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We live in a culture of convenience, and who doesn’t love convenience? But some of our habits are adding up to big problems for our environment. Check out these staggering statistics:

– 8 million tons of plastic trash lingers in our oceans.
– 6 million tons of single-use plastics are discarded every year.
– Only 6% of plastic waste is actually recycled annually in the US.
– Plastic utensils can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
– In the US, we throw out enough paper and plastic cups and plastic utensils every year to circle the equator 300 times.
– To-go containers are often made out of expanded polystyrene foam. This material cannot be recycled, releases methane gases that harm our environment, and may have cancer-causing chemicals that leech into our water and food.
– Almost 5 trillion plastic bags are thrown out annually in the US.
– A plastic bag is used for an average of only 12 minutes.
– Only 1% of plastic bags in the US are recycled every year.

So what can we do to help lessen the burden that we’re putting on our planet?
1. Bring wooden or metal utensils with you instead of using plastic, and keep a set at the office.
2. Cook at home or share a meal to lessen the need for styrofoam to-go containers.
3. Ask for aluminum foil instead of a styrofoam container – it can be recycled or reused when clean.
4. Bring reusable cloth bags with you when shopping.

What change can you make this week?

(source: Edible Magazine)