Last June, after reading about how plastic refuse is polluting the Pacific Ocean, I published a post about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  According to one news source, the patch is more than twice the size of Texas (three times the size of France). Much of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is attributed to plastic water bottles. At that time, I discovered I was using over a thousand plastic water bottles a year. Just me, a thousand plastic water bottles a year! Wanting to help do something to lessen the amount of plastic going into the Pacific Ocean, I challenged myself to stop using single-use plastic water bottles. I realize this is just one small effort compared to the millions of water bottles floating in the Pacific Ocean, but I needed to start somewhere.

I bought an inexpensive Brita Water Filtration System and started using a reusable water bottle. I am happy to report, I can count less than 10 instances when I used or did not reuse a single-use plastic water bottle.

On the local level, in an effort to minimize plastics ending up in the ocean, many restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula have replaced plastic straws with environmentally friendly paper straws and have replaced single-use carryout bags with recycled paper bags.

On the other end of the spectrum, when reading information put out by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, (see link below) I learned many of our beauty products (think exfoliation) contain microbeads, made from plastic. When we rinse these microbeads off our faces they end up in the ocean causing more pollution.

This Earth Day, I’m recommitting to using reusable water bottles or reusing single-use water bottles. I’m committed to refusing plastic straws in restaurants and using reusable flatware instead of plastic utensils. (confused?) I’m also going to change out any of my beauty products that use plastic microbeads. I believe I have found my volunteering niche and starting next week I’ll be looking into a place to volunteer my services in an effort to contribute to this cause.

I hope you’ll click on the link below to see what you can do to help save our oceans.

To see images of our Great Pacific Garbage Patch and learn its effects on the Pacific Ocean and the beautiful creatures that live in and around it, open the link below. These photos speak for themselves.

Please help keep the Pacific Ocean clean.


Ho’okipa Beach Maui, Hawaii

For more on Brita Water Filtration Systems visit

Smiles are contagious; let’s start an epidemic   -Laura Smith-

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Smile of the Week

10 thoughts on “EARTH DAY

  1. Laura, this is a very worthwhile goal. We North Americans generate far too much plastic garbage. As more and more of us refuse to use bottled water and products that include micro beads, the results will add up. Another thing that I do is bring reusable bags to the grocery store. If I do end up with plastic bags, I reuse them at least once.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog post today.



    • Hello Jude
      Thanks for the encouragement. We also use reusable bags at the grocery store. It took me awhile to remember to bring them into the store with me, but I’ve finally gotten that down. I just leave them in the car. Now, I just have to remember to take them with me if I am using my husbands car for shopping and not my own.


  2. Hi, Laura – Thank you for this wonderful post and reminder. I am militant about not accepting plastic bags (even if I have to awkwardly juggle groceries in my arms and small purse)! 🙂 Reflecting honestly, I have definitely slipped when accepting plastic water bottles. I’m back on it….now!


    • Hi
      Here in Monterey County, we are required to bring reusable bags to the grocery store. It took a little getting used to, but it makes a huge difference. I’m actually still working on my family in regard to plastic water bottles. They’ve got the recycle thing down pretty good. So on to the next.


  3. I also use only refillable water bottles and continue to be horrified at the number of single-use water bottles sold and used every day. I used to use a hand soap that had those micro beads in it (it didn’t occur to me that they were plastic until I read about it) but no longer. It’s hard to imagine that one person can make much of a difference, but if a lot of us pledge to do what we can, I think the impact could be profound.


  4. Great and important post. Thank you. When I’m in a cafe drinking bottled water, if I don’t see a recycle bin in the restaurant, I’ll actually drive the empty water bottle home and put it in my own recycle bin. Needless to say, I have a lot of empty water bottles in the back seat of my car.


  5. Good for you, Laura. I wish more people would realize the damage they cause to Mother Nature and take action. It’s all easy for me, since I NEVER use plastic water bottles (we have our own stainless steel bottles) or make-up. we have re-usable bags and cardboard boxes to shop. I’m careful with resources, respect nature, and leave a small footprint. We’ll probably never do as well as when we lived on our sailboat (using solar panels and a wind generator for power, collecting rain water for our tanks, having a filter to make it potable, and using our sails to get places, rarely using our engines), but we effortlessly do our best now as well. It is part of our genes. 🙂


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