Impact Hub HNL is committed to making impact and building community. Each of the 102 Impact Hubs worldwide is committed to turning the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into reality. Plastic Free July addresses Goals 6 and 14 and we are proud to do our part in limiting use of single use plastics in our space, programs, and events.
Luckily, Hawaii is – in many ways – at the forefront of sustainable action. Not only did our plastic bag ban just go into effect in July, Hawaii has been one of the leaders in trying to ban styrofoam (polystyrene) and plastic straws for years. While it’s awesome to see so much action on the city and state level, it’s really important to understand the important role individuals have to play when it comes to reducing our consumption of single-use plastics.
This month is Plastic Free July and there is no time like the present to start taking action towards living a more plastic-free life, and our Hub team wants to help you reduce your impact this month (and every month!).
Here are some favorite tips from the Hub team about how to reduce plastic waste at work and at home:
- Skip bottled water: Use a water filter (reverse osmosis, fridge filter, or even a Brita) to improve the taste and health of your tap water. At Impact Hub HNL we have filtered water on the fridge. Not only does bottled water have low ratings when it comes to safety and taste, Americans throw away about 38 billion plastic water bottles each year (that’s after accounting for recycling!).
- BYO Cup & Mug: When you go to your favorite coffee shop, bring your own to-go mug. Not only does this keep your coffee warmer longer, it ensures that you’re not wasting the cup, the sleeve, and the lid for each cup you buy. At Impact Hub HNL, we have a huge collection of mugs and cups to use, so whether you’re drinking our free organic coffee & tea or getting it from the neighborhood cafes, we encourage you to use the mugs we have on the shelves. We also have kombucha and nitro cold-brew coffee on tap so you can sip sustainably all day long.
- Skip the Straws: Unfortunately the straw ban just got kicked out of committee at the Hawaii Legislature, but the expanding ‘Straws Suck’ movement is gaining traction. Straws are unnecessary and often become waste littering our awesome beaches, so as much as possible, ask for NO straws at your next pau hana or lunch date. Remembering to say ‘no straw please’ is a conscious action that feels really good!
- Support local advocacy groups! We have lots of awesome groups in the islands that are working really hard to reduce plastic waste. Check out beach cleanups from our friends at Surfrider Oahu, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, and Plastic Free Hawaii by Kokua Hawaii Foundation. And this weekend, July 14, from 12:30pm-5:30pm is the first Oahu Zero-Waste Summit at SALT Kakaako, hosted by Impact Hub HNL member organization Kanu Hawaii!
None of these options – avoiding plastic water bottles or banning straws – are necessarily going to solve our collective plastics pollution problem. But it helps! And knowing that each day you can make a conscious choice as a consumer to vote with your dollars and your actions to avoid single use plastic helps send a message to restaurants, shops, and yes, even government!