Actions of sustainability can be accomplished every day. Throughout the month of July we can “Choose to refuse” single-use plastic. Plastic Free July is a global campaign that aims for people to reduce or eliminate single-use plastic waste. Plastic is a material that can last for hundreds of years, and with so many household items and packaging made of plastic, plastic pollution is a major threat to our oceans and communities. Single-use plastic is convenient and flexible in its use, and that is why it is so very challenging to eliminate completely. That’s why movements like Plastic Free July are important. Plastic Free July provides resources and tips to help you go plastic free. You can start small, reduce your single-use plastic waste or strive to go plastic-free completely for one month. They provide ideas on a variety of challenges that you can carry on year round, such as the Plastic Free School Challenge or Plastic Free Morning Tea. Even if you are unsuccessful in going completely plastic free, striving to complete a challenge means you are at least reducing your use of plastic and being thoughtful about what you purchase and consume. Being mindful of the materials we use and how they impact the environment is a big step forward in being sustainable. As it is stated on the Plastic Free July homepage, “You making a small change will collectively make a massive difference to our communities.”
Another step towards sustainability that you can take is research. Learn about how plastic waste is not only sitting in landfills but also breaking down and finding its way into the oceans. Plastic pollution in our oceans is deeply problematic. One recent article from Science magazine that highlights this issue is “Research on Ocean Plastic Surging, UN Report Finds” by Tania Rabesandratana. Another interesting article about plastic pollution in our oceans is “The Final Destination: Plastic in the Open Oceans” by Tiani Christian, in the Spring 2020 issue of Journal of Student Research at IU East (JSRIUE).
For further research into plastic pollution or other areas of sustainability, the IU East Campus Library subscribes to select databases that focus on environmental studies, such as GreenFILE and Agricultural & Environmental Science Collection. Need help with your research? Just Ask Us! firstname.lastname@example.org or click this button:
If you are looking to get more involved with sustainability efforts here on campus, the IU East Sustainability Council is always looking for new members, especially students. You can reach out to Beth South at email@example.com for more information.