The 4ocean New Year’s Resolution Guide

New Year’s resolutions are usually about self improvement, but we like you just the way you are. And with more than 18 billion pounds of plastic entering the ocean every year, we’d love to see everyone make a resolution that benefits the ocean instead! 

Now, we know going plastic free may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. We created this guide to help you start your journey and find new ways to live our mission all year long.

The Tools

These sustainable swaps make it easy to avoid the single-use plastics our captains and crews recover from the ocean most often.

  • Plastic Free Starter Kit

    If you’re new to the clean ocean movement, this bundle was made for you! It’s got all the essentials you’ll need to start your plastic free journey. Plus, your purchase will pull 5 pounds of trash from our oceans!

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  • On-the-Go Family Pack

    Resolutions tend to stick better when you have support, so we created this bundle to help you get your family involved. This kit has what you’ll need to avoid single-use plastics no matter where your busy schedule takes you. Even better, your purchase will pull 6 pounds of trash from our oceans!

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  • Reusable Essentials 3-Pound Pack

    Single-use plastic straws, bags, and utensils are the most common types of plastic pollution found during our daily cleanups and this bundle includes everything you need to avoid them all. Plus, your purchase pulls 3 pounds of trash from our oceans!

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  • Reusable Bottles

    Did you know that one reusable bottle replaces an average of 345 single-use plastic water bottles? But you don’t just want any bottle. Our vacuum-insulated, stainless steel bottles can be used hot or cold and will keep your favorite drinks at their ideal temperature way longer than plastic ever could!

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  • Biodegradable Kitchen Sponges

    Say goodbye to stinky, bacteria-ridden plastic kitchen sponges forever with these once-daily compostable sponges! Made from 100% natural plant cellulose, they’re a convenient and ocean-friendly alternative to the average kitchen sponge and can safely be thrown away or composted right in your own backyard.

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The Tips

Making a New Year’s resolution is one thing; keeping it is something else entirely. These tips will help you navigate a world that’s still flooded with plastic as you develop new, ocean-friendly habits that’ll last a lifetime!

  • Tip #1: Plan ahead

    One of the reasons people gravitate to plastic is because it’s so convenient. So the key to avoiding single-use plastic is to make sure that reaching for a sustainable alternative is just as convenient for you. 

    Just like you check for your keys, phone, and wallet before you leave the house, get in the habit of making sure you’ve got your reusable essentials before you leave the house. You can also store extras in your car, purse, and your workplace so they’re handy in emergencies. 

    If you’re struggling to figure out what reusables you need, follow your normal routine for a week and hold onto all of the plastic you consume. Then, at the end of the week, sort through it all to see which types of single-use plastic you use the most. Those are the swaps you’ll want to make first.

  • Tip #2: Wait it out

    Picture this: It’s three in the afternoon and you’re really craving a snack from the office vending machine. You walk up to it, change in hand, but literally everything is wrapped in single-use plastic. What do you do? 

    If it’s not a health emergency, try to wait it out and circle back to Tip #1 when you get home. And if you can’t wait, take it as a learning opportunity. Consider what went wrong and use that insight to plan better in the future. It can really be that simple.

  • Tip #3: Reuse what you can’t avoid

    Eventually, you’re going to find yourself in situations where you simply can’t avoid plastic. And that’s okay. 

    Maybe you’ll forget your reusable bags at home and have too many items to carry by hand. Instead of throwing the bag away, add it to your stack of reusable bags and use it again the next time you go shopping. And when it’s no longer useful for carrying things, use it to line the trash can in your bathroom or for scooping poop the next time you walk your dog.

    Just because something was designed to be used once doesn’t mean it has to be. Any “mistakes” you make are just new opportunities to adjust your strategy. 

    Every piece of plastic you avoid is a win for the ocean, but it’s also important to remember that it will take more than a consumer movement to end the ocean plastic crisis.

The Trick

The #1 reason that New Year’s resolutions fail is because we tend to set our goals too big and too broad. You don’t have to be 100% plastic free by the end of January to make a difference for the ocean. 

The trick to making your resolution stick is to take it one change at a time.

Curbing your plastic habit is a process. Expect a bit of trial and error. Give yourself permission to fail. One mistake (or even 50 mistakes!) doesn’t mean you failed. 

Remember: an imperfect effort does more for the ocean than doing nothing at all. 

You have to go at your own pace and do what works and is comfortable for you. Life-long habits aren’t built overnight and we only fail when we quit trying.

You’ve got this! And we’ll be here to support you every step of the way.

Let us cheer you on!

We’d love to hear what you’re doing to go plastic free in 2023! Share your ocean-minded New Year’s Resolutions and keep us updated on your progress!