Works By Jackie Kurtz

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.” 

You can connect with Jackie on her website, Matts Kindness Ripples On, or through email