Three words. Reduce plastic waste.
I was shocked to learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vortex of over 3.5 million tons of plastic spanning 10 million square miles. 80% of the garbage comes from land-based sources, and 20% from ships at sea.
It’s a horrifying twist to the saying “Don’t shit in your own backyard.”
Charles Moore, the sailor who discovered the Northern Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997, warns that unless consumers cut back on their use of disposable plastics, this plastic soup would double in size over the next decade.
Plastic has become an indispensable part of our everyday lives. At the moment, it’s virtually impossible to spend a single day without touching the stuff. However it IS possible to avoid creating MORE plastic waste. Here are just 2 actions that you and your family can start implementing TODAY.
1. Ditch the straw
Think of how many thousands of plastic straws you have used, wasted and thrown away. Did you know that it takes centuries for each one to biodegrade! The next time you dine outside, do think twice before accepting that straw. For those operating food joints, make that paradigm shift: makes straws an option, not the default.
2. Bag the Bag
Seriously, do you really need that plastic bag when you buy something at the local 7-11 or Ministop?
Let’s try to reduce our habit of using plastic bags when we don’t need them.
I discovered this pocket bag at the check-out counter of my favourite shopping centre – Daiso (aka the $2 store). I usually have it folded into a tiny square and tucked into my bag organizer. I whip it out whenever I grab a bite at 7-11, buy office supplies, pay a visit to the Library, use my umbrella on a rainy day… etc etc.
We are now also taking a conscious effort to reduce our collection of plastic bags when buying groceries. Those cloth bag giveaways at trade fairs & bazaars are discovering a second life.
It’s Blog Action Day today, focusing on Climate Change. How exactly does the reduction of plastic relate to tackling climate change? Everything is interconnected — manufacturing plastic depends on consuming oil so the indiscrimate use of plastic literally fuels global warming. Getting rid of them (plastic) in incinerators also adds a little bit more to the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere.
As our family has found, it’s not that hard to make that shift to a greener life. Just take it one plastic bag/straw at a time and make the world a better, cleaner place.
1. How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Save the World by Tony Juniper
2. Save Cash and Save the Planet by Andrea Smith and Nicola Baird
Filed under: advocacy, family activities, lifestyle | Tagged: Blog Action Day 2009, Climate Change, Plastic | Leave a comment »