activism · animal · animal cruelty · cruelty free · facts · oceans · plastic pollution

Why You Should Never Throw Out Those Silica Bags in New Shoes and What to Do With Them Instead

Whether we want to admit it or not, the truth is that our trash and plastic pollution has caused an environmental crisis. Think about it: almost every single time you shop for a product, it comes in tons of heavy plastic packaging. It may be easy to think that once the trash is out of sight, it disappears, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

There are around 700 marine species currently facing extinction due to entanglement, pollution, and ingestion of plastic. With over 300 million tons of plastic produced and nearly 8.8 million tons getting dumped into the oceans annually, we must take action to curb our trash pollution problem.

Thankfully, there are small steps that we as consumers can take to minimize the amount of trash and plastic waste created every day, such as bringing a reusable shopping bag to the grocery store or bringing your own glass containers for bulk items. Every action, no matter how small, is meaningful and makes a difference to better our planet.

Have you ever thought about those tiny silica bags that come with shoes, purses, and other items to preserve freshness? Silica bags, made out of silicon dioxide, are seemingly harmless and are used to dry out whatever is around them. You’ve probably tossed them in the trash a dozen times without thinking twice, but once the minuscule bags end up in landfills, and then sadly, washed into the oceans, there is a good chance marine animals will unknowingly ingest them. In humans, silica gel can be irritating to the respiratory tract and may cause irritation of the digestive tract, plus dust from the beads may cause irritation to the skin and eyes, so letting this material loose in the environment where wildlife can come into contact with it is not advisable.

So, what if there were unique ways to reuse them?

If you’re stumped on how to reuse silica bags, check out the below suggestions. If you have more to add, leave a comment!

  1. If your phone or other electronic devices accidentally gets wet, put your phone in a jar full of the bags to help soak up the water.
  2. Use the bags to preserve old photos. Put a couple of bags in a box of old photos and it will stop the photos from sticking together and/or from getting ruined.
  3. Keep important documents, such as birth certificates, and other valuables moisture-free by adding the bags into the storage containers.
  4. Put the bags in your gym bag to help stop bacteria and/or mold from growing.
  5. Put a few of the bags underneath your windshield on the inside to help defog your windshield quicker.
  6. Place a bag with your reusable razor blade to help absorb the moisture, extending its life.

This article was original published on One Green Planet.

activism · animal · animal cruelty · cruelty · facts · PETA · vegan

Speak Up For Animals: 5 Simple Things You Can Do Today

The following has been adapted from Bustle

1. Take the 7 day veg pledge. 

10011486_619090018184312_1490039051854732680_n

What better time to try vegetarianism then during U.S. VegWeek? Take the pledge and get free recipes and product coupons!

If 1,000 people decided to go vegetarian just one day a week, around 58,000 animal lives would be saved. That may not seem very significant in the grand scheme of things — but it’s certainly significant to those 58,000 animals.

2. Help baby animals beaten and bullied on a Canadian veal farm.

10152482_10152171031489475_2149187712434934691_n

Mercy for Animals recently released a new undercover investigation showing baby animals being beaten, bulled on a Canadian veal farm. You can take action here: http://www.cratedcruelty.ca/

3. Try cruelty-free products.

CrueltyFree

You can make a point to not buy products from companies that test on animals, and doing so isn’t as difficult as it might seem. You just have to know who to avoid.

Big name companies that test on animals include L’Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, Revlon, and Procter & Gamble. A full list of cosmetic and cleaning companies that test on animalscan be found here, courtesy of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

As for alternatives, Tom’s of Maine is reliably cruelty-free. So are Fábula, Aurelia, and Dr. Bronner’s. For more, check out PETA’s list of cruelty-free companies.

4. Tell Congress to Pass the Pups Act 

puppy

Puppy mills are an especially insidious form of animal cruelty, as they thrive on generally good intentions of well-meaning pet owners. While there are federal standards for the housing and care of commercially-raised animals, they’re not very well enforced, and due to a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act, they only apply to breeders who sell to pet stores or brokers, exempting those who sell directly to consumers. As a result, tons of puppies are raised in truly horrific conditions.

The Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act would change this. It would expand the definition of a “high-volume retail breeder” to encompass those who sell directly to the public, mandate adequate living space for dogs in breeding facilities, and require that dogs being raised for commercial purposes be given regular opportunities to exercise.

The law has been introduced twice in Congress but never passed, so you should tell your local representative, who you can find here, to support it until it becomes law.

5. Sign this petition to shut down the Surabaya Zoo. 

194140_620

In general, you should avoid zoos altogether. Animals in zoos are separated from their natural environments and families, subject to constant harassment and disturbances (children banging on windows, etc), and forced to live in a confined space for the rest of their lives. Zoo life is so intolerable that some zoo animals have actually been given Prozac to help manage their moods.

But conditions at the Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia are cruel on a whole new level. Over 100 animals have died at the zoo in less than a year, including a lion who strangled after getting his neck snared on the cable used to open his door. The pelican cage is so overcrowded that some of them have started destroying their own eggs. When the last giraffe in the zoo died, examiners found 40 pounds of plastic in its stomach.

petition at Change.org demands that Indonesian lawmakers take action to shut down the zoo. It has over 184,000 signatories. You should be one of them.