You find it on a peaceful trail in the forest. Doggie doo doo in bags tactfully hanging from a tree or placed on the edge of a soft, mossy green tree trunk. Who do they think will take them away?
Discarded plastic bottles on the beach. Shameful. Toys, packaging, groceries, building materials, drinking straws.
Checkouts offering “paper or plastic?” Sheepish looks, muttering “Plastic please. I left my bag in the car.”
So? Go get it then! I’ll even wait, and applaud you when you return with it! What a lovely lesson for all the impatient folks behind us.
Just say the word "plastic" and a horde of unwelcome thoughts and pictures enter the mind.
Digging deep for plastic
Right now my province of British Columbia in Canada is engaged in a vicious battle against its neighbor, Alberta, and gigantic conglomerate Kinder Morgan. BC is a place of indescribable beauty, but that’s no match against the federal and other provincial governments of Canada who are determined to push massive oil pipelines right through a pristine coast.
In doing so, ocean tanker traffic will increase seven times. Here's a report.
Remember Rachel Carson's 1962 best-seller book, Silent Spring? In it she writes about the relationship between living organisms and the total environment; how they’re perfectly attuned until disrupted by chemical usage. She points out how pollution affects the general health of populations. Her work is still current today, maybe even more so.
How do you get rid of them?
This might just be a good demonstration of the quandary we all face. You can’t get rid of plastics once they’re made. Many can be recycled. That’s good. But what about the masses of non-recyclables? And a lot of them are small and obscure, like the straws. By the way, if you can think of an answer to this dilemma, I’d love to read it in the comments below!
Once you start thinking about plastic pollution it becomes a consciousness-raising exercise. You feel overwhelmed, simply because there’s so much of it.
What Can You Do?
2. Look carefully to make sure your makeup and cleansers don’t have microbeads, the smallest and one of the most horrible plastics for the environment.
3, Use paper or steel reusable straws and carry them with you. Say "no straw please" to wait staff, and encourage them to tell their bosses why. Several local businesses in my area now proudly say they use paper straws. Their staff now ask directly if you want a straw. It’s all been due to consciousness raising.
4. Expand your knowledge about plastic pollution so you can do the same for others.
5. Recycle your plastics diligently.
6. Examine your own home surroundings and gradually get rid of plastics in your home by recycling them.
7. Bottle your own water - from your tap if you have municipal water. You’ll spend 300 times less. Read about it HERE.
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to offer your views on this in comments below.