All posts filed under: Plastic Free Challenge

eXXpedition North Pacific in the Salish Sea

EXXpedition Round-up: The Science, The Sailing and The Sights

I’m back from eXXpedition! We’re still waiting on all of the samples to be confirmed by the scientists we took them for so while I can’t share any confirmed data just yet I can start sharing what we saw and did on this microplastic research voyage.  I will update this post once the data has been confirmed. Everyone keeps asking me how eXXpedition was. Which is a completely normal and appreciated question but one I’ve struggled to answer adequately. Of course it was amazing, I mean, 8 days of sailing the west coast of British Columbia and Washington is a dream. Especially when you’re in the company of 13 inspiring, funny and downright lovely women. Having said that, it was also really hard at times. The physical and mental challenges were easy to take in stride (unless you suffered from seasickness) but the emotional tax of collecting microplastics out of the ocean was draining. We did our best to stay positive, morale matters when you’re living on top of each other. The sampling was a …

5 Plastic Free Personal Care Swaps

This post is part of an on-going series about going plastic free one area of your life at a time. See the other posts here and sign-up for Nikkey’s newsletter to recieve new plastic free challenges as they come out. This challenge is inspired by her work with eXXpedition on a microplastic research voyage through the Pacific Ocean.  As Nikkey sails the Pacific Ocean I want us to talk about consumer guilt. Everyone has had it at one point. Maybe from the clothes we buy, plastic packaging we see or for the purpose of today’s topic…. Plastic in personal health care products. This was an area I’ve wanted to make changes in for some time. I tried desperately to use cloth diapers for our son. Turns out he has the most sensitive unicorn skin known to man. No washing/cream/liner combo was going to prevent terrible diaper rash. I had to give up. But waste not, want not – all the cloth diapers have been regifted as swimsuits to replace disposable swim diapers. Pads Seeing how we …

Main Beach Byron Bay

How to Use Less Plastic in Your Travel + Beach Bag

This post is part of an on-going series about going plastic free one area of your life at a time. See the other posts here and sign-up for Nikkey’s newsletter to recieve new plastic free challenges as they come out. This challenge is inspired by her work with eXXpedition on a microplastic research voyage through the Pacific Ocean.  Summer is finally here! I’m less than two weeks away from my microplastic research sailing voyage with eXXpedition which has me thinking about packing all things travel sized and sun related. I’m guessing you’ve got a trip or two coming up in your summer plans too. Whether you’re going on vacation or spending a day at the beach, you can stay safe from the sun and enjoy it all without using plastic! How great is that? Here are my suggested swaps for the essentials in your bag: Sunscreen in Plastic Bottles > Sunscreen in Tins, Tubes or Glass Jars Why: Plastic sunscreen bottles and tubes are rarely recycled because of the labour involved to clean them and non-recyclable …

Clothing Hanging on a rod

How to Use Less Plastic in Your Wardrobe

This post is part of an on-going series about going plastic free one area of your life at a time. See the other posts here and sign-up for Nikkey’s newsletter to recieve new plastic free challenges as they come out. This challenge is inspired by her work with eXXpedition on a microplastic research voyage through the Pacific Ocean.  Your wardrobe may have more plastic than you know. This wasn’t something I’d thought a lot about until I started to learn about microplastics. It turns out one of the ways we all, likely unknowingly, contribute to the problem is through our laundry. When any synthetic fabrics (think fleece, nylon, polyester etc.) go through the wash tiny plastic microfibres break off and disappearing into our waste water systems. These systems are unable to filter out these particles and they ultimately end up in the ocean. It’s estimated between 200,000 – 1,000,000 pieces can break off a single item of clothing each wash. These microfibres act as sponges and carriers, binding to all sorts of harmful chemicals like DDTs …

Plastic Free Lifestyle

The Real Challenges of Going Plastic Free

The real challenge of going plastic free isn’t plastic itself, it’s the systems that have made us dependant on it in the first place. We’re two challenges into the Plastic Free Challenge and there’s probably similar things coming up for all of us. I wanted to address some of these this week to let you know you’re not alone and offer a little encouragement for challenging scenarios such as these: Cost Okay, let’s talk about the cost of going plastic free. This can be a very valid inhibitor, not all of us are in a financial place to make every change and that is okay. Some of the plastic swaps cost more up-front but save you money in the long run, some are cheaper and others are just plain more expensive. To help you navigate through this I’ll be doing a comparison costs with the swaps from here on out.   Relationships Maybe you live with a roommate or partner who is not supportive of these changes, maybe they  fear change or are hung up …

How To Use Less Plastic in the Bathroom

This post is part of an on-going series about going plastic free one area of your life at a time. See the other posts here and sign-up for Nikkey’s newsletter to recieve new plastic free challenges as they come out. This challenge is inspired by her work with eXXpedition on a microplastic research voyage through the Pacific Ocean.  The bathroom is probably the sneakiest wasteful area in your home. Think about it, most of us don’t have recycling bins in there so we often end up throwing things out that are perfectly recyclable or compostable. Then, there are all the products and toiletries that come in plastic packaging and small tight tubes or containers that are tough to clean out well enough for recycling! The good news is with a few simple swaps we can drastically cut back on plastic: Disposable Razors > Stainless Steel Razors Why: Technically disposable razors can be recycled in some areas but with a lot of effort, I’m guessing if you’re using a disposable item you don’t want to go through …

Kitchen glassware

How To Use Less Plastic in the Kitchen

This post is part of an on-going series about going plastic free one area of your life at a time. See the other posts here and sign-up for Nikkey’s newsletter to recieve new plastic free challenges as they come out. This challenge is inspired by her work with eXXpedition on a microplastic research voyage through the Pacific Ocean.  Over 8 millions tons over plastics ends up in the ocean every year, it’s time we change that. Welcome to our first no plastic challenge!   With Easter weekend here we thought it was fitting to start in the kitchen. There’s going to be food to buy, people to feed and leftovers to save. So here we go, for the next two weeks we challenge you to these swaps: Grocery Shopping Plastic bags > Reusable bags (including produce and bulk food) Why: Most are not recycled. With their lightweight nature even when disposed of plastic bags can easily be blown into waterway and end up in the ocean to be eaten by turtles and whales mistaking them as …

The Sea Dragon Yacht from Above

Why I’m Sailing the PNW Coast for Microplastic Research

This July I’ll be sailing from Vancouver to Seattle, by way of Vancouver Island, with eXXpedition to sample the ocean for microplastics. We’re a diverse group of women with backgrounds in science, conservation, exploration and the arts. There’s a lot to learn from one another and I feel so inspired by these women already. We all believe in eXXpedition’s mission of making the unseen seen and we’ve signed up to do just that! Microplastics are an ever growing problem we’re only really starting to understand the long term impacts of. These little pieces of plastic not only affect marine life but our own health as well. They are known to be carriers for toxins as well as leach them as they break down. This includes endocrine disruptors like BPA, PCBs and DEHP to name a few. These chemicals are being linked to a whole host of health issues such as cancer, endometriosis and autoimmune disorders. In my family alone more of these health issues have been occurring more frequently over the generations. While we’ll never know the …