As my semester is coming to a close and this company officially launches, I wanted to reflect on the changes I have made in my life thus far. I will admit I did struggle being a hyperactive college student. There were times where I “had no other choice” but to use that plastic straw or buy that plastic water bottle.
I finally noticed that my plastic usage was rather absurd and my friends plastic usage for that matter as well. I never paid attention to it until one day I opened the door to my car and 20 water bottles fell out of my car, now probably 90% of it was from my friends, but still, it blew my mind that as a human race we have consumed ourselves in plastic.
As per tradition in my family I took all my friends on spring break to the Bahamas, specifically, I took them to The Abaco Islands. There’s a well-known secret amid Marsh Harbor Island, Pete’s Pub is this cool islandy bar that will give you that perfect Jimmy Buffet feeling.
You can check out their website, there isn’t much about Pete but if you ever find yourself at their bar be sure to ask for him and tell him Hannah Patten sent you! “Pete is a master Artist, talented Chef, and renowned host. His escapades in the tropics have earned him the nickname of Pirate Pete. Known for his prolific work as a naturalist and sculptor of marine wildlife, Mr. Johnston is recognized as a master craftsman and is one of the most celebrated Bahamian artists. His artwork is owned by patrons and collectors around the world.” You can see some of his work in places like the Vatican and my living room.
My friends were eager beavers who don’t sleep in so we showed up to the bar a solid 40 minutes before it opened. I suggested that we go to the beach and take photos on Instagram. As we approached the beach, I noticed that there was an abundance of litter lining the entrance to the beach. It looked like a storm had just blown through and devastated the beach. So in typical Hannah fashion, I convinced my friends to spend about an hour cleaning up the beach. The ladies at the bar gave us trash bags, and I think we could have probably filled twenty trash bags if we spend all day cleaning up.
After that I knew we had a problem; there was a babies shoe- not two just one. I found toothbrushes, flip-flops, bottle caps, cigarette butts, fishing net, and so much random plastic. It was everywhere, embedded in the rocks and fishing net buried in the sand.
As much as that day changed my perspective on things I think it altered my friends perspective on things as well. I noticed them changing their habits, they asked the bartenders to reuse the plastic cups they had, they asked for paper straws over plastic ones, and they even asked if they could use reusable tumblers to avoid using plastic altogether.
I know that I have tried had to avoid single-use plastics but I think it is time I take the next step and take my eco-living lifestyle to the next level. I have cut a lot of single-use plastic out of my life, but it is time to think about things like dish soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc.
Plastic is an epidemic, and the plastic we used is going to be around on this planet for quite some time to come. I think that it’s vital that we find ways, like Hulya, to repurpose the plastic and rubbish but I think that it is even more essential for us to reduce our plastic consumption in total. If we want the plastic problem to stop, it’s as simple as stop using it.
It seems that there are hundreds of eco brands out there but what are the best ones and the most affordable for that matter. I plan to explore these different brands and report back to you guys. I believe that the only way to convince other people to change is to change yourself. So I am ready to set off on this crazy journey.