As a child who dreamed about becoming a marine biologist and was completely obsessed with all things Little Mermaid, the news about the Gyre trash build-up in the Pacific has touched close to my heart.

I was getting my weekly video fix from my friends at ViroPop (those of you who don’t subscribe should. They give you important little tidbits about the environment and Green movement while still somehow being fun and sarcastic). This week’s video post was about the Gyre.

What is the Gyre? I didn’t know myself. Turns out, it’s a swirling vortex in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that has unfortunately gathered up the human world’s discarded plastic trash, including spills from cargo ships making their way out of China, like as ViroPop points out, 80,000 pairs of Nike shoes!! Yet another reason to boycott Nike….

The Gyre has grown to be almost twice the size of Texas and is a serious environmental hazard. According to the experts at Algalita Marine Research Foundation who have been traveling through and researching the Gyre, there are 3.5 million tons of plastic that are all broken into tiny pieces smaller than the size of a penny. The mass of plastic is 6 times heavier than the mass of marine life and the presence of these harmful plastics continues to increase ten fold. YUCK. That is NOT a nice day at the beach!

So what do we do?!? I immediately went into save-the-whale mode and was ready to put on my scuba gear when the experts gave the grave news that the Gyre has gotten so bad we simply cannot sweep up all of the plastic bits in a net and have a brand new beautiful ocean. In fact, pieces of plastic have already been found in over 300 marine species worldwide. That’s plastic IN the animals!!

If we can’t clean up the mess we’ve already made, then the only thing we can do is simply stop using single-use plastics. So for this week’s ultimate Green Tip of the Week, we encourage you to Reduce, Reduce, Reduce, reuse whenever you can, and of course, recycle.

Get yourself a reusable bag ( and say no to the plastic double-baggers at the grocery store.

Use biodegradable plates, cups and silverware for your next picnic or rendez-vous (check out these from Branch)

And bring your own reusable coffee mug to the shop (who needs Styrofoam anymore anyway?!?!).

Post a comment and let us know what other methods you are taking to rid your life of all things plastic!