Do We Need It?
Plastic drinking straws are taken for granted, but they should not be. The United States uses and disposes of over 500 million of these devices per day. Straws are unnecessary, but if one does not agree with that, how about this? “Plastic” straws are unnecessary. Paper straws are less hazardous to our environment and to wildlife. Reusable straws can easily be washed and reused for a lifetime. The next time you are in a restaurant, how about saying “No straw please.”
Plastic, Plastic, Plastic
Starting out with straws is easy. It’s a little thing that each of us can give up without any pain. Plastic, in general, is a different challenge. Take a minute and look around where you are at the moment. How much plastic do you see? Are you touching it? I am, both the keyboard and the protective cover over the top of it are plastic. There’s my phone case, my TV remote and on and on. I know we cannot eliminate plastic completely, but that does not mean we cannot reduce it. I’ve been trying but barely making a dent. I can do better.
First, we must care. Then it helps to be informed. I’ve done some research today and the statistics are sickening. Here are just a few provided by EcoWatch.
- The average American discards 185 pounds of plastic per year.
- Americans throw away 35 billion water bottles per year.
- Worldwide, one million plastic bags are used per minute!
- By age six years 93% of all Americans’ blood tests positive for BPA, a plastic chemical.
Read more of these alarming statistics at https://www.ecowatch.com/22-facts-about-plastic-pollution-and-10-things-we-can-do-about-it-1881885971.html
We cannot do without many things that are plastic, perhaps, but what about the things we can eliminate? What about the things that we can use over and over again before tossing?
There are many who do better than I. My cloth grocery bags are often forgotten in the back seat of my car, only to be remembered after I have filled my grocery cart. I carry a nylon bag in my purse to carry smaller purchases in other stores and forget to use it as well. Today I put the cloth grocery bags in the front seat where I can see them more easily. I plan to say, “No bag please” for more purchases in other stores. I can do better.
I know someone who has completely eliminated non-recycle materials from her life. It began during March of this year, her birthday month, when she eliminated all plastic of any kind for thirty-one days. I couldn’t believe what she was able to accomplish, buying food in bulk and placing it in paper or nylon bags, for instance. That was an inspiration to me to do better.
Are there ways that you eliminate waste and especially plastic that you’d like to share?
“Pollution is a serious one. Water pollution, air pollution, and then solid hazardous waste pollution. And then beyond that, we also have the resources issue. Not just water resources but other natural resources, the mining resources being consumed, and the destruction of our ecosystem.” Ma Jun