• Lizzie Shutt

Let's Be Real, Not Plastic...

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

Trending right now, #PlasticFreeJuly is a great reminder to not only protect our external environment, but also our internal from the synthetic substance we call plastic. Plastic is everywhere in this day and age— drinking water, seafood, beer, soil, sea salt— and it is not breaking down anytime soon— we’re talking nearly never. Even as a conscious consumer, I struggle at the grocery store debating between buying organic veggies wrapped in plastic or conventional non-organic veggies plastic-free.


Mass plastic usage is a result of short-term human thinking. Take plastic bottles, for example: they are easy to grab-n-go for the day and even easier to throw out and forget about. Convenience is choking our oceans and us. Media often portrays the oceans as suffering from straws and plastic bags, but the smaller, yet equally dangerous products that you can’t really see are getting into the ecosystem and food chain. Microplastics are ingested by corals, clams, muscles, plankton, and small fish, which are all low on the food chain. Marine mammals, birds, and larger fish eat the lower organisms, which results in a high bioaccumulation of plastics in their system. Humans may also absorb plastic toxins from consuming seafood.



Even if you aren’t eating seafood, plastic can still disrupt your inner ecosystem. All stages of plastic’s infinite life contribute to severe effects on human health. Starting with extracting fossil fuels to manufacturing chemicals, plastic workers are put at risk from the cancer-causing compounds and other toxins released during production. From the factory and into your hands, plastic products of all kinds have the potential to release toxins into your body. Plastic food containers when heated in microwaves can leak chemicals into your food. But, there’s good news for you: there are many alternatives to everyday plastic products. Just like switching from plasticware to glass or stainless steel food storage containers, these small changes can help you reduce your risk of exposure to these toxins, as well as promote an industry change in production. #BeTheChange


Swap Convenience for Consciousness: Tips for reducing plastic

  • Eating Out: Leave a set of reusable utensils in your backpack or purse (I use ToGo Ware bamboo set)

  • Reusable Water Bottle: I don’t leave home without mine (There are so many styles from having insulation to built-in filters)

  • Shopping Bags: Up-cycle bags to use for groceries, retail shopping, and to share with a friend that forget theirs! (I leave a bunch in my car or at my front door)

  • Hygiene: Bamboo toothbrushes, metal razors, and soap bars are great alternatives to plastic and tend to be free of harmful chemicals. LUSH has a variety of great smelling hair and facial products that are zero waste and vegan. (I struggle with having greasy hair but I just bought a lavender shampoo bar from LUSH and it works like magic on me!)

  • Kitchen: Invest in reusable wrap for leftovers, glass or stainless steel food storage containers

For daily inspiration check out the #UNLITTER movement: at first a word used jokingly to encourage others to clean up beaches soon exploded to promote unlittering all aspects of your life! I am personally involved with this group and we are always looking to collaborate or provide you with the tools to start your own group in your hometown/school. Check out the website https://www.unlitter.org/ and Find us on social: instagram @unlitter - email unlitterofficial@gmail.com - Facebook Unlitter


The #UNLITTER booth in Wynwood, Miami during Art Basel.

Recently my two worlds collided— environmental advocation and spiritual practice— when I had the pleasure of meeting environmental scientist, water engineer, and plastic expert Marissa Jablonski at a spiritual retreat in Miami. Her upbeat motivating personality is paired with her passion for environmental education. Follow her on instagram @marrissajablonski to stay up-to-date with alternatives to everyday plastic!


Let’s Be Real, Not Plastic….


Live Dirty, Eat Clean & Green,


Lizzie Shutt

@livewliz

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