkins with Trick or Treat wooden sign for sustainable halloween

For an Eco-Friendly Halloween

For this to be a sustainable Halloween, start by making sure your little ones don’t litter their candy wrappers this Halloween and choose to purchase a reusable trick-or-treat bag like this one or use a pillowcase rather than a plastic one. Choose a costume without a lot of plastic or packaging, ensure it can be repurposed or passed on next year. If you’re going for seasonal décor, buy quality items you’ll commit to re-using for the long-run, and yep, things that aren’t cheap plastic or glitter that gets into our waterways! You see, little changes aren’t so scary.