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Go Green or Go Home

The Plastic Predicament September 22, 2013

Plastic is a menace to all ecosystems it comes in contact with. Non-biodegradable, toxic, petroleum-based, and easily mistaken for an ocean animal’s prey, it’s ruining our seas and filling up our landfills. The approximated amount of plastic recycled, out of the total plastic produced is almost certainly less than 10%. And do you know what happens to the rest of it? It sits around in a dump for thousands of

English: Ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA...

years, or is taken to the ocean to become yet another drifting patch of garbage. Plastic is not a biodegradable substance. It will break down over many years, but it will never fully go away. The molecules will simply divide and become smaller and more spaced out, until they are spread to other parts of the ocean and the Earth to become more pollution. It takes so many years for even a slight breakdown to occur that there is no difference made, and the plastic continues to pile up. Worse yet, even if the plastic does start to ‘decompose’- though I shouldn’t be calling it that, because it will never fully break down- the particles are then microscopic and harder to locate, especially harder to remove. They go into the water that many sea animals live in and breathe.

Sending the plastic to be destroyed isn’t a much better choice. The incineration of trash releases toxins and chemicals into the air, which create pollution in the air. So no matter where the plastic goes, it’s always a problem. Did you know that breathing the air in Mumbai for just one day is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes? That’s how polluted it is. Plastic and other petroleum-based substances are not only ruining the Earth, but also the creatures living in it. Turtles in the ocean often think that plastic bags are jellyfish and consume the bags, which clogs the airways in their throat and eventually kills them.

Recent developments are being made to create plant based plastics, rather than petroleum based ones. While this will certainly help to stop creating trouble for the ocean, it won’t decrease what’s already there. Thankfully, inventions are being made, and it’s believed that they can help. Take Dutch teenager Boyan Slat’s robotic ocean cleaning invention: it gleans its energy from ocean currents, so it’s sustainable, and it directs plastic particles to collection platforms. The plastic particles will then be recycled in a way that people can profit from it.Dutch Ocean Clean Up Device

Will this fix every plastic problem our oceans face? No. In fact, it’s estimated that only a third will be collected, but it’s a revolutionary solution that’s still going to change a lot for ocean wildlife. However, the robot cleaning devices are just an experiment, say the team of engineers working on them, though they also say that it looks promising. It’s not clear when these cleaning platforms will be put into use, or even if they will be put into use. So what can we do to help?

Ways to Help:

  • Bring a reusable grocery bag to the store with you, and make sure the rest of your family does as well.
  • Recycle as much of your plastic as you can- preferably all of it.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle everywhere. Stop buying plastic ones! If you’re in desperate need of water, and plastic is the only option, recycle that bottle, or reuse it for another day.
  • Talk to your local grocery store about stopping the usage of plastic bags altogether. Be sure to remind them that it will boost their profit because they can also sell reusable cloth bags.
  • If you have a lot of plastic grocery bags already, use them to line small bathroom trashcans. You can also iron a couple of bags together to create a reusable grocery bag.

If we could outlaw the dumping of plastic into our oceans and landfills, companies might be able to sell it to other organizations, such as Terracycle, and they could turn it into recycled products. What do you think? Got any ideas to help?

Ceej

 

Earth Day Challenges April 21, 2013

Happy Earth Day! As we all know (or as I should hope every eco-lover knows) Earth Day is coming up,  and I have some challenges for our lovely readers! (By the way, if you were to help us get more by sharing the blog with friends and on social sites, we’d be ever so grateful! 🙂 ) Choose what you want to do, or even combine challenges for a bigger impact!

 

 

 

WindmillsEnergy Conservation

 

What if you didn’t turn on any lights, all day? You’d save tons of energy. Also, flicking a light on and off once wastes more energy than people on average use in a day.  

 

 

 

 

 

Waste Not, Want Not

Trash Recycling with Disposal Containers

 

 

You could also celebrate Earth Day by not throwing anything away. This doesn’t mean littering, of course! Recycle everything you can, and take your food in small portions to make sure you waste what you can’t. If there are compost piles at your house, school, or work, put your natural items there.

 

 

 

Ditch the Meat

 

Eating vegetarian or vegan for just a day will make all sorts of impacts. http://www.alternet.org/story/134650/the_startling_effects_of_going_vegetarian_for_just_one_day

 

Isn’t it crazy that if everyone in the USA ate vegetarian for a day, we could do that much? Imagine what good the people who are vegan and vegetarian every day are doing! Not only are they taking a stand for animals, they’re helping the Earth at the same time. I’m a flexitarian, meaning I eat white meats like fish and poultry, but I prefer not to. Only since I eat such an imbalanced diet, I need meat for protein. I could definitely go a day without meat (or any animal products) though!

 

 

 

A Couple Very Easy Things You Can Do

 

  • Bring a reusable water to school or work.
  • Open your windows to let in natural light.
  • Use Goodsearch instead of Google.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath to conserve water.
  • Switch your lights to fluorescent bulbs if you haven’t already- they use just 1/4 of the energy a regular bulb does.
  • Turn down the light on your computer monitor and put it into energy-saving mode

 

 

 

There’s more to come for Earth Day! Hope you all have a great one! Comment and tell me about your Earth Day plans.

 

Ceej

 

 
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