Microplastics: Small yet dangerous

Day 33 – In general, plastic is not good for the environment. But even worse, is when plastic breaks down into very small pieces. Not only are marine animals ingesting these microplastics, but humans are consuming them as well.

National Geographic describes microplastics as the following:

Picture compliments of National Geographic

There are two categories of microplastics: primary and secondary. Primary microplastics are tiny particles designed for commercial use, such as cosmetics, as well as microfibers shed from clothing and other textiles, such as fishing nets. Secondarymicroplastics are particles that result from the breakdown of larger plastic items, such as water bottles. This breakdown is caused by exposure to environmental factors, mainly the sun’s radiation and ocean waves.

Microplastics have been detected in marine organisms from plankton to whales, in commercial seafood, and even in drinking water. Alarmingly, standard water treatment facilities cannot remove all traces of microplastics. To further complicate matters, microplastics in the ocean can bind with other harmful chemicals before being ingested by marine organisms. – National Geographic

It’s still unclear if microplastics are harmful to humans, but if I had to guess they are not beneficial. I do not need a study to tell me that I should not be ingesting or breathing in microplastics.

What can we do to help?

  1. Try to avoid single use plastic.
  2. Avoid using products with microbeads. Microbeads are small pieces of plastic added to some health and beauty products, such as toothpastes and facial scrubs.
  3. Avoid synthetic fibers. If not, check out the following: Microfiber Laundry Ball, Mesh Bag, or lint filter system. The only thing I have are the mesh bags, so I can not give any reviews for the other options.
  4. Air dry your clothes when possible.
  5. Stay informed.

So, on this World Wetlands Day, let’s try to make a conscience effort to keep the microplastics out of the water we drink and the air we breathe.

Tomorrow, a new purchase that will prevent me from buying another Ziploc bag.

Earth911: A newsletter that helps you help the planet

Day 31Earth911 has an abundance of useful information for those looking to make changes or those wanting to continue to live a life of sustainability. If you’re looking for a recycling location, Earth911 can help. If you’re looking for suggestions on how to recycle, Earth911 can help. If you’re looking for ways to make better purchases that will not harm the planet, but can actually help it, Earth 911 can help.

The Earth911 newsletter has been invaluable when it comes to providing useful information. I have found numerous helpful articles.

Send Your Pill Bottles to Do Some Good – Now that I take a daily allergy medicine, there is no doubt that the prescription bottles will start piling up. I now have a place where I can send them and help others!

Recycling Mystery: Kitchen Sponges and Scouring Pads – This article gave me suggestions on what to use instead of popular kitchen sponge, which isn’t easily recyclable and they add to the microplastic problem endangering our waterways.

How to Recycle Your Old Cookware – The Earth911 articles give helpful tips on how you can divert countless household items from the landfill.

If you’re looking for another resource to help guide you on your journey to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, then be sure to signup for the Earth911 newsletter (found on their homepage).

Tomorrow, taking up a collection for the troops.