My Earth Day Commitment

What I will Change This Earth Day

Very Telling Infographic

Very Telling Infographic

A few years ago, Outdoor Magazine ran an article about the “Dead Zone” –  a space northeast of Hawaii where the current has gathered MILES AND MILES of plastic water bottles – that freaked me out but at the same time, I figured part of it was exaggeration.

I then went on to read a book called The World Without Us (click the title for a brief summary of the book) and hearing more about the amount of plastic in our oceans . . . and also how since plastic isn’t biodegradable, it just sits there or as parts of it finally starts to decompose, it ends up threatening our ocean and sea life.

I then worked for someone who was a great example of eating and living healthy but he drank from plastic water bottles and went through cases of them very quickly.  I’m sure his justification was that our office bldg divides and recycles but still, I started realizing that he went through 8-12 bottles a day!  If he held a mtg in his office and gave everyone a bottle, that number would easily hit 30-40 in a day.

While I know that parts of Man Versus Wild starting Bear Grylls were staged, I still remember he did a South Pacific Island episode and on it, he found a plastic water bottle floating in the break.  While that may have been staged, he made a very telling comment that because of the amount of plastic waste that’s around, if you were ever stuck on a deserted island somewhere, you’d probably find a plastic bottle or bag that you could use.

That got me thinking about the amount of plastic we use at home and what change I can make.  As it is, we have a recyclable trash container (only half of the houses on our street have it) and that container fills up quicker than our ‘normal’ garbage can.  We have water bottles that the kids take with their lunch and my wife and I take to work so cutting down on water bottles really wouldn’t be a tough challenge.  I know this instagram is mainly stats on the UK but still, it is very telling.

So here’s my commitment – to take reusable cloth bags on our weekly grocery trips.  A few of the stores near us give us the plastic / paper option but the ‘big box’ right down the street that we do a majorityf of our shoppingonly does plastic.  I came home from our weekly trip with more than 15 bags and realized . . . I need to change this.  Yes, you can recycle these bags (and some studies show they take less energy to recycle than paper bags) but . . . . wouldn’t it be better if I just didn’t come home with 15 new bags each week?

I admire the fact that back home, the stores don’t have plastic bags!  How awesome is that! ! ! ! ! ! !

I love the ocean . . . . . . love taking my first jump in with the kids whenever we go back to Hawaii . . . it’s just something small I’m doing but still – it’s my Earth Day Commitment!

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7 thoughts on “My Earth Day Commitment

  1. Love it! I have to start taking my recyclable bags with me to the store too! I didn’t even realize they didn’t do plastic bags at the stores back home, until this recent trip back home. Happy Earth Day dude!

  2. I read this some time back. I use a water bottle, but must confess I sometimes buy those ‘throw’ aways. I also have a lot of re-usable bags, but I sometimes answer yes when they say “Is plastic ok?”

    I am inpired to commit. So from here on in when someone says “Is plastic ok?” I am going to answer no, and try to be mindful enough remember the bags when I shop.

    Thanks for the great article and for oahuhiking for reblogging.

  3. I lived off the grid for 30 years, I reuse, recycle, compost, have used reuseable bags for years. We have a 5 gallon water container with a dispenser so I seldom use a plastic bottle or will fill the same one over and over. These are little things that everyone can do. It doesn’t take time, effort or even much thought. After a while these activities just become a normal part of a routine…the the earth cares. Happy Earth Day everyone.

    • That’s admirable! It is sad how much waste we go through. My wife is very conscious about our family’s efforts. She and I notice that our recycle can gets full quicker than our ‘normal’ garbage . . . . and if we are the ‘norm’ for most families on our street then it’s sad that only a handful of us have the blue recycle cans. 😦

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