• Stephanie Joy

PSA: Eliminating Single Use Plastics & Save our Planet!

Updated: Jul 12, 2018

We are a throw away society and it's really beginning to sink in as to how much single use plastic is polluting our wonderful, beautiful planet. We need to do our part...I'm committed, are you?

First off, I want to say I am not this huge environmental crusader who is "anti-everything". I eat meat, I don't drive a hybrid, I used disposable diapers with my daughter, I use power generated by Florida Power and Light, not solar and I'm probably just like about 80% of the rest of the United States population in my behaviors. The thing is, that as I've gotten older, as the internet has made me more aware of what is going on with our planet, I realize that I've been so completely ignorant, but I am a product of my environment. The United States is a throwaway country of convenience and we aren't seeing or just not caring about what we are doing to our land, our rivers, our streams, our lakes and our oceans....and that has to change.

By making simple changes in our lives we can help to eliminate sights like these:

I'm sure some of you are saying that "The Joys of Travel" is a blog about my family travel, not an environmental soapbox to preach to the masses. However, travel and our environment go hand in hand. When we were on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, the amount of discarded trash, fishing netting and lines, plastic bags and empty plastic or broken glass bottles just tossed out along the side of the roads or on the beaches was an environmental nightmare. It is such a beautiful island, with the potential for so much more tourism, but when you get off the beaten path and away from a tourist area, much of what we saw was a real crap hole, to be honest. It was sad and depressing because not only was the lack of care affecting my views as a tourist, deciding I would never return, how was what we were seeing impacting the wildlife of the area?

According to the World Economic Forum, n 2017, the United States wasn't even in the top 10 for countries that recycle, with the top 10 being: Germany, Austria, South Korea, Wales, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, the netherlands, Slovenia and Singapore. Sweden recycles 99% of their garbage, but since a majority of the trash is burned to generate power, it was not counted as true recycling, which is why they weren't in the top 10. They actually import other countries garbage to recycle and use for fuel!

Recently, in one of the Facebook groups that I'm in for Norwegian Cruise Lines, there was discussion about the decision by most major cruise lines to do away with plastic straws, something that for the most part elicited cheers en masse from the cruising public. However there were the ignorant clods out there who complained so loud, you would think the world was ending or that the lack of plastic straws would forever impact the amount of fun they would have on their cruise!

"It's not like we are throwing our garbage overboard!" and "I need a straw with my frozen Miami Vice!"

I guess they don't realize how much BLOWS overboard when their too lazy butt gets up from that deckside table and they leave behind their glass (plastic) with the little cocktail straw in it and it blows away. INTO THE OCEAN.

And then this is what happens:

That is why we need to change. You don't need a plastic straw with your Half Decaf-Double Mochaccino Frappe each morning. Even Starbucks agrees with that. Just announced today, "Starbucks plans to replace single-use plastic straws with alternatives like recyclable, strawless lids, or, in the case of a particular drink, straws made from either paper or compostable plastic":


You CAN do you part. Purchase and USE reusable straws that you can buy on Amazon.com these can be brought with you on vacation, they are inexpensive, easily cleaned (they even come with the little brushes) and although it might take a little getting used to, you WOULD be making a difference!!! Click on the links below to check them out!!!

You can be the change. The turtles will thank you!!!

About the Joy Family

We're not a normal family. In fact, we're downright goofy, with just a touch of nerdy (well, maybe a lot of nerdy at times)...but we're fun, we care very much for one another and we LOVE to travel.

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