Every time you make a purchase, you have a choice to support companies doing great things for the world (and its health), or to support companies doing some not-so-great things.
And sure, when you purchase from eco-friendly companies, sometimes you end up spending a little more, but most of the time you end up feeling empowered and proud. How amazing would it feel to walk around in a vest you know is made from recycled ocean plastic?! Straight environmentalist status if you ask us.
It can sometimes be tricky to hunt down these companies, so we've made it a little easier for you by doing some of the research for you. Check out our favorite eco-friendly companies that are actually pulling plastic from the oceans to make some must-hve products.
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You've probably heard that our oceans are chock full of plastic straws. While yes, the ocean's got tons of trash and micro-plastic in it, it turns out that straws make up only about 0.025% of all the ocean plastic.
So where is all that other plastic coming from? Well, the majority of it is called Ghost Gear (dun, dun, dun).
Sounds scary right? There’s a reason for that! Ghost gear includes fishing nets, lines, and equipment that is no longer in use. But just because it's no longer in possession of a person, doesn’t mean it stops fishing. These nets still continue to capture wildlife well after they are retired. In fact, 46 percent of ocean plastic comes from fishing nets! These companies understand the importance of removing this ghost gear from the oceans and are reusing it to make some really awesome products!
#1: Stop consuming seafood
Commercial fishing tactic destroys around 4 billion acres of sea forest each year. Not only are habitats and animals destroyed, but this creates dead zones that contain no oxygen and can be deadly and toxic. Not to mention all of the fish being caught, along with the bycatch (unintentional catches that are killed and dumped.
Some pescatarians argue that fish are the most humane animal to kill, but unfortunately, the whole “fish don’t feel pain” myth is false, as fish have a central nervous system that includes pain receptors.
In addition, the emptying of our oceans has destroyed the “lungs of our planet” (Oceans are responsible for 85 percent of the air we breathe and absorb 400 percent more oxygen than the Amazon). So all in all, if you want to save the planet, your first move would be to ditch meat, dairy and I’m sorry, but seafood as well.
Lucky, there are plenty of plant-based seafood alternatives, like the MamaSezz Tuna "ish" Salad, made from sustainably-farmed Maine sea kelp.
#2: Buy from organizations doing great things
Check out these incredible organizations that are reusing these ghost nets and making them into something great. Not only can you feel good about supporting such amazing companies, but you can feel proud wearing your clothes that are literally saving the planet, one fishing net at a time. Check them out:
This company helps other companies to be more eco friendly. One of their programs works to pull plastics out of the ocean so companies can use it to create containers from their products. Currently they help a few big name brands like Herbal Essences.
Image from www.girlfriend.com
This athletic clothes brand makes women’s workout outfits, and although most of their clothes are made with recycled water bottles, their new LITE line is made with recycled ocean plastic.
Starting in 1993, Patagonia started making their fleece out of recycled bottles. (Talk about ahead of the curve!)
Since then, they've continued in their eco-friendly mission and they are now starting to team up with Bureo to use discarded fishing nets (which again, make up most of ocean plastic) into hat brims and jackets.
Image from www.bureo.com
Speaking of Bureo, this manufacturer pulls fishing nets out of the coast of Chili and repurposes them into sunglasses and skateboards. They also help other big companies make on-brand items made from ghost nets.
Image from www.unitedbyblue.com
This clothing manufacturer has pulled more than 1.5 million pounds of trash from the ocean. Wow! They create totes, shorts, and rain shells. They started the “We Quit” program, removing all single-use plastic from their supply chain. Including their own brand, United By Blue helps other brands to create sustainable, recycled products. They also lead beach cleanups that are open to the public. Sign up today!
Image from www.methodhome.com
This biodegradable soap company uses a bottle made from recycled ocean plastic.
Image from www.4ocean.com
You probably know 4Ocean for their bracelets that became popular over half a decade ago. Since then, they have pulled more than 4 million pounds of trash from the oceans and created a wide product line. They also produce reusable water bottles from ocean trash. The company was inspired after the co-founders witnessed pounds of ghost nets polluting the oceans.
Want to eat for the planet?
MamaSezz has partnered with Nil Zacharias to create Eat for the Planet Bundle, filled with ready-made plant-based meals that are good for your body and the planet.
"We need a radical change in the way we produce, distribute, and consume food if we want to avert an ecological crisis have a thriving human population on earth by the year 2050. This is the chance to eat delicious, low-fat meals that taste great without all the effort of making them yourself!"
And don't forget...MamaSezz recycles for you! Just use the provided custom return label to send back all of our trash and recyclables and we will take care of the rest. Hopefully, other meal delivery services will follow suite!
- Save the planet by reducing your seafood intake, and supporting companies working to remove ocean plastic from the environment.
- There are plenty of companies out there doing good, so take the extra time to choose them over your typical brands!
Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.