GO GREEN, STAY BLUE!

Go Green, Stay Blue is an effort to educate and encourage the public to use environmentally and economically efficient practices in order to reduce waste and protect the health of the environment.

This new staff-initiated effort promotes the reduction of plastic waste at all events. There are myriad ways our team has implemented sustainable goals:

•  We no longer provide disposable cups for water at volunteer projects, instead encouraging people to bring their own reusable bottles; and we’ll provide reusable cups for those who do not have one.

•  Washable mason jars are provided at our special events rather than disposable plastic drink cups. In fact, as a zero-waste event, the Evening for the Bay fundraiser earned a Green Event Certification Seal from the University of Florida.

•  Our monofilament collection program has added more monotubes around the bay—now totaling 182 tubes— which safely collect discarded fishing line before it reaches bay waters. Click here to read more about this program.

•  Instead of using plastic garbage bags at our coastal cleanups, we now use grain bags donated by Cigar City Brewing Co., which can be cleaned and reused.

•  The education team has aligned with the Florida Microplastics Awareness Project to help collect and process water samples for microplastics. By continuing this trend toward sustainability, Tampa Bay Watch hopes to guide others to take responsibility for their own waste and energy footprints. Click here to read more about this initiative.

•  The Bay Grasses in Classes program is now solely using recycled nursery trays and pots donated by local nurseries.

 

 

 

 

Sustainability Tip:

Let’s face it; we all need to grocery shop, and without bags, that process can be quite a challenge. Grocery bags are often essentials. However, those bags do not need to be disposable plastic bags. As a part of our sustainability initiative here at Tampa Bay Watch, we are encouraging the use of eco-friendly reusable bags in an effort to combat the issue of plastics in our marine environment.

According to the North American Marine Environment Protection Association, “Americans alone throw away over 100 billion plastic bags a year.” It is estimated that each plastic bag is only used for about 20 minutes. The problem lies in that our disposed waste often times travels and makes its way into our oceans, posing drastic threats to our environment and wildlife for centuries.

For decades now, plastic bags have been a major offender contributing to marine debris. Proper protection of our environment starts with us. Today, we encourage you to take reusable bags with you to the store instead of accepting plastic bags. Some estimates suggest that using reusable shopping bags could eliminate the disposal of as many as 20,000 plastic bags a year. If you find the need to use plastic bags, of course they can be reused and recycled during your next trip to the store. One small effort has great potential for a positive impact!

Our other sustainability initiatives...

Tampa Bay Watch Marine Center Solar Array

Citizen Science

 

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