Floridians break world record for largest underwater cleanup

June 18, 2019 by  
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The coastal city of Deerfield, Florida made headlines this weekend for hosting the world’s largest underwater cleanup. This year, for the city’s 15th annual cleanup event, 633 divers gathered on the beach to scuba dive and collect more than 1,500 pounds of debris. By the number of divers participating, this cleanup is officially the largest in the world. Divers traveled internationally and from all over the country to participate in the event, and a Guinness Book of World Records officiant was on-site to confirm that the event indeed broke the previous record held by divers in the Red Sea. Led by an Egyptian diver, the Red Sea event in 2015 included 614 divers from around the world. Related: Baby turtles officially return to the beaches of Mumbai after largest beach cleanup in history The Florida cleanup event was hosted by Dixie Divers and the Deerfield Beach Women’s Club. According to one of the event planners, Tyler Bourgoine, “It was a great time … Everyone was working together and cleaning up one part of the reef or pier.” The group launched the event from a fishing pier on Deerfield Beach. Much of the debris collected was related to the fishing activities off the pier and in the area. Throughout the world, abandoned fishing gear remains an enormous percentage of marine litter. In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — thought to be the largest collection of trash in all of the oceans at 79,000 metric tons — the majority of the debris is abandoned fishing gear. The cleanup is a small but important step to reducing over 8 million metric tons of trash that is estimated to enter the ocean every year and cause obscene damage to marine mammals, birds and other wildlife . Via EcoWatch Image via Shutterstock

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Floridians break world record for largest underwater cleanup

Pop-up shipping container accommodations add a bit of luxury to local festivals

June 18, 2019 by  
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For those who aren’t exactly in the mood to sleep in a dusty old tent on the ground while they attend a weekend music festival, Caboose & Co. has a better alternative. The West Sussex-based company is providing events around the world with a more sustainable accommodation option in the form of luxury glamping pods made out of shipping containers . After realizing that many event organizers are often hard-pressed to provide decent on-site lodging for event attendees, the Caboose & Co. team decided to create a sustainable solution that would also provide a taste of luxury. Today, the portable Cabooses can be easily transported to events around the globe by truck, train or ship. Related: Treehouses made from shipping containers offer the ultimate glamping getaway in Portugal The company provides two types of glamping pods , both made out of repurposed shipping containers. The first is the Rocket, a two-bedroom container that sleeps up to four people. The elongated container has two sundecks on either end with plenty of seating, perfect for enjoying some outdoor time. The interior of the Rocket shipping container features a modern design. The living space is compact but comfortable with en suite bunk bedrooms and a small bathroom with a shower and flushing toilet. The second glamping pod is called The Scotsman, which is a smaller, one-bedroom pod that sleeps up to two people. Like the Rocket, the pod has a large sun terrace that leads to the interior space. There is a double bed with a comfortable mattress as well as a small bathroom. Both containers come with electricity and hot water. Since its inception, Caboose & Co. has been making a name for itself as the go-to company for festival accommodation . It recently set up a pop-up hotel at Cheltenham Festival and will also be on-site at a number of upcoming events such as the Hay Festival, Glastonbury and more. + Caboose & Co. Images via Caboose & Co.

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Pop-up shipping container accommodations add a bit of luxury to local festivals

This sleek, reusable cutlery set can fit right inside your pocket

May 28, 2019 by  
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Single-use plastic is one of the biggest environmental issues facing us today. Between the production of petroleum and the massive waste stream endangering animals and the planet, it’s time for a war on plastic. One company has decided to begin its battle on the issue with the development of Outlery — compact and portable eating utensils that eliminate the need for the estimated 1,000 plastic utensils Americans use each year. Beginning as a Kickstarter campaign with a meager goal of $5,580, the project has raised over $500,000 with still over a month left in the campaign. Clearly, the idea has the support of similar-minded backers. Outlery comes in two designs: a three-piece cutlery set (fork, knife and spoon) and a chopsticks set. Both products are designed with convenience and portability in mind. In contrast to the typically long and awkward-to-transport silverware you might normally bring from home, Outlery utensils disassemble and fit into a small carrying case about the size of a box of mints. The container will easily slide into a purse, shirt pocket or backpack. When you’re ready to use them, they are readily available and screw together again in just a few seconds. Related: Biofase has discovered a unique way to recycle avocado pits Outlery is 100 percent plastic-free as an obvious statement against single-use disposable plastic forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks. “Outlery is an eco-conscious company that is committed to creating innovative solutions to everyday single-use products,” said Bushra Ch, founder and CEO of Outlery. “The amount of plastic being dumped in the ocean everyday is alarming. It’s hurting sea life , our oceans and most importantly, it has entered our food chain. Ironically, most of the plastic being used today is easily replaceable. We don’t need plastic cutlery, we don’t need plastic straws and neither do we need plastic coffee mugs. At Outlery, we have set out to create easy-to-use and creative alternatives to everyday products. We are starting with plastic cutlery and chopsticks, because the waste produced from these is alarming.” The stainless steel design is intended to endure a long life to further combat the disposable mindset. With this focus on quality, the company has even hired a firm to closely inspect every order before it ships. The Kickstarter campaign, found here , ends on July 5, 2019. Outlery production is expected to start immediately following that date with orders shipping out in the fall. + Outlery Images via Outlery

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This sleek, reusable cutlery set can fit right inside your pocket

Ocean explorer finds plastic waste during worlds deepest dive

May 15, 2019 by  
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This May, American Victor Vescovo broke the standing record of the world’s deepest solo dive, venturing 7 miles into the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, where he discovered four potential new species as well as plastic waste and candy wrappers. Vescovo is a wealth equity investor with an interest in ocean exploration . He traveled in a high-tech submersible that can withstand enormous amounts of pressure from the 35,849-foot descent. In fact, the submarine is capable of withstanding the weight of “50 jumbo jets piled on top of a person,” according to the BBC . Related: Point Nemo, the most remote spot in the ocean, is plagued with plastic “It is almost indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did,” Vescovo told BBC. “This submarine and its mother ship, along with its extraordinarily talented expedition team, took marine technology to a ridiculously higher new level by diving — rapidly and repeatedly — into the deepest, harshest area of the ocean.” The mission was to collect data and video footage of what is thought to be the deepest ocean trench in the world. During his expedition, Vescovo also may have found a new crustacean as well as three other new species , including a relative of the sea cucumber. Samples of the new species will also be tested to see if they contain microplastics . The discovery of plastic in the farthest reaches of the world is disappointing, but not surprising given the scale of the plastic waste problem. It is predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Data collection expeditions to the ocean trenches also contribute to increasing evidence that these deep sea depressions can store higher amounts of carbon than the rest of the ocean and therefore may play an important role in mitigating climate change . Via BBC and  Technology Review Image via Jessie Sgouros

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These are the best tips to help you establish an eco-friendly laundry routine

May 13, 2019 by  
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The earth is a fragile place, a bit more so with each day that humans contribute to chemicals in the waste stream and overconsumption of resources. While it may seem like a benign daily activity, doing laundry traditionally pours toxins such as microplastics into the water stream and drinks up valuable freshwater in the process. Since it is an activity we all do, and one we aren’t able to overlook (no one likes smelly clothes), there is a great opportunity to reduce the cumulative impact that laundry has on the environment . Here are some ways you can lower your laundry footprint by adopting sustainable practices. Laundry accumulation The best way to keep your laundry practices “clean” is to not wash clothes when it’s not necessary. Overwashing clothing wears down the fibers, which is bad both for your clothing and the environment, especially those materials that shed microplastics into the waste stream. Limit your laundry accumulation by re-wearing clothing. For example, jeans can handle several wearings before washing. Also, rehang and reuse bathroom towels a few times rather than washing them daily. Avoid washing items just because they have laid on the ground or are wrinkled. Related: Cora Ball emulates natural filtering of coral to remove toxic microfibers from your washing machine Prewash Instead of reaching for the chemical-laden prewash from the store, go old school with a more natural option. Laundry bars, like Dr. Bronners, remove stains without adding unnatural ingredients into the water supply. Simply keep it near the washing machine and rub it on stains to pretreat. Also avoid the prewash setting that requires more water and energy . If you have a tough stain try soaking it with a stain remover before washing. Dish soap may also do the job. Detergent options Commercial laundry detergents are loaded with nasty chemicals that run down the drain into the rivers and eventually make their way out to sea . While many might think these chemicals are completely removed with water treatments, the truth is not all are. However, fabrics will come clean without all the mainstream added toxins— so select your detergent with this in mind. For store-bought convenience, look for natural ingredients and read labels carefully. If you have the time to spare, try making your own laundry detergent. There are recipes all over the internet. Once you find your supplies, it is quick and easy to make and you can make enough to last months at a time. Fabric softener/dryer sheet options Clothes dryers rank high on the energy consumption scale, but they also add to waste with dryer sheets and chemicals from liquid fabric softeners. Clean up your act with homemade liquid detergent using a combination of 1/8 cup food-grade glycerin, two cups of water and two cups of white vinegar. Use about 1/4 cup per load. Also soften your fabrics and shorten drying time with wool dryer balls in each load. Alternately, you can make a liquid fabric softener that goes into the dryer instead of the washing machine. Just moisten a rag with the mixture and dry with your load of clothing. You can reuse the same rag endlessly without dryer sheet waste . Water usage As mentioned, the best way to reduce water usage is to avoid unnecessary washing. Also, skip the prewash and select the best cycle for the task at hand. For example, override the extra rinse for whites and choose a lower soil level for regular washings. If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, select one with an energy star rating for low water and electrical consumption. Cold water It requires energy to heat water around the house, so save it for the shower. Your clothes will do just fine when washed in cold water and your pocketbook will thank you too. Line dry Another winning way to lower the electric bill is to skip the dryer all together. Instead, set up a clothesline and hang items to dry when the weather allows. If you don’t like the rough feel of sun-dried clothes, toss them in the dryer for a few minutes then take the clothes out. Trap the microplastics In the environmental realm, microplastics are making headlines around the globe. It’s said that they are found in nearly all tested fish, which means we’re literally eating our clothes . Because microplastics are minute, they are not filtered out at the the water treatment plant and instead travel right through to the ocean. There are now products, like the Cora Ball, designed to throw in your washer as a filter to capture the microplastics in your laundry. Newer washing machines are expected to have microplastics filters built in so keep an eye out for those to hit the market. Related: Cora Ball emulates natural filtering of coral to remove toxic microfibers from your washing machine The dry cleaner Dry cleaning is a chemical process, and therefore a foe of the environment. Avoid dry cleaning as much as possible by washing at home and being conscious of the fabrics you buy at the store. Doing laundry has become such a part of our daily routines that we might not notice how often we are tossing our barely worn clothes in the washer. It’s never too late to begin an eco-friendly lifestyle and incorporate new approaches to our routines. Follow these helpful tips and significantly reduce your environmental impact. Images via Shutterstock

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Adidas continues drive toward sustainable manufacturing with FUTURECRAFT.LOOP performance shoe

May 6, 2019 by  
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It’s not everyday a household name brand in the performance footwear industry announces a 100 percent recyclable shoe, fortunately for conscientious consumers and the planet, adidas has developed the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP performance running shoe, designed to tackle the daily pavement beatings like other shoes across the brand. However, the difference is that instead of heading to landfills with hundreds of thousands of other shoes, the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP can be returned to Adidas where it is broken down and reused to create new performance running shoes. “Taking plastic waste out of the system is the first step, but we can’t stop there,” said Eric Liedtke, Executive Board Member at Adidas, responsible for Global Brands. “What happens to your shoes after you’ve worn them out? You throw them away – except there is no away. There are only landfills and incinerators and ultimately an atmosphere choked with excess carbon , or oceans filled with plastic waste . The next step is to end the concept of “waste” entirely. Our dream is that you can keep wearing the same shoes over and over again.” Related: These sneakers are painted with cast-off blood from slaughterhouses The process was developed after nearly a decade of research and development focused on changing age-old performance-shoe manufacturing practices. The end goal was to create a shoe that was not only sourced from recycled materials, but was also able to be turned back into another pair, creating a full-loop of manufacturing responsibility. The process involves zero waste . This dive into sustainable footwear isn’t new territory for the company who partnered with Parley for the Oceans, in 2015 to introduce a footwear concept with an upper made entirely of yarns and filaments that were reclaimed and recycled from plastic waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets in the ocean. Adidas has made recycling materials a common business practice. In 2019, they plan to manufacture 11 million shoes that contain recycled plastic collected from beaches on remote islands and coastal communities. In fact, the company has looked to the future for some time and is currently working towards a goal of using only recycled polyester for every possible application by 2024. Under a current beta program, Adidas is sending shoes to participants in several major markets who will use the shoes and provide feedback. The company will use that feedback to create the final version of the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP, due to hit the market in 2021. “FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is our first running shoe that is made to be remade. It is a statement of our intent to take responsibility for the entire life of our product; proof that we can build high-performance running shoes that you don’t have to throw away,” said Eric Liedtke. + Adidas Images via Adidas

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Adidas continues drive toward sustainable manufacturing with FUTURECRAFT.LOOP performance shoe

Get serious about climate change with this board game

April 30, 2019 by  
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For years, concerned environmentalists have been warning decision-makers to stop playing around and get serious about climate change . But for California’s Marin County, the game might be the only way to getting people and lawmakers into taking climate change seriously. Game of Floods, the board game developed by Marin County, is intended for students and urban planners to introduce players to the complexities of climate adaptation in a fun and engaging way. Marin County is located within the San Francisco Bay Area and although it is one of the country’s wealthiest counties, the threats of sea level rise and climate change are still insurmountable. According to  City Labs,  the rapidly rising sea level threatens to flood billions of dollars worth of roads, homes and businesses within 8 miles of Marin’s shoreline in the next 15 years. This imminent threat includes 10 to 20 percent of the county’s buildings and thousands of residents. The Marin Community Development Agency created an interactive board game to educate planners, community organizations and citizens about the seriousness of climate change and flooding, and the difficulties of reaching a collaborative solution. City Lab’s Laura Bliss calls the Settlers of Catan-style game, “a choose-your-own-hazard-mitigation romp created by a team of local public works engineers and planners.” How to play ‘Game of Floods’ The goal of the game is to develop a vision for the year 2050 on the fictional Marin Island, which represents conditions that apply to counties throughout the Bay Area. Four to six players select community assets to protect, which range from hospitals, to roads, farms, electric plants and bird colonies. The players then move through flooding and sea-level rise scenarios, select different adaptation strategies and defend their choices. Players are forced to consider a multitude of benefits, trade-offs and consequences for each choice, which inevitably sparks debate between the players. Each strategy is analyzed for its environmental impacts, social consequences and price tag. The ultimate objective of the game is to hear each player’s strategy reach a group consensus of the best vision for 2050. Who can play? Due to its widespread popularity, anyone can purchase the game from the County of Marin for $50 , which offsets the cost of its printing and production. The game is intended to educate students, community groups, residents, planners, professional networks and to spark citizen engagement regarding climate change throughout the area. Related: Global warming will melt over 1/3 of the Himalayan ice cap by 2100 Five fast facts on flooding Tragically, carbon emissions are already at an irreversible level that is causing glaciers to melt into the ocean and increase sea level. The media has shown the devastating impacts on arctic species such as polar bears, but what does sea level rise mean for people throughout the world? Here are some alarming facts from the  Mother Nature Network to get your attention: 1. Every inch of sea-level rise equals 50 to 100 inches of beach loss. Think of the ocean as a massive bowl. Every drop of water added into the bowl brings the water level higher up the sloped sides. These sides represent beaches, coastal roads, wetlands and shorelines around the world. 2. The number of days with coastal flooding in the U.S. has more than doubled since the 1980s . A study by Climate Central analyzed the increase in flood days in coastal cities and estimated the percent of that increase that is directly related to human causes. The report found the number of flood days more than doubled in many cities and attributed more than 60 percent of that increase to “unnatural” sea level rise in every city. 3. Up to 216 million people will live below sea level by 2100. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 300 to 650 million people live on land that will be below sea level by 2100, according to current trends in flooding. 4. Sea-level rise contaminates drinking water. When the level of the sea rises, salt water can enter fresh ground water and aquifers. This is called salt water intrusion. Although municipalities can process the salt out of the water, this procedure is complex, costly and requires significant infrastructure to create a desalination plant. 5. Coastal flooding will cost major cities $1 trillion every year if they do not take drastic steps to adapt. Without preventive measures, cities and their residents will have to pay for costly damage to infrastructure, including buildings, roads and utilities. Game of Floods originally launched in 2015, but the County of Marin has released updated editions due to its popularity.  The game  won many awards , including the American Planning Association’s National Planning Achievement Award and California Award of Excellence, a California State Association of Counties Merit Award and a Marin County Innovation Recognition Award. Representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) use the game for their staff and outreach activities. “It all boils down to getting a conversation started about a very important topic,” Roberta Rewers of the American Planning Association told CityLab . “It visualizes what could happen in a community, and it gets people thinking about how choices have impacts.” + Marin County Images via County of Marin

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8 sustainability podcasts to listen to this Earth Day

April 22, 2019 by  
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Give your daily commute a boost by subscribing to an eco-friendly podcast. Not only do these podcasts make your drive pass by a little faster, but they will also keep you informed on the latest trends in sustainability — just in time for Earth Day . Here is a quick list of the best sustainability podcasts for your morning drive. Sustainable Jungle This podcast tackles current and future problems in the environmental realm. The hosts of the podcast, Lyall and Joy, tour the planet to discuss big issues with some of the world’s leaders in conservation, tackling issues like plastic waste , climate change and overconsumption, to name a few. Although the people they meet are focusing on different areas of conservation, they are all working together to build a better world. Organic Healthy Life This podcast is led by Nancy Addison and focuses on healthy eating. In each episode, Addison dives into recipes that are tailored to benefit the entire body and mind. According to Player FM , Addison’s clients have experienced substantial improvements to their health by following her advice. This includes weight loss and improved medical conditions. Related: 6 fun, meaningful ways to celebrate Earth Day! Addison is the author of several award-winning books, including Raising Healthy Children ; Lose Weight, Get Healthy And Never Have To Go On A Diet Again ; and How To Be A Healthy Vegetarian . The Minimalists Starring Ryan and Josh, The Minimalists podcast examines sustainability through a slightly different lens. Being minimalists, the pair often talk about how they live a more fulfilled life by decreasing what they own. They also discuss their impact on the environment and how modern living affects Earth’s delicate ecosystem . Ryan and Josh frequently take questions from the audience and offer an inside look at what it really means to be a minimalist. My Ocean The My Ocean podcast interviews leaders in the conservation community whose main focus is on preserving the ocean. This podcast will undoubtedly leave you inspired about the good in people while offering an interesting look at some of the problems facing our oceans today. If you are looking for feel-good stories about people making positive impacts on the oceans, this podcast is definitely for you. The Adaptors This podcast is for listeners who are looking for interesting twists on sustainability. The Adaptors frequently introduces ideas that are hypothetical and bordering on ridiculous, but they still make you think about sustainability in a different way. One of the common questions on the show is how environmentalists would adapt to some of the most damaging effects of climate change . Although the answers are sometimes outlandish, they are often inspirational. Warm Regards Warms Regards may be one of the most passionate podcasts on this list. The hosts often interview journalists and climate scientists who are dedicated to their work in a way most of us could only dream of being. The podcast focuses on climate change and the effects of global warming . This includes exploring ideas on how to deal with global warming and what might happen in the future if proper steps are not taken to deal with the issue. Direct Current Direct Current will appeal to those looking for environmental discussions with elements of comedy. The main topic on Direct Current is electricity and the many ways humans generate and use energy around the world. The discussions often feature human elements and explore new trends in technology that are driving the renewable energy revolution. Fast-paced and always fascinating, this podcast is perfect for those looking to solve old problems in unique and inventive ways. Hippie Haven Hippie Haven releases an episode every Wednesday, and each one is sure to teach you something new about sustainable living. Led by host Callee, this podcast interviews ordinary people who follow  eco-friendly lives . The guests typically offer real-world solutions while telling people how they can get involved in the environmental community. Related: These sustainable headphones are making a debut just in time for Earth Day The topics on Hippie Haven are diverse and include anything from becoming a vegan to building a tiny home . The topics change each week, so you never know where the conversation might take you. Being a long-time activist and small business owner, Callee also brings plenty of experience to the table and is never afraid to discuss even the most controversial of issues. Mountain And Prairie Mountain and Prairie could definitely be your next favorite podcast. Ed Roberson hosts the show and talks with a myriad of guests from the American West. The topics tend to focus on issues that ranchers and hunters face, but they always come back to conservation. Even if you are not an expert on the environment, you will find the discussions on this sustainability podcast both significant and illuminating. Via Player FM , 1 Million Women and The Basic Goods Images via Pexels , Kaboom Pics , Matthieu A , Tomasz Gaw?owski  and  Photo Mix Company

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A guide to the different types of plastic

April 18, 2019 by  
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BPA, PET, HDPE. You’re trying to do the right thing by recycling, following health alerts and shopping wisely, but you’re not fluent in molecular chemistry. So how do you decipher exactly what it all means and how to stay green? We’re here to help with a handy guide on different types of plastic and how they impact the planet and your health. Fast facts about our plastic problem According to Earth Day , here are some stats that give you an idea of the scale of our plastic addiction. • Since its invention in the 1950s, over 9 billion tons of plastic have been produced. • Ninety-one percent of all plastics are not recycled, meaning almost all plastic ever produced is piled up in our landfills and oceans . • Americans use 100 billion plastic bags every year. If you tie all these bags together, they reach around the Earth 773 times. • By 2050, there will be more pounds of plastic in the ocean than fish. • There are more microplastics in the ocean than stars in the Milk Way. What are microplastics? Keep reading! Types of plastic: what the terms mean, where you find them and how they impact health Courtesy of National Geographic and  Waste4Change , below are terms commonly used by manufacturers and health advisers. Additives Additives are chemicals added to plastic to enhance certain qualities. For example, they might make the material stronger, more flexible, fire-resistant or UV inhibitive. Depending on what is added to the plastic, these substances can be toxic to your health. Biodegradable This term means that a material can break down into natural substances through decomposition within a reasonable amount of time. Plastic does not biodegrade , so the term is misleading and still means that the substance may leave toxic residue behind. In fact, some states are now banning this term in relation to plastic. Bioplastic Bioplastic is a broad term for all types of plastic, including both petroleum and biological-based products. It does not mean that a plastic is non-toxic, made from safe or natural sources or non-fossil-fuel-based. This term can be misleading, because many consumers assume “bio” means natural and therefore healthy. Related: Shellworks upcycled leftover lobster shells into biodegradable bioplastics Bisphenol-A (BPA) BPA is a toxic industrial chemical that can be found in plastic containers and in the coating of cans, among other uses. It can leach into foods and liquids. BPA-free products have merely replaced the substance with less-toxic bisphenol-S or bisphenol-F, both of which still pose health concerns. Compostable This term means something can break down or degrade into natural materials within a composting system, typically through decomposition by microorganisms. Some new plastics are labeled as compostable; however, this certification mostly requires industrial composting systems, not your garden compost pile. Compostable plastics do not leave behind toxic residue after they decompose, but they must be separated out for industrial composting and not put in recycle or landfill bins. Some major cities like New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Minneapolis have industrial composting programs, but many do not. Ghost nets/fishing gear Approximately 640,000 tons of fishing gear are abandoned, lost or discarded in the ocean every year. Most of this equipment is made from plastic, including nets, buoys, traps and lines, and all of it endangers marine life . Related: Ghost gear is haunting our oceans High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) HDPE is thick plastic used in bags, containers and bottles. It is safer and more stable that other plastics for food and drinks and can be recycled . Microplastics Microplastics are particles less than 5 millimeters long. There are two types: Primary: resin pellets melted down to make plastic or microbeads used in cosmetics and soaps Secondary : particles that result from larger pieces of plastic (such as fabrics and bottles) breaking down into millions of tiny particles that can enter air and water Ocean garbage patches Specific ocean currents carry litter thousands of miles and cause it to collect in certain areas known as garbage patches . The largest patch in the world spans a million square miles of ocean and is mostly made up of plastics. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET, PETE) Polyethylene terephthalate is a widely used plastic that is clear, strong and lightweight. It does not wrinkle and is typically used in food containers and fabrics. It is the most likely to be recycled, but it is a known carcinogen, meaning it can be absorbed into liquids over time and cause cancer . Polypropylene (PP) PP is stiffer and more heat-resistant than other types of plastic. It is often used for hot food containers, diapers, sanitary pads and car parts. It is safer than PVC and PET but still linked to asthma and hormone issues. Polystyrene (Styrofoam) Typically used in food containers and helmets, this material does not recycle well and can leach styrene that is toxic for the brain and nervous system. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) PVC is considered the most hazardous plastic, because it can leach chemicals like BPA, lead, mercury and cadmium that may cause cancer and disrupt hormones. It is often used in toys, cling wrap, detergent bottles, pipes and medical tubes. It usually has to be recycled into separate and more rare recycling programs. Single-use plastic Single-use plastic is designed to be used only once and then disposed of, such as grocery bags and packaging. Environmentalists encourage reducing your single-use plastic consumption, because after their short lifespan, these plastics pile up and pollute the Earth for centuries. Via National Geographic ,  Earth Day , Waste4Change and The Dodo Images via Shutterstock

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A guide to the different types of plastic

Boa Mistura turns 52 fishing boats into art to bring awareness to the plight of the parrotfish

April 16, 2019 by  
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Inspired by the natural design and shapes of the tropical parrotfish, these previously-rusty old boats now don bright new exteriors. The venture was another in a long line of community projects aimed to create “art as a tool for change” organized by the Madrid-based art collective Boa Mistura . The Pepillo Salcedo village in the Dominican Republic has limited access to electricity and running water, and fishing is an essential facet of the economy and life. Boa Mistura, known for inspiring neighborhoods with its artwork, incorporated the community into the endeavor. With the help of local fishermen and their families, 52 fishing boats were sanded down, removed of mollusks, repaired with fiberglass and painted with primer to prepare them for their colorful transformations. The fishermen of Pepillo Salcedo took to the project enthusiastically, some paddling for hours to reach Los Coquitos Beach, where their boats were to be painted. Related: Old fisherman’s shack is reimagined as a dreamy eco retreat The utilization of the parrotfish conception was a mindful decision, as the animal holds a special significance in the tropical Caribbean region. The parrotfish feed off algae that collect onto the coral reefs , contributing to the cleanliness and therefore survival of the vital coral. What’s more, when the parrotfish eat the algae, it allows for the coral polyps (the soft, tiny organisms that help to form the structure of reefs) to become more resilient to other stressors, such as pollution or global warming. The fish feeds off of the coral itself as well, which is then turned into sand through the parrotfish’s digestive system and the animal’s tough teeth — some of the strongest teeth in the ocean , according to scientists. It is a fragile balance and relationship that benefits both the fish and the reef. A single parrotfish can produce hundreds of pounds worth of white sand in a single year, which means a substantial portion of the Caribbean beaches is made of parrotfish poop. Though the parrotfish is a protected species, intense illegal fishing has caused a devastating deterioration in both the fish population and the delicate harmony of the ecosystem. Needless to say, if the parrotfish numbers continue to decline, the region’s iconic white sand beaches and the colorful coral reefs will be in big trouble . The entire project took about four weeks, and now the 52 yolas (the local term for these traditional fishing boats) that cruise the Bay of Manzanillo serve as a reminder for the respect and mindfulness required for the survival of the Caribbean parrotfish, white sand beaches and coral reefs. + Boa Mistura Images via Boa Mistura

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