As some of you may know, the environment, and caring for it the way God intended, is a fundamental value for both me and my husband. The ways that we dishonor our call to care and protect the environment are painful to watch and experience. Even when we try our best, we fail constantly. Recently, we watched a documentary called Plastic Paradise. You may not realize but EVERY piece of plastic you and our every other person on the planet has used is still somewhere on this Earth. It may have disintegrated in to smaller pieces but it has not, and will never, go away. This documentary calls your attention to the glaring disregard that we and the plastic companies have for the end product that is plastic. We are called to be responsible for how we dispose of and use plastic but so are the companies that create plastic. And if you don’t pay attention to how much plastic you use and how you dispose of it, well “out of sight out of mind” right?
Not for many. The most impacted area is a tropical item I bet you’ve never heard of. The Midway Atoll, or as it is also commonly called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is a hot spot in the ocean where much of the world’s plastic lands. Don’t believe me? This is just a small amount of the debris found on one part of the island. (Photo Credit: National Geographic)
What can you do to limit your impact on this island and ultimately the entire ocean and shore lines? Here are the tips provided by the Plastic Paradise team:
1. Bring your own (BPA-free) mug – Any time you get coffee, use your own mug. You do not need a plastic cup. It may be single use for you but your kids kids could be affected by that waste in their lifetime.
2. Bring your own bag – Most grocery stores sell bags. Bring your own. Don’t waste the plastic bags or the paper bags. In addition, do not use plastic bags for fruits and vegetables. You can have some of those products, like peppers or apples) out of any bag. If you do need a bag, make it reusable as well. Eco Bags provide reusable produce bags. Is it really that different? No. Does it make a huge difference? Yes.
3. Use a reusable (BPA-free) water bottle – Find a reusable bottle! It is SO simple now. Camelbak or Nalgene are everywhere, including Amazon, and even some local grocery stores. You should never buy another bottle of water again. These reusable water bottles even have filters in certain models so you can get water from almost anywhere.
4. Say no to straws – What? This seems out of place. NO! According to Plastic Paradise, 33% of the trash found on beaches is plastic straws. That is ridiculous.
Think this is too ingrained in your life to change? Plastic bottles were invented in 1947. Plastic bags in the 1970s. In the lifetime of MY PARENTS, these two pollutants were invented. Why can’t we uninvent them in our lifetime?