When Yuliya travelled to Haida Gwaii in B.C. in May 2016, she was awed by its natural beauty, including one moment on a remote beach when eagles feasted on the carcass of a large marine animal. But she also saw flip flops, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, toys and even part of a washing machine on the beach.
“I was just shocked. The beach was caked in plastic. ... Not only that, it’s the open ocean, so the waves pulverize everything, and it gets mixed into the ecosystem,” she said, adding that the ocean currents carry a "ridiculous amount" of plastic to the remote archipelago where a few thousand people live.
Concerned, Yuliya tried to go plastic-free for a month in July, and has drastically changed her habits since. Although she can’t completely give up plastic — she'd have to say goodbye to mascara and Advil — Yuliya tries to minimize her use wherever she can.