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“A Plastic Ocean” + some plastic free tips & tricks

Summer is nearing an end and the month of August really brings the heat. I am sure many of you are enjoying your time outside, but with the sun beating down and the sweat dripping, you are doing your best to stay hydrated. The convenience of the modern world is tempting and I am fairly certain that at least a portion your daily hydration comes from a plastic bottle. Whether it be bottled water, iced tea, or gatorade, they all come packed in plastic. My dad said recently, “I think plastic has got to be on the list of ‘top five WORST things humanity has ever invented.” I can’t help but agree.
Earlier this year, whiled cooped up inside my New York City dorm room during one of two blizzards, I watched a documentary called “A Plastic Ocean,” on, you guessed it, Netflix. Circling back to what I said earlier (about consuming a percentage, however small, of our daily hydration from a plastic container), “A Plastic Ocean” forces you to confront the reality that our planet is becoming more plastic than plant. And it plants a seed in your mind, encouraging you to acknowledge all of the possible places that your plastic container might end up: Inside the stomach of a fish, bird, or whale, washed up on the beaches of communities that lack the means to ‘dispose’ of such waste, in a landfill, or at the bottom of the ocean. The reality is, you cannot simply “throw away” plastic. There is no away- just somewhere else. More than half of the plastic produced is NOT recycled. There are countless plastic bags floating around in the wind all over the world, micro-plastics dominate the oceans, and common items like bottles and tooth-brushes are collecting in landfills and on ocean floors.
Plastic (more importantly, our dependency on it) is a BIG problem— one that requires a little bit of effort, some out-the-box thinking, and new life-style choices. Which is why I have decided to supplement this film feature post with a few simple tips / ideas to help you reduce your plastic consumption: 

  1.  Carry your own re-useable utensils: Buying a set of re-usable, bamboo utensils was one of the best purchasing decisions I have ever made. The set I bought came with a fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks all neatly wrapped in two cloth napkins/towels ( https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_7_14?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bamboo+utensils+to+go&sprefix=bamboo+utensil%2Caps%2C607&crid=18SNI665XICCJ ). Although I do recommend buying one of these bamboo sets, it’s not entirely necessary. A small hand-towel, a rubber band, and a few utensils from your kitchen would do just fine as well. I prefer the bamboo because it is much lighter than your typical silverware. 
  2. Invest in some re-usable straws: I recommend glass or stainless steel. I just recently found a set of stainless steel straws on Amazon that comes with two different sizes & a cleaning utensil. Having a set at home is nice, plus it would be easy to throw an extra straw into your utensil kit! I carry mine with me everywhere I go. You might not think you use plastic utensils and straws very often, or even think they have that great of an impact on the planet, but trust me, they do. The plastic straw you are sipping from right now could be the death of another sea turtle next week ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MPHbpmP6_I ). So use your own straw with your next iced latte and your own spoon for your next summer-time snow cone. 
  3. Bring your own bags to the grocery store or market: I know you have heard this one before, so I am going to take it one step further. The grocery store isn’t the only place you can #byob (bring your own bag), the drug store, the mall, the gas station, restaurants, the list goes on!! I always keep one of those fold-up re-useable bags in my purse or backpack, but make sure to grab extra bags when I go to the farmer’s market or the grocery store. 
  4. Shop in bulk! : The bulk bins are the missed gem of nearly every grocery store. I buy all of my nuts, most seeds, dried fruit and grains from the bulk bins at my local Whole Foods or Sprouts. I fill up my own drawstring bags with nuts and use Stasher bags for small items like chia seeds or oats. ( https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=produce+bags+&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aproduce+bags+
  5. Keep a re-useable water-bottle & coffee cup handy: I never leave the house without a full bottle of water. I am fortunate to have several different bottles that are each suited for different occasions, but brands like Swell, Happy Human Life, and Hydro Flask all offer a variety of high-quality insulated bottles that are perfect for water, tea, coffee, smoothies, or whatever you desire! 
  6. Buy less packaged foods: Think about all of the packed food you buy. How many of them are wrapped in plastic?? Pretty much all of them right? Every jar of peanut butter, bag of popcorn, cup of yogurt, granola bar, box of cereal, bag of trail mix, carton of milk or eggs, and package of meat all come in some form of packaging, most of which contain plastic. Carving out a little bit of time each week to prepare your own food will save YOU a lot of unnecessary sugar, salt, and calories and will save the planet a lot of waste! I am not trying to push a zero waste lifestyle onto anyone because, lets be honest, taking a huge leap like that is likely to fail. Start small by buying whole fruits and vegetables instead of the pre-washed and cut ones that come in plastic tubs. Buy nut butters that come in glass jars instead of plastic. Make your own trail mix by utilizing the bulk bins. Just cutting out animal products in general will not only drastically cut down on the amount of packaging you consume but will also save you lots of mullah at the checkout. 
  7. (this one’s for the ladies) Use cardboard tampons: Periods, ew - touchy subject, but very important. There are more women on the planet than men (GRL PWR) and most of those women menstruate once a month. Ladies, think about how many tampons you go through in a single period … now multiply that by the billions of women on this planet. That’s a lot of little plastic tubes finding their way into landfills across the globe. Cardboard tampons, unlike plastic, decompose MUCH faster.
  8. Rethink your toothbrush: Most plastic has a life span that reaches far beyond the humans that used it. Most people replace their toothbrush every few months. But once you toss that little plastic stick into the waste basket it ends up laying in a landfill or floating through the oceans for years after only being used for a few months. Luckily, just like tampons, there is a more environmentally friendly alternative: bamboo or wooden toothbrushes. Returning nature to nature. What a concept ;) ( https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bamboo+toothbrush+ )
  9. Make conscious purchases: Adopting this rule will help you adapt to all of the others as well. Next time you make a purchase think first: could I make this myself? Is there a plastic free alternative? Do I have my reusable containers and / or bags with me? Do I really need a straw? Just asking yourself these simple questions will help you to become more aware of the amount of waste, particularly plastic waste, that you as an individual contribute to the world. In doing so, you will then hopefully be motivate to reduce your impact. 
  10. Make your own food : I kind of already covered this one in number 6, but making your own food wildly helps to reduce the amount of waste you produce. For example, I make my own dairy free milks by purchasing nuts and seeds from the bulk section of my local Whole Foods or Sprouts grocery stores. I also bring my own reusable bags to fill at the bulk bins. I blend up the nuts or seeds in my @vitamix blender and keep the milk in glass jugs that I purchased from @amazon. [ let me know if you guys want me to post a tutorial on how to make your own milk :) ]

I am in no way an expert on zero-waste. I am just starting out on the journey myself. I simply wanted to share some tips and methods that I have discovered so far. Give them a try and let me know what you think! Feedback is greatly appreciated. :)
The road to a greater world is one that we must all walk down together!

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New friend from twin tail creations!!

I asked for a surprise pour of a small mocha, based off the pourer’s favorite drink. It’s really pretty! So I’m happy with my surprise.

I’m curious about what this drink tastes like tbh.

Can’t wait to get my Jake sometime later in the mail!

Preview of my pieces for @galrakeithzine !!❤ Definitely one of the best zines I’ve worked on, with best people and mod. Please keep an eye out for the preorders!!! 

One corrupted file later that made me cry an entire ocean redraw one of these pieces entirely from scratch, they’re finally ready and I’m the happiest. It was a total pleasure working for Bloodline!! Thank you sooo much for having me!! ><///❤❤❤ Hope to work with you guys again in the future!

Redbubble Store☆

My latest purchases! I should be saving up, but who cares (^▽^) *irresponsible adult*

I got the “Funny” themed Karneval postcards from my friend Kotori and loved it so much that I had to get the “Adult” themed one as well… Especially because I knew it had this pic:

MY BOYS <3 There are more Yogi x Gareki postcards in this book, which I wasn’t expecting and which made me absolutely happy.

I also got Harukaze no Etranger by Kii Kanna because the art is AWESOME. And also because I liked the other story about these two.

They’re so adorable, I can’t.

Now I just need my other package containing Bloody Mary vol.6… among other things *IRRESPONSIBLE ADULT MUCH, BUT HEY, IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS*