Lose the Plastic
ISSUE: Summer 2011
DEPT: Mind and Body
STORY: Anna M. Park
Angela Sun is a plastic guru, and not in the surgical way. An active environmentalist, the host of Yahoo! Sports Minute and co- host for NBC’s 1st Look is all about healthy, clean living. “I collected all the plastic I used in a week and within three days had enough to fill a huge bag of trash,” she says. Sun went to an even bigger dump to film her documentary Plastic Paradise — what’s known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Midway Atoll of the Pacific Ocean.
“The best way to care about the environment is to get outdoors,” says Sun. “When you see what’s happening to the planet, we start to care more.” And living an eco-friendly lifestyle is not as hard as it seems, she adds. Here, Sun gives some simple tips on how we can help our planet.
- Ask for a “for here” cup at the coffee shop if you are staying there. Many chains just put it directly in a “to-go” cup even though most people have their drink there.
- Refuse single-use disposable plastics. Bring your own bag, cup, cutlery, even straws. Some cool businesses are making great reusable products, like Chico Bag (chicobag.com), where founder Andy Keller not only creates cool reusable bags that are compact enough to carry in your pocket, he doubles as the Bag Monster (bagmonster.com), educating kids to say “no” to the plastic bag. And use glass straws (glassdharma.com) at your next party — disposable straws are estimated to make up 33 percent of beach litter!
- Look for things made with post-con- sumer recycled plastic. The recycling of plastic is confusing because there are so many types of plastic — just because it has three arrows doesn’t mean anything. So one easy way to make sure you’re sup- porting post-consumer recycled plastic is by supporting companies that do, like Patagonia (patagonia.com), which uses recycled polyester for their garments, and Earthbound Farms (ebfarm.com), which uses 100 percent post-consumer plastic for their salad containers.
- Buy products free of phthalates (makeup, shampoo) and other chemicals.
- Go organic and local. It cuts down on plastic consumption, supports local farmers, and the less toxins the better!
Join a community for change. Take the REFUSE pledge at plasticpollution- coalition.org.
Find out more here.
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