Tackling The Single Use Curse
It is 30 years ago since Dirty Dancing was released (we miss you Patrick), 30 years since Margaret Thatcher was elected as PM for the third time and 30 years since U2 released their iconic album Joshua Tree.
A lot of water has flowed under everyone’s bridges in the intervening decades and, in so many ways, the world has become a different place. Many of us seem far more focussed on things being instant and immediate and technology has changed so much about the way we live our lives.
We have also managed to cause a lot more damage to our planet during this time. We throw more away, we travel more, we waste more and we consume more. The human race is good at being bad for the environment.
Our habits surely need to change in many ways, but certainly the last 30 years has seen the rapid rise of single use containers. Billions and billions are thrown away every year and the earth is drowning in rubbish. We buy plastic wrapped sandwiches and food in throw away cartons along with drinks cups that simply get tossed in the nearest street bin.
The problem with all this, of course, is that disposable doesn’t mean environmentally friendly. I deliberately chose the time frame of 30 years because a recent study (details here) has suggested a single use coffee cup could take around that length of time to break down.
Part of the solution is, of course, down to choices. There really is no reason for people to choose disposables over reusables. However, it isn’t just about consumers. Manufacturers have a responsibility to guide our choices and to create products that are also kind to the environment. Organisations like Sky Ocean Rescue (check out the video below) are pushing for manufacturers to design sustainability into the products they bring to market. Consumers and manufacturers have to share the responsibility.
The outdoor industry has a number of companies who are passionate about sustainability and we highlighted several of our favourite examples in our ‘Gifts That Keep on Giving’ Christmas Gift Guide here. We always seek out products from the companies that are focussed on protecting this fragile planet.
One of our favourites is Oregon based drink and food container manufacturer Hydro Flask. The first Hydro Flask we tested is still performing faultlessly after many years of almost daily use and producing durable drink and food containers that perform well is the simple alternative to single use food and drink containers.
What we also love about Hydro Flask is their passion for the environment stretches beyond manufacture. Any company based somewhere link Bend, Oregon (if you haven’t visited this is a beautiful wilderness area) is going to be intrinsically connected to the natural environment and, through initiatives like their Parks For All organisation (details on the programme are available here), they provide grants to non-profits focused on building, maintaining, restoring, or providing better access to parks. They recently donated another 22,000 Euros to support the Ocean Conservancy (an organisation focussed around international coastal clean ups). They care.
Over the years the Hydro Flask product range has expanded and they now have options for the storage of both drinks and food, options for storing things hot and cold and drink options from cups to bottles. There really is no reason why anyone now needs to buy single use.
We wanted to highlight the problem again after a friend sent me the video posted below earlier in the week (how can we be at this stage?). But we also wanted to offer a solution. Hydro Flask is a tried and tested favourite and their cause is our cause too. Straight after watching it we shared the video with them and they instantly offered us some flasks to share with Peak Mountaineers.
So we hope you’ve found this information useful but we also hope you’ll share our concerns. Please do share with others and do consider ways to be part of the solution and please also do check out out latest fantastic giveaway here.
Posted by Cal
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