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Protect and Restore

What you can do to help restore the Tampa Bay estuary

How can you do your part? A key part of your visit to the Discovery Center is learning the ways you can actively restore beautiful Tampa Bay, as well as oceans and waterways everywhere. Here are ways to contribute:

Cut Down on Using Plastic

The Green Education Foundation provides 17 specific things you can do to reduce plastic use in everyday activities:

  • Stop using paper or plastic straws, even in restaurants. If you must have a straw, buy a reusable stainless steel or glass one.
  • Use a reusable produce bag. 
  • Give up gum. It’s made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.
  • Buy in boxes instead of bottles. Certain products, like laundry detergent, come in cardboard packages, which are more easily recycled than plastic.
  • Purchase food like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. 
  • Carry a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop.
  • Since many restaurants use Styrofoam, bring your own containers for take-out or a doggy bag.
  • Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters, or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
  • Avoid buying frozen foods that are packaged in plastic.
  • Don’t use plasticware at home and be sure to ask restaurants to not include them in your take-out box.
  • Ask your grocer to take your plastic containers (for berries, tomatoes, etc.) back so they can re-use them.
  • Use cloth diapers to reduce your baby’s carbon footprint — and save money in the process. The EPA estimates that 7.6 billion pounds of disposable diapers are discarded in the U.S. each year.
  • Rather than buy juice in plastic bottles, make your own fresh-squeezed, or just eat the fruit. 
  • Make your own cleaning products. They’re less toxic and eliminate the need for plastic bottles.
  • Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags.
  • Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of disposables.