What I will Change This Earth Day
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!