Keeping Our Oceans Clean: 3 Things To Stop Throwing Away


Before I became a mom I worked in the animal world.  I got my degree in Marine Biology and soon after college I found myself working with marine wildlife. I got used to seeing all the pollution that these poor animals run into. I’m sad to say it, but we are the reason that these things end up in our oceans. With a little more thought from all of us we can start to change how much plastic and other stuff ends up in our oceans.                                           


I know, I know, kids love them and they are the easy party decoration out there. They also provide plenty of summer fun when its hot and kids can have a water balloon fight. But they are very harmful to marine life once they make their way to the sea. Plastics biodegrade very slowly and if they make their way into the water,  marine animals can mistake these for food and swallow them. This study found that 1 in 3 sea turtles have eaten marine plastic. So skip the balloons this summer and opt for a more environmentally friendly decoration. Try paper streamers, colorful paper banner, or even a piñata to liven up a party.

Plastic Straws

If you have kiddos then you probably have a stash of plastic straws in your house. Or when you head to your local restaurant or coffee shop you put one in your drink without even thinking about it. These straws are often not recycled, end up in a landfill, and can then sadly end up in our oceans. Our own local Blue Ocean Society started the “Skip the Straw Project” and you can learn more about it here. So if you love to drink out of a straw (I get it) start thinking about alternatives. Paper, compostable, or reusable straws can be a good thing to keep on hand with kids around. Also think about investing in a reusable cup or water bottle with a reusable straw already in it. 

Single Use Plastic

This brings me to the biggest problem – single use plastic. So much of what we buy in the store and wrap our own food in is in plastic that we will only use once. Plastic Ocean is streaming on Netflix right now and it’s seriously eye-opening how much plastic is floating in the ocean. We can greatly impact what we waste by doing a few things…

Ditch the plastic wrap and plastic bags to store and cover food with.

There are great options out there for reusable items. Using Tupperware {preferably glass!) or reusable bags like these for snacks, lunches, and leftovers can be a big step in how much plastic gets thrown away. There are also many reusable options for plastic wrap to keep food fresh. Check out these local sources for beeswax wraps – Bee’s Wrap and Sunlit Lupine Designs.

Reusable water bottle and coffee mug

Investing in a reusable water bottle and/or coffee mug for you and your kids can save the use of all those plastic water bottles, cups and straws. My favorite company for all of the above is Klean Kanteen. They have water bottles, coffee mugs, reusable straws, and even baby bottles! Even something as simple as purchasing a glass mason jar {can find them at almost any store and so affordable!} to bring on the go can cut your plastic use by alot.


If you aren’t already recycling, take some time to research the recycling resources in your area. It can seem daunting to sort recycling and maybe even drop it off {depends on the town} but start small. Maybe just focus on recycling plastics at first and then take on more. Get your family involved, sorting recycling can be a great project for your kiddos!




  1. Great article with excellent suggestions that are simple to implement.
    We all need to be more conscious of what we’re putting into the waste stream. Each one of us can make a difference!

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