Tweenie’s Greenies

Week 2: Perpetually Yours, Plastic

Do you know what plastic is made of?  Yes?…  No?…  Well, if you said “no” count yourself in the majority of the American population.  According to a recent nationwide online survey, 72 percent of the American public does not know that conventional plastic is made from petroleum products, primarily oil. Moreover, 40 percent of the respondents believe that plastic will biodegrade at some point. (info from Treehugger.com)  Guess what, petroleum based plastic does not degrade.  It can be incinerated but it will never degrade.  It will sit in landfills, roadside ditches, beaches, whereever it lands.  It will sit.  It will take up space, clog our waterways, and fill our forests. 

Think about everything you use throughout the day.  Think about how much is either made of plastic or packaged in plastic.  Look at your kids toys.  Most of ours are plastic.  Where will they go when no one wants to play with them?  What do you do with your plastic toothbrush when you are done with it?  Hopefully you change brushes regularly but think about how many toothbrushes are sent to the landfill.  What about your little ones hair clips?  What about your fast food cups and straws?  What about your broken ice cube tray that you could never get the ice cubes out of and in a moment of weakness you slammed it on the counter and broke it?  Where did that go?  Do you hear Taps playing in the background?  Do you hear animals crying?  Do you see big huge garbage dumps filled with plastic and starving children?  Okay, I am going a little over the top but I want you to really think about our plastic usage.

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The dilemma with plastic is this:  It is so darn useful and so darn bad for the environment at the same time.  It can also be harmful to us, as I will post at a later time.  It has also been confusing.  At first, we were supposed to switch from glass to plastic and now it’s vice versa.  We have enough going on in our life.  How are we supposed to keep up with this neverending environmental debate?

Well, I hope to make it somewhat simple for us to green up our plastic usage.  We will never be totally absent of this little handy material but we can definitely cut back.  I am not only determined to help the environment by reducing my plastic waste, but also determined to reduce my consumption.  Call me reactionary, but I do not like the idea of being so completely oil dependent.  Oil is a finite resource with a strong political agenda. 

First of all, as always look around you as you go through your day.  Take a good look at your plastics but don’t bother taking a picture, it will still be around in a 100 years if you want to remember it.

Stay Tuned for more ways to green your plastic!!

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