Here are three ways I try to make a difference
Plastic never disappears. When it enters our water systems, it breaks down into tiny pieces, never to dissolve, but instead accidentally become consumed by wildlife.
More than 323 million people live in the United States. More straws than the size of our population are distributed daily.
One way I reduce plastic intake is by not using straws. I found that restaurants have stopped asking if I would like a straw with my drink and automatically bring one. They can't take it back, so I order my drinks with no straw.
Here's a group that has a campaign to Be Straw Free.
It adds up! We are empowered to make a difference and small things add up to big improvements for reducing our waste.
Download the free Sustainable Seafood Guide put out by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and order safe and sustainable options. Learn more at SeafoodWatch.org.
I used this educational App on my iPhone (available on Android). Unfortunately, I found that waiters did not know what they were serving. When I inquired what I was eating and where it came from, they either became irritated with me or lied about the food source.
I chose to make my life simpler and not eat seafood. If you're looking for a healthy option to eating meat, vegetarian menus are always a great choice.
With what I've seen as a conservation artist, I can't contribute to reducing the fish in our ocean. We are taking out too many fish, crustaceans, and mollusks for them to be able to reproduce and replace the loss.
On my quest, I saw trash in every body of water. Our trash does not disappear when it goes beneath the water. It may decompose, add metals to our water, or be swallowed by unsuspecting wildlife.
Trash on the ground also blows into water systems, travelling downstream into our oceans and lakes.
I try to collect and properly dispose of trash I find. I never dump trash and I recycle whenever possible. Sometimes, I even bring trash home so I can recycle it.
I observed cans, bottles, and cigarrette butts to be the most plentiful objects. I also support and participate in our local lake cleanup.
Jennifer Idol is author of An American Immersion and the first woman to dive all 50 states. She has been diving for more than 20 years and has more than 27 certifications. As a conservation artist, she hopes to make a difference for the world around us and inspire others to care for and love our underwater environments.