The Last Straw Campaign Event:
Did you know that over 500 million plastic straws are used daily worldwide? This is an average of 1.6 straws per person. Straws are made from natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, and coal which cannot be replaced once depleted. Join us on Saturday, April 14th from 11 am – 1 pm at Ever’man Educational Center, 350 W Garden Street to learn how you can join us in the battle to eliminate the negative impacts of straws on our environment.
What we are up to:
Our outreach and education campaign addresses plastic use and consumption, impacts to the environment, marine species, and public health. To keep up to date on events, visit and like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/earthethics
Here are 10 small things you can do to make a big difference!!
1. Bring your own cloth bag to the grocery store (or any store!).
Each year over one trillion plastic bags are used worldwide. Because these bags are so light and thin, they are easily carried by the wind out into the environment. Instead, use reusable bags to get your groceries and other purchases home. Preferably, use ones made of cotton. Some of the cheap one that you get at the grocery store contain plastic – and they aren’t usually as durable.
2. Kick the bottle – Stop using single-use plastic water bottles.
Buy and use a reusable bottle and fill with water. Opt for tap in restaurants.
3. Ditch the straws!
They’re unnecessary plastic. At a restaurant, tell your server that you don’t want a straw. At coffee shops, bring your own reusable cup for your iced coffee. If you really like using straws, you can buy ones made of glass or stainless steel. They also make paper straws and you could compost them when done.
4. Pack your own lunch for work or school.
Green your lunch with reusable drinking bottles, reusable sandwich bags, and snack containers. Just say no to soda bottles and prepackaged snacks in plastic baggies! Use a reusable cloth bag or old-fashioned steel lunch box to carry your lunch to work or school.
5, Reusable containers are rad!
When it comes to lunch and leftovers, ditch the plastic bag and use reusable containers instead. Reusable containers are just as easy to use and far less harmful to the planet. Store all your food in glass containers. If you purchase something bottled in glass, clean it and reuse it!
6. Rethink the drink!
We all know that reusable water bottles are the way to go, but what about other types of beverages? Bring your own reusable steel or ceramic beverage container with soda (from Sodastream), juices, or coffee!
7. Whenever possible, buy food in bulk.
Buying food in bulk helps to reduce the total amount of packaging materials consumed. Many markets offer things like nuts, cereal, granola, in bulk. Just remember BYOBag!
8. Don’t buy plastic-wrapped produce.
I know, sometimes when you’re in a rush it’s easier to just grab a package of 3 bell peppers…but it’s unnecessary plastic. Bring your reusable produce bag and pick out your produce.
9. Recycle or Reuse Materials.
In those instance where you must us plastic, please make sure to recycle or reuse it.
10. Avoid products that use plastic to begin with.
Plastic is made from petroleum today hence it is so ubiquitous. Plastic is convenient, but most of the cheaper grades (the clear stuff) find its way into our food, often leaving a film or anything that is wrapped in it and which we then eat. Microwaving anything in plastic cooks plastic residues right into the food, vaporizing the food and other chemicals that contaminate air. (preventdisease.com)
Let’s all do our part to take care of the environment and ourselves!
In the News –
David Attenborough Urges World to Cut Plastics to Save Our Oceans – December 2017
World’s Plastic Nightmare May Never End as China’s Demand Set to Soar – December 2017
Boston City Council Approves Plastic Bag Ban – December 2017
Ban Plastic Bags
With the legislative session well underway, I am writing to encourage the residents and representatives of Northwest Florida to support HB93/S162 in order to give local governments the ability to protect their communities from the harmful impact of single-use plastics.
HB93/S162 would allow municipalities with populations under 100,000 to create a pilot program to regulate or ban disposable plastics. As I am sure you are aware, Florida lawmakers passed a bill in 2008 forbidding local governments from making their own policies regarding single-use plastics until the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) could create recommendations and those recommendations are adopted by the Legislature. The DEP made recommendations to discourage the use of single-use plastics, but the Legislature still has not adopted it.
There is a great deal of scientifically based information regarding the damage caused to wildlife and the environment by the plastic pollution. Our economy relies so much on tourism and ecotourism, the impacts of plastic pollution has been shown to have an adverse impact on this industry.
We urge you not only to support the current legislation, but we ask that local municipalities draft a resolution in support of HB93/S162. To date, over 25 communities in Florida have drafted and signed resolutions to this effect, including Pensacola.
– Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director, Earth Ethics and Earth Action, March 29, 2017
Legislature should act on bags bill
As a resident of Pensacola, I wanted to write to PNJ to encourage residents and representatives of Northwest Florida to support House Bill 93 and Senate Bill 162, which would allow municipalities with populations under 100,000 to create a pilot program to regulate or ban disposable plastics.
In 2008, a bill in Florida was passed forbidding local governments from making their own policies regarding single-use plastics until the DEP could create recommendations, and those recommendations were adopted by the Legislature. The DEP made recommendations to discourage the use of single-use plastics, but the Legislature still has not adopted them. So, at this point, even if every single voter in Escambia County voted on a plan to reduce the use of single-use plastics, we would not be able to put that plan into action as we wait on the Florida Legislature to do what they said they would do.
The Pensacola City council has already drafted a resolution in support of this bill. I urge everyone to contact their representatives at the state levels in support of HB93/S162. Let’s bring the authority to regulate our environment and economy back to the local level in Florida.
— Elizabeth MacWhinnie, Pensacola, Earth Ethics Inc. Board Member, April 2, 2017
Too much plastic
Everywhere we look, there’s plastic. It has infiltrated our lives in one way or another, medical equipment, laptops, cars, cookware, etc. It’s made life easier and we have become so accustomed to the presence of plastic that it is difficult to envision life without it. But we need to. I’m not talking about the use of plastic where it’s a proven benefit. I’m talking about single use plastic (bags and bottles), plastic cookware, plastic covering fruits and vegetables. Places where plastics is not needed. Plastics that have proven to be harmful to the environment and public.
We need to minimize the use of some plastics and eliminate the use of others. We need to ensure that the manufacturing of plastics is not adversely impacting the environment and public health. We can start by not using plastic bottles and plastic bags. Use canvas bags and reusable water containers instead.
We can work together to eliminate the use of plastics. Hawaii passed a plastic bag ban so have Portland, Oregon, and Chicago. St. Augustine, FL is currently working on a volunteer plastic bag ban, other cities have implemented plastic bag user fees. Let’s be part of the plastic purge!
— Mary Gutierrez, Pensacola, August 2016