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Pop quiz!  Let’s see if you are up on your geography…Can you answer the following question correctly?

When venturing westward from the coast of California, the next landmass you will encounter is:

A-Hawaii, B-Japan, C-Papua New Guinea or D-Great Pacific Garbage Patch

While I would LOVE to give you a big gold star for correctly guessing “A”, unfortunately the actual answer is “D-Great Pacific Garbage Patch”.  However, instead of a gold star, I shall offer you a silver lining…keep reading and we’ll find it together.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is approximately 500 nautical miles off of the California coast.   It is largely a “plastic island”, held together by currents, and spans the length of the north pacific almost as far as Japan (pic here).  It is made up of 7 billion pounds of plastic garbage and growing, measuring twice the size of Texas.  These plastics take anywhere from 500-1000 years to degrade.  As these plastics breakdown in the ocean, they threaten ocean creatures and seabirds who are harmed due to entanglement, ingestion, etc.   Even plastics in their smallest form are often mistaken for plankton, and therefore fish ingest them and are subject to health issues as a result.  These same fish end up on our dinner plate and guess who is now also ingesting harmful plastics? Another important reminder for us as humans: Everything is Cyclical, What goes around comes around, We are all INTERCONNECTED.  So, how do we stop the negative cycle?  We address the first part of this equation, PLASTICS.

Here’s a great video you should watch (digging this catchy tune):

Obviously we can carry our reusable bags when shopping.  We can also recycle pretty much anything, especially our plastic bags & bottles.  Some recycling centers don’t accept plastic bags since they are more difficult for their machinery to break down, but many grocery stores are now offering this service if you bring in your bags.

Use your own stainless steel water bottle!  (Find out which water bottle you should have in your cabinet in an upcoming HHK post.)

Another great way, is to minimize use of plastic baggies.  Hip & Healthy Kids is proud to offer you access to Lunchskins reusable sandwich bags, snack bags, & sub bags.  These products were created by 3 moms, who understood the best way to pack a kid’s lunch was to do it the eco-friendly way!  These fun, dishwasher safe bags come in many patterns, all sewed by hand in the US.  They are BPA, lead and phthalate free.  Lunchskins has saved more than 120 million plastic baggies from landfills (and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch :)).  Not only do these bags reduce waste, but with their countless uses, they save you money too.  Scroll down to pick out the designs you like and place your order.

So let’s teach our children how to be socially responsible and care for the world around them.  It will really only be theirs to enjoy (and pass on to future generations), if we as parents do something about it!

Send an email to hipandhealthykids@gmail.com to place your order for the cool products below:

References:

http://www.cleanair.org/Waste/wasteFacts.html
http://earth911.com/news/2010/06/21/recycling-to-go-plastics/
http://streetknowledge.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/scientists-find-plastic-garbage-barge-twice-the-size-of-us-in-pacific-ocean
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch
http://www.zmescience.com/science/oceanography/just-in-case-you-didnt-know-theres-a-garbage-island-twice-as-big-as-france-in-the-pacific-ocean/
http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/patch.html#4
http://www.lunchskins.com
http://www.reuseit.com/learn-more/top-facts/impact-on-oceans
http://www.savemyoceans.com/plastics.php

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