This year TOGETHER we celebrate the 50th anniversary of #EarthDay

While some of us aren’t able to visit our favorite beach or outdoor venue right now, we can celebrate the Earth and all its majesty from right where we are. These treasured places will be there when this storm blows over, and for now in some places the air is cleaner, the water is clearer, and animals have more room to roam freely in their natural habitat. In celebration of Earth Day, we wanted to share some information from our friends at Surfrider on how we can reduce our impact on the places we all love and want to protect, year-round. Happy Earth Day!

In Your Home

To make your home more Ocean Friendly, consider making some small adjustments to the way you purchase household items. For instance:

For many products, you can visit your local refill shop and fill up a glass bottle with hand, body or dish soap. If there isn’t a refill shop near you, you can always buy in bulk to reduce the overall amount of plastic packaging used. Or, try switching to bar soap and explore some of the great options available at grocery stores or from local artisans. COVID-19 Note: many stores may still be closed right now but still offer online sales so you can have your favorite zero-waste products shipped directly to you.

Ditch single-use plastic zip bags and try Stasher Bags, mason jars, or any kind of reusable tupperware. We like Stashers because they’re made with food-grade silicone and zip closed to prevent leaks or spills, and come in a variety of sizes. Pro tip: these are great for taking to the beach to store electronics, cosmetics, or anything else you want to keep sand-free and dry!

Switch up your laundry routine to be more ocean friendly. Ditch chemical-laden dryer sheets and try reusable wool dryer balls or DIY dryer sheets and your favorite essential oil. Consider purchasing a laundry bag that will help prevent microfibers from ending up in our waterways.

Plastic Pollution and Reusables in the Age of the Pandemic

Keep in mind, single-use plastic bags are still not the most viable option even during quarantine measures. A recent study found that the viable COVID-19 virus lasts longer on polypropylene plastic and stainless steel surfaces (up to three days), than on copper and cardboard surfaces (roughly four and 24 hours, respectively). Therefore, it is important to be cautious and try to limit the amount of packaging and single-use plastic that is entering your home.

For this reason, reusables are still a safe, preferred, and sustainable option when proper precautions are taken. It’s a good idea to wash your reusable bags by hand or laundry in hot water. If reusable bags are not currently allowed in stores where you live, consider asking for your purchased items to be placed back in your cart so you can bag them yourself in your reusable bag outside the store. Similarly, water and beverage refill stations are safe to continue using (where allowed), as long as the proper precautions are taken – avoid letting your reusable water bottle or cup come in contact with the spigot, and be sure to sanitize your hands after touching any communal surfaces such as refill buttons.