To kick off the first month of Empowered Mathematics being in business, I’ve chosen the charity for June 2018 to be something that affects the world as a whole. As someone who loves nature and cares deeply about environmental issues, I have designated Plastic Oceans as the first charity of the month.
This organization encourages people to rethink how often they use single-use plastic since these products cause a massive pollution of Earth's water sources. As stated on their website:
"The problem of plastic pollution is growing exponentially every year; we are producing more than 300 million tons of plastic, half of this is designed for single use, and each year around 8 million tons of it ends up in our oceans."
Plastic Oceans raises awareness about plastic pollution and encourages people to take the initiative to stop the exponentially increasing amount of waste going into our oceans and landfills. In addition to providing information and resources on their website, they filmed a documentary titled A Plastic Ocean which addresses these issues. Donations to this organization go towards producing new film and other digital media, providing translated versions of these resources, and educating the public about plastic pollution. Plastic Oceans has also created an entrepreneurship program to bring together individuals who strive to develop innovations, work with corporations, and influence others to solve this problem.
One way that we as individuals can combat plastic pollution is to avoid single-use plastic and other "disposable" items. Here are some strategies that I personally use:
When we buy things, we want the product – not the packaging. With items like shampoo bottles, plastic soap dispensers, and deodorant sticks, we discard or recycle the containers as soon as the product runs out. Other items such as plastic grocery bags, straws, and single-use cups are only used for a few minutes before they’re headed to the landfill. Why waste these unnecessary materials when all we want is the product itself?
Much of this wasteful packaging is made for the sake of convenience, but it can be hard to see how much society's desire for convenience is damaging the environment. It would be beneficial if individuals introduced methods into their daily routine to cut back on waste, even if it seems a little inconvenient at first. Imagine how many materials can be saved each year by following these steps every day!