Curious about how to best celebrate #WorldOceansDay? Use expert-approved tips for keeping both the ocean and eating clean.
From food packaging to food waste, what we eat impacts the world’s oceans. The United Nations has even declared plastic pollution of the oceans “a planetary crisis.” How do we strike the balance between keeping foods safe and shelf-stable while also keeping aquatic life and environmental health in mind?
The good news is there are many opportunities to reduce toxic byproducts as a producer or consumer. When it comes to nutrition companies and eating habits, small shifts can make a big difference over time. Choose one way today to make a ripple of change happen in your community.
Read on for five wonderful ways that dietitians, consumers, and nutrition companies can celebrate #WorldOceansDay.
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, which may provide me a small commission for each sale. This allows me to keep providing helpful resources (such as this post). All opinions expressed are my own.
1. Give Single-Use Packaging a Second Life
Most packaging for food is designed to be single-use. Some packaging is reused, composted, or recycled, but most of it ends up as waste.
One way to make a difference is to give your single-use packaging a second life. Almost every type of packaging manufacturing results in greenhouse gas, air emissions, or other types of pollution.
Finding another way to use materials instead of having them end up as waste means less pollution due to manufacturing and less waste products affecting the environment and wildlife.
Items like pickle or spaghetti sauce jars can easily be reused. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I have a love for clear packaging. Read about ideas for reusing clear packages in my article 5 Clear Solutions for Sustainability.
2.Try Integrating Reusable Items into Your Day
Paper straws, reusable or cloth grocery bags, and repurposed bags or containers can help make a difference each day. Think of your daily habits and how they might be contributing to pollution.
For example, if you use straws each day, consider switching to paper straws or a reusable metal straw.
3. Decline Disposable Items When Possible
Many food companies are now offering the option to decline disposable items. If ordering food or having a party, avoid plastic cutlery, cups, or plates when possible. Opt for items you can recycle or items that are made from recycled materials.
4. Switch Your Straws & Sippable Items
Plastic straws and bottles pose one of the biggest threats when it comes to packaging pollution. They can quite literally outlast their users by staying around for hundreds of years.
Businesses can help by simply asking customers if they need disposable items. This gives customers a chance to decline instead of increasing the amount of waste with unused items at the end of a meal.
Some eco-friendly alternatives to paper and plastic include:
Stainless steel straws
Straw straws (been around since the 1800s!)
No straws -- the most sustainable option of all!
Metal, compostable, or reusable containers can make a world of difference as well. I love the custom name water bottle from Inchbug. It’s made from stainless steel and is reusable and able to be personalized! It’s great for personal use or as a gift, too.
5. Eat More Whole Foods
Less packaged food means less need for packaging! Whole produce, such as seasonal or farmers market fruits and vegetables, require little to no packaging. Fresh options also require less transportation-related pollution.
Takeout and delivery foods also require a lot of packaging. Dine in when it is a possible option, and even better -- cook, can, or grow your own food at home!
Anni’s Favorite Ocean-Friendly Affiliates
I’m an affiliate for several brands that value sustainability. In fact, for many entrepreneurs, finding innovative solutions that save the planet is what fuels them to create better products for a better world.
Here are three incredible companies I love that aim to make a difference.
Inchbug was created so you could “reuse it over and over” -- with lots of kid-friendly items, Inchbug makes life easier and more sustainable with simple, reusable products.
Sun & Swell
If plastic-free packaging and health foods had a baby, it would be Sun & Swell. This incredible company aims to get plastic-free, compostable pantry staples straight to your door. Organic and easy-to-love, they have over 700 five star reviews.
Spend $100 and get a $20 gift card with code “GIFTCARD20”.
Hive Brands has a motto: “Sustainable Grocery Shopping Made Easy” -- and they really do make it easy! With no memberships and fees, they promise great products in each box. They use a “Hive Five” criteria to make sure everything is up to standard:
Low Carbon Footprint
Committed to Social Good
Get free shipping on your first order of $25 or more with code “HIVEFS”.
Other Anni-Approved Brands
It helps to have expert-recommended brands when you don’t know where to start! You can visit all of my affiliate brands by clicking here.
The Final Word on World Oceans Day
You don’t have to wait for a conservation-centered holiday to have an impact on the ocean. Start today by making small but significant swaps to healthier, more sustainable ways of living! Look for brands that make a difference in the way they manufacture and process -- your drop in the ocean can create a ripple of change, in your community and beyond.
GRACE Communications Foundation. The Environmental Impact of Food Packaging. Foodprint.org. Accessed June 2021.
Harveston K. Convenient and Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Coffee Pods. Greentumble.com. Published June 20, 2018.
Koonin A. Are Paper Straws Really Better for the Environment? Rubicon.com. Published November 7, 2018.