It’s spreading like wildfire! Suddenly people have caught on to the fact that climate change is very real and that humans play a big part in how it happened. The other part is Earth herself because she shifted on her axis. That we can do nothing about. However, we can focus on the things that we can change such as stop using plastic water bottles, plastic wrap, plastic bags, Styrofoam take out containers. Plastic has stopped being recycled because China stopped taking it and US companies are not interested in buying it. So, every piece of plastic that you use and discard ends up in the landfill. No exceptions. Think about it every time you use something like a plastic water bottle. Landfills have toxic water underneath them from all of the decaying material. That toxic water goes into the earth. We grow our food in that earth, our water travels through that earth. In other words, we are all eating and consuming plastic waste.
I interviewed a man in Australia, Ian Thomson founder of Ocean Crusaders. He goes around Australia and now Fiji, cleaning up plastic and taking it where it can be made into products. But, he said that now there is so much made from recycled plastics that the market is now saturated. So, we are right back to – we have to STOP using ALL plastics.
Did you know there are many alternatives out there? Things made of bamboo – tooth brushes, eating utensils, dishes, etc. You can buy a replacement for plastic wrap made out of silicon and other materials that will break down or can be recycled. You can use containers made out of paper for your take-out food. Even Target is selling things made from bamboo and silicon.
It’s up to you to let your favorite restaurants know that you will no long accept Styrofoam take-out boxes or have them put into a plastic bag. Let your grocery store know that you will not use plastic and they will have to have something else to put the food you buy into.
It might take some thinking about and it might take a bit of extra work on our part to make the transition to non-plastic things, but once we do it and get used to it, that will become our new normal.
So, we all have to answer the question. What do we want our planet to be? What do we want to pass on to future generations? How much more do we want to pollute our Earth, our air, our water? This is something that falls to every one of us. Not to the other person, but directly to us. It’s our choice. It’s our planet, our air, our water. Not one of us is exempt from making this choice. Every time you drink from a plastic bottle, every time you use a plastic bag, every time you accept Styrofoam for take-out, you, yes, YOU are polluting our planet. There is no getting around it. This might seem harsh but we are at that place where there is no more wiggle room.
Did you know that all fish now have plastic as part of their bodies? Eat fish, eat plastic. Now humans all have plastic in their bodies as well. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your children and grandchildren and for those you love. You don’t have to take my word. Read research from credible scientists. The date is out there. And, we have already seen the effects of climate change in increasingly drastic weather and in the icebergs melting at an very increased rate. The state of Rhode Island, called the Ocean State, had to redraw their coastline because of encroaching seas. Here in South Carolina, Folly Beach has had encroaching seas. They keep bringing in more sand, but the sea has the last word.
The good news is, that when we all pitch in, we can make a difference. But, all of us pitching in means that each individual has to participate. It’s no longer up to the “other person.” It’s too late for that.
The precipitous state we are in has now reach high fashion. Brands such as YSL, Vuitton, Givenchy, etc. have all begun to use sustainable materials in their products or are using refillable containers for their cosmetics. There is a company in London issuing the Butterfly Mark, which lets consumers know the company is green.
I want to end this with how powerful we each are. How we use our power matters. We each matter. This planet, this air, this water is for all of us. The joy of nature is for all of us. Well-being is for all of us. But, this time it takes all of working together. And, there is also great joy in knowing that you are making a difference. Your actions count. Your actions are benefiting all of mankind. That’s the kind of power you have. And, I want to thank all of you for taking that power. You have made a difference.
My best to you in a plastic-free world,
Dianne J. Shaver