What is the Council Action of the Month?
These are simple actions that you can take to improve Tennessee's environment, communities and public health. The actions may range from a change in a personal habit to calling your legislator.
July 2019 Action of the Month: Participate in Plastic Free July
It's no secret that plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to the environment both here in Tennessee and worldwide. Improper disposal of plastic and the lack of proper recycling for many forms of plastic leads to plastic waste invading our environment from the highest mountaintops to the deepest depths of the ocean. Unfortunately, this plastic waste not only kills many animals who mistake it for food but it never truly goes away. It just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes microplastic. Last fall a study was released that showed that the Tennessee River is among the most plastic polluted in the world. Even humans are ingesting microplastics in our drinking water and in our food.
As a result, there have been a lot of campaigns aimed at discouraging and eliminating the use of single-use plastics. So for our July Action of the Month, we are challenging you to take part in the international campaign Plastic Free July by giving up at least 1 single-use plastic product this month -- and hopefully forever.
There is no excuse for single-use! So what single-use plastic product will you give up this month?
Here are the low hanging fruits of single-use plastic:
- bottled water (It's mostly just filtered tap-water anyway so get a reusable metal or glass bottle and bottle your own tap-water.)
- plastic grocery shopping bags (Put them by your front door and in the front seat of your car so you remember to use them.)
- plastic straws (Take a reusable straw with you or opt for no straw.)
- cotton swabs (Make sure to choose paper sticks, not plastic.)
- pre-cut fruits & veggies wrapped in plastic (Buy fruits & veggies whole and cut them yourself.)
- plastic wrap (Use Bee's Wrap or recyclable aluminum foil instead.)
- plastic storage baggies (Use reusable containers please.)
- produce bags (Use reusable cotton produce bags & store them inside of your grocery bags by the front door.)
- plastic utensils (Bring a set of metal or bamboo flatware with you. You can put it in the same pouch as your straw.)
- avoid chewing gum that contains plastic (Look for one of these brands instead.)
- disposable plastic lighters (Use matches in paper books.)
- liquid soap (Use bars of soap without palm oil.)
- plastic toothbrushes (Use a bamboo one instead.)
- plastic disposable razors (Use a bamboo or metal razor with changeable head.)
- plastic kitchen utensils (Use bamboo, metal or wood instead.)
- plastic-based sponges (Use plant-based instead.)
- yoga mat (Look for a cork yoga mat.)
- clothing containing synthetic fibers (Make sure to read the label, look for 100% cotton, hemp, silk, wool, linen, bamboo or any combination of natural fibers.)
November 2018 Council Action of the Month | Prevent microfibers from getting into the Tennessee River!