Eight million tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year. Eight million tons of OUR plastic products. Let that sink in. The number is so large that it can make the problem seem unfathomable or out of reach— like it doesn't affect us directly or like we couldn't possibly help clean up a mess that big.
But if you've ever seen a defenseless sea creature trapped in plastic six-pack rings that a capable human failed to recycle or at least cut apart, or if your catnap in the beachy breeze has ever been disturbed by the feeling of flying garbage rolling over your bare legs, you've been touched by this problem in at least one, small moment.
The reality is that plastic pollution in the oceans is a constant issue and, although you can't solve this problem on your own or in one attempt, you absolutely can make a significant impact. In addition to being conscious of your own behaviors, you can be conscious of your spending habits.
There are so many companies to buy your apparel, accessories, etc. from that use their platform and profits to work toward beach, ocean and marine life conservation. If this is a cause that interests you, spend here and you'll be helping to keep your happy place happy:
1. Sand Cloud
Purchase a summer accessory and have 10 percent of the profits put toward marine life conservation. Become an ambassador and received 50 percent off your first purchase, then on ongoing 15 percent off products in exchange for your promotion of a great cause! (Use my code MORGAN585 to receive 15 percent off.) #SaveTheFishies #SandCloud
This company has pledged to pull a pound of garbage from our oceans and coastlines everytime someone purchases a 4Ocean bracelet, made from recovered and recycled materials. In addition to the offshore cleanups the company's staff members complete themselves, they host onshore cleanups that welcome volunteers. Through these efforts, they've recovered 629,942 pounds of trash to-date. #4Ocean #4Whales
You may not have known that Whole Foods frequently holds and participates in events for this cause. The company's involvement includes donations to the Marine Conservation Institute and its current year-long commitment with the Nature Conservancy to promote the importance of a healthy planet. #WholeFoods #Foods4Thought
20 percent of the company's net profits from its clothing and beachy accessories are donated to the FAU Marine Research Lab at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center and the center's nonprofit to benefit sea turtle conservation. #SaveTheSeaTurtles #DevotedToTheOcean #DevoceanCo
TOMS' Animal Initiative works in combination with the company's well-known One for One campaign to raise awareness and support for global animal protection and the fight against cruel and unsustainable fishing practices. Purchase from TOMS' Oceana Collection of limited edition vegan shoes to spread the word about Oceana, the world's largest ocean conservation organization. #SaveTheWhales #TOMS #Oceana
Like 4Ocean, this company will remove a pound of trash from our waterways for every product purchased and uses sustainable materials to create each product. To-date, the company has removed 1,073,905 pounds of trash. #BlueMovement #UBB
7. Norton Point
This company offers sustainable sunglasses made from plastic recovered from our oceans and plant-based material. Five percent of net profits are donated to research, education, and efforts to solve plastic pollution in our oceans. #FindYourPoint #SeaPlasticDifferently
Believe it or not, the REPREVE fabric Consurfvation uses to make its t-shirts is made from 100 percent recycled plastic water bottles. The company evenly distributes a dollar from each purchase between Waves 4 Water, Project Save Our Surf, Santa Monica Bay Keepers, 5 Gyres, and the Gulf of Mexico Foundation. #Consurfvation #DontTrashWhereYouSplash
This company makes a point to package in 100 percent recyclables and donate 50 percent of net profits toward conservation and sustainability efforts. 50 PERCENT! Although all contributions are not ocean-specific, many of its efforts and blog posts focus on our oceans. #HappyEarth #ClothesForConservation
If you surf, skate or ski, consider buying from this company. Surfdome works with Martin Dorey to encourage beachgoers to do a quick clean up of their surrounding area and then pass the challenge along through a post using the hashtag #2MinuteBeachClean. The company also funds research trips all around the world for ocean-minded explorers, documentarians and photojournalists through its program #ThePlasticProject.
This seaweed-based, skincare company, created by Senior Communications Officer for the Break Free From Plastic global movement Shilpi Chhotray, collaborates with the Blue Business Council, Marine Mammal Center, and 5 Gyres to encourage and create research and development that will benefit our oceans and coastlines.