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Earth day 2018 – Plastic pollution & ways to minimize plastic use

After spending c.a an hour writing and researching for this post, i realized this morning when i checked my blog that the post i had written (& posted) was gone…. no text, no pictures, no links and no draft  or history to be restored. First i felt irritated and sad… just like when you write an essay and the document crashes and you lose all your work you just want to give up and refuse to start again. But as this is such an important topic, i decided to just rewrite the post as best i can.

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So yesterday, 22nd April was Earth day. It is a day/tradition that has been celebrated since 1970, i.e 48 years now.

It is a day to bring awareness to the planet. To climate change and global warming. A day for people to think a little extra about what and how their habits and choices and lifestyles are affecting the planet. A day to participate in activities that bring awareness to the environments, a day to join in on marches or to contact politicians and other “high up” who need to take action and make a change.

Each Earthday has a theme… something that we need to focus a little extra on, and this year it is plastic pollution.

Plastic is one of the worst substances/materials we have because it takes so many years to degrade. Even the compostable plastic doesnt always get recycled and renewed. And alot of plastic that doesn’t get recycled ends up in the water or out in nature and can end up killing wild life and sea life.

“Plastic is made to last forever — it cannot biodegrade. Disposed plastic materials can remain in the environment for up to 2,000 years and longer, according to a 2009 article published in scientific journal Chemistry & Biology.” (Source)

Example the whale that was found dead with 29kg of plastic inside. 

Plastic waste and plastic polluation is a serious problem which more people need to think about and become aware of.

According to Vox: ” A 2015 study found that between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic makes it into the ocean from land each year. By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight.”

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I have written posts about minimizing plastic usage HERE.

Ways to help the planet HERE & HERE. A vegan diet compared to meat diet in terms of water and resources HERE. If you can’t go vegan, other ways to make a difference HERE.

A vegan/plantbased diet is one of the best ways to make a difference for the environment. Even if some food has to be imported such as different beans or grains or fruits and vegetables, it still uses alot less resources as well as less CO2 emissions than meat and dairy factories and products. But not only diet matters – recycling, limiting the amount of plastic you use, not travelling as much with car and plane, lowering the amount of electricity and water you use as well as not wasting food are small things that make a difference.

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Many people think that “one person doesn’t make a difference”. What does it matter if buy a plastic bag, or what does it matter if i don’t recycle or always use my car…. but the problem is that the majority of people think this way. If everyone could instead think that “if everyone collectively makes small differences and changes, it will add up and make a difference over time.” It is not about being perfect… i still buy on the go coffee somedays when i forget to bring my thermos, i still take a straw if i buy a cola after a night out and somedays i use more napkins than necessary, but the majority of the time i make eco-friendly choices as much as is possible. And THAT makes a difference.

Global warming and climate change is a growing problem. Species are dying and going extinct. An increase in natural disasters. Clean water and oil are two resources that might run out in the future. An increase in CO2 emissions effecting the ozone layer.

Image result for vegan diet compared to meat diet

This warming is playing out in sharp and sudden ways across the Arctic. Researchers reported last year that a section of Greenland’s ice sheet suddenly started melting 80 percent faster. Another study found Greenland’s entire ice sheet is melting at its fastest rate in at least 400 years, and that the melt rate sped up drastically in 1990.

If the entire Greenland ice sheet were to melt, it would raise global sea levels by more than 20 feet” (Vox.com)

It is time that everyone starts trying to make a difference. Many have the mindset that “I won’t be alive in the future anyway, so it won’t impact me”… but if we want the future generations to live in an ok world and be able to eat and drink clean water and have energy and electricity, then we need to make a change now. Not to mention all the animals that might go extinct for different reasons if we continue with deforestation and pollution of the air and water.

 

No one person can change the world, but if everyone makes small changes it will add up.

I suggest that you get your friends and family involved and more aware of making a difference. No littering, no wasting, turning off lights and electricity when not using it. Minimizing plastic use, using more public transport and less travelling with cars and planes.

It is time that we all take action and make a difference! You may not think bringing your own thermos to a coffee shop or bringing your own bags to the stores or not using plastic cutlery or straws makes a difference, but if everyone were to stop with plastic it WOULD make a difference!

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Tips from Earthday network: 

“You may be lulled into thinking it is OK to consume disposable plastic products because you plan to recycle them, but many plastics can’t be efficiently recycled and will end up in the landfill or littering the planet, even in the most remote places,” Merino said. “Also, some localities lack the most basic infrastructure to manage waste and to sort and recycle plastics. For this reason, it is much more important to focus on reducing your own level of plastic consumption.”

Here are some suggestions from the Earth Day Network on how to reduce your plastic footprint:

 

  • Every time you consider buying a disposable plastic item, ask yourself: Do I absolutely need this? Can I use something else that I already have? Could I buy something that I can use long-term instead?
  • Properly dispose plastic products and be careful not to toss plastic products near waterways, beaches or in open spaces.
  • Pick up plastic trash whenever you see it, especially in ponds, streams, rivers and on beaches.
  • Don’t buy products containing microbeads, which are plastic particles commonly found in exfoliating body washes and facial scrubs. Instead, purchase products that have natural exfoliates.
  • Wash synthetic clothes less frequently to reduce the amount of microfibers that are released.
  • When possible, purchase clothing and other items made of natural fibers when possible
  • Get involved in local legislation and regulation to reduce and recycle plastics.

 

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3 thoughts on “Earth day 2018 – Plastic pollution & ways to minimize plastic use”

  1. Thank you for rewriting the post, this is such an important topic! I hope the found enzyme that breaks down plastic has a future…

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  2. You are so right – this is such an important topic. There has been a lot of media coverage just recently about plastic pollution and it really is an horrendous problem. I don`t think many people realised just how much pollution our “waste plastic” has produced over time and the footage of beaches strewn with plastic rubbish were disturbing. And the fact that many areas of the country don`t have adequate recycling facilities to cope with plastic and a lot of it just ends up being dumped in landfill, particularly disposable nappies and coffee cups. The Government here have vowed to make changes regarding plastic packaging for food items and I`ve heard a couple of fast food chains are stopping providing plastic stirrers or straws – but really it is down to the individual too to start making changes to their own plastic use/energy consumption. If we all make a change then those changes add up and can really make a difference.
    It is frightening to think of the damage we are all doing to the environment and the more media coverage of what is happening the better.
    Thank you for re-sending this post and spending so much time on it.

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  3. – Just this morning it was announced that 47 top brand food companies have vowed to stop using unnecessary single use plastics in their manufacture by 2020 – a small change in the right direction that will make a difference. This highlights just how important this problem is and shows at last people are taking notice and doing something about it!

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