This past week, I was in Currituck, North Carolina, with my family for spring break. While some families have their traditions and ways of travel - my parents and I enjoy visiting nature centers, hiking, and learning about the culture and environment of the place we are visiting. The Outer Banks is a place we visit quite often and we've done just about every attraction there is so this time we decided to just relax on the beach.

While my mom was picking up shells, I noticed a plastic bag in the dunes, which I picked up and carried with me. As I looked around, it took less than 15 minutes to pick up six pounds of trash in the short distance I walked. It wasn't hard either. This got me thinking about how much is really in the ocean and on our natural preserved lands and what we could do to help.

Here is how:

1. Text "Ocean" to 497-67 for the 7 Day Plastic-Free Challenge

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This will give you updates on ways to stop using plastic as well as educational facts and new ideas.

2. Stop using plastic straws

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This one is super easy to follow, whether it is with a metal reusable straw or with a paper one!

3. Stop using plastic bags

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Did you know that Target has giant reusable bags for only a $1 ?!?!?! I get a new one every time I go.

4. Stop using plastic water bottles

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Plus you can make your reusable water bottle look super cute with stickers.

5. Pack up your things in reusable containers

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Instead of plastic wrap, try putting it in a box or container that can be reused again once it has been washed out.

6. When out, dispose of it properly

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When you are out, it is very easy to just dump it on the side of the road, but DON'T! That just makes it so much worse! If you can recycle as well. I didn't grow up looking at recycle labels but now I try to remember to recycle as much as possible but I still make mistakes - the most important thing is that it is throw away in a container where it can't escape and end up on the side of the road.

7. Pick up and pack away the plastic

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Taking a stroll? Try picking up all the trash you see. You will probably need a bucket because once you start it is hard to stop.

This is a very easy process and honestly makes you feel better in the end. It saves you in the long run - literally, the less plastic you use, the less likely are your chances of cancer or the world dying sooner.