HOW TO NAVIGATE A PLASTIC-WRAPPED WORLD by SunButter Ambassador Alice Forrest ::
In a world where our clothes are shedding tiny fibres that can cross cell barriers, our food is full of plastic pieces and chemicals, plastic is literally raining from the sky, and even our sunscreen contains teensy tiny plastic balls, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed, disempowered and depressed.
But in a world where we have reusable solutions for all the single-use items, scientists and pioneers are creating new alternatives, the internet exists (with many fellow humans striving to live plastic-free and sharing their knowledge), and Sunbutter sunscreen gives us awesome skincare, it’s also really easy to feel hope and to be part of the solution.
As a marine biologist, I’ve spent years studying the impacts of plastic on our ocean – just how much is in there, where it ends up, how much is in the fish we’re eating, and what that could mean for humans and our future. After a few years of being overwhelmed, disempowered and depressed, I realised that there was a clearly defined choice in front of me – to continue being angry, ranting, stressing about plastic and churning out more and more facts about the issue OR to focus on the many ways we can fix this mess. To choose optimism and a reusable cup, instead of despondency and cheap convenience.
The best thing all of us can do is address our own lives - what we do every day has an impact, we can choose whether that impact takes us further towards a plastic-filled ocean, or use whatever tools we have at our disposal to make a positive difference. Stopping plastic at the source is the most immediate and effective thing all of us can do. This means choosing reusable, giving your money to sustainable businesses and swapping the quick disposable mentality for one of reusing, repairing, and overall reducing our consumption. It means getting creative, starting conversations, and having a bag full of reusable cutlery (and a coffee mug... and probably also a water bottle and some bags).
It’s not all bamboo toothbrushes and beeswax wraps (although they’re a good place to start), it’s also about identifying your own skills and how you can make a difference – whether that’s through art, campaigning, sewing reusable bags, volunteering, donating or changing legislation. For me, spreading information is key, so I teamed up with inspirational underwater photographer Michaela Skovranova (@mishku) and graphic design rockstar Harriet Spark (@grumpyturtlecreative) to make an e-book to share some science and solutions, on a backdrop of breath-taking photos.
You can download our free book here, and share it around wherever you like:
We’re working on part two now – a brand new book focusing on the tiniest massive
problem of them all: microplastics. Looking forward to sharing it with you soon. In the meantime, keep up the awesome work, stay positive and focus on the things that are in your control. We’ve got this.
Thank you SunButter Ambassador, plastic solutions advocate and living legend Alice Forrest