Let’s Steal This From the Church
I have to say kudos to some churches that have stepped up and suggested people give up plastic for Lent! I love it. What a fantastic idea, one that anyone can use even if you don’t celebrate Lent. I suggest we take this idea and use it for Earth Day, which is April 22, 2019.
Earth Day is a day set aside to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. This is a day that’s celebrated in almost 200 countries around the world. It’s a perfect day to start – or rather stop using plastic. Don’t freak out, I’m not suggesting giving up all plastic. We start small.
In honor of Earth Day, everyone should choose one item of single-use plastic to give up, such as shopping bags, drinking straws, water bottles, plastic foam, food wrappers, etc.
While it would be great if you could give it up permanently, I suggest you give it up for a week – see how that goes. If that wasn’t a hardship, extend it to a month, and keep it going. Once that becomes a habit, pick another item to give up and do the same thing.
Why plastic? Because there’s a growing body of evidence that plastic waste is creating very serious problems and its exponential growth is threatening our planet’s survival.
Plastic is clogging our rivers and streams and making its way into our oceans. In fact, our oceans are drowning in plastic.
According to the World Economic Forum, by 2050 the total plastic in the ocean will weigh more than all the fish. This can’t go on. The plastic poisons birds and marine life, they mistake it as food and eat it. Then some of them die because their stomachs are so full of plastic they have no room for food, or they die from choking on the plastic. If they survive and are caught by fishermen, they become our dinner, plastic and all.
Plastic is in our water, our food and our bodies.
It’s poisoning us, disrupting our hormones, bringing on early puberty and causing major life-threatening diseases. It’s showing up in our urine, blood, and cells. Plastic has literally become a part of us, it’s everywhere.
“The main concern about plastic is that it’s not biodegradable. Plastics are normally made of materials extracted from crude oil, the same type of oil that is used to make fuel for cars and motorcycles. The most common type of plastic bag is made of polyethylene, a new substance made by humans that microorganisms do not recognize as food. Since no existing bacteria can break down plastic, it cannot biodegrade like other organic materials. What happens to plastics is that it photo-degrades. When plastics are exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation for a long time, the polyethylene material becomes brittle and begins to crack, breaking into many tiny pieces. This process is estimated to take between 500 and 1000 years, but even when the plastics break into smaller fragments it remains non-biodegradable and toxic for the animals and humans that eat them.” according to Gabriel Lamug-Nanawa.
The world is producing more than 300 million tons of plastic each year and 90% of that is never recycled. That means the plastic ends up polluting our land, water, and bodies.
This earth day let’s all take a stand and do our part by reducing our use of single-use plastics to help protect our oceans, planet and ourselves.
If you need help getting motivated I highly recommend you watch this amazing 3-minute trailer for the movie Albatross. It’s visually stunning by artist Chris Jordan.
Need more ideas, check out 100 Great Ideas for Going Plastic Free.
Jackie Kurtz is a blogger who is on a mission to make the world better, one kindness at a time. When her son died, she started a website and blog spreading kindness through motivations and grants as a tribute to him. In his 32 years, he impacted more lives than most people do in a lifetime. Her favorite quote is, “Even if we disagree about everything, we can still be kind to each other.”