The Backyard

The Backyard

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In Honor of Earth Day

Today is Earth Day -- what are you doing to celebrate? It could be something as simple as not eating meat today... or recycling something... or planting a tree (which was popular for many, many years until we became more educated on the environment). I'd like to say I'm going to stop using plastic forever -- but that's a very, very tall order given just about everything we touch anymore is plastic. I read the most interesting article in the latest Patagonia catalog that has me thinking and talking about the article and plastic for weeks now. There's a location in the Pacific ocean, not far from Hawaii, that has been accumulating plastic for several years and it now covers a 1,000 nautical mile area. The article goes on to talk about fish ingesting these tiny particles of plastic that never disintegrate, and the birds eat the fish, and the baby birds eat the plastics from their mothers and die because the tiny babies can't digest the plastic...and the humans eat the fish who have plastic in them -- and so on, and so on. You get the picture. Bottom line, here's what we should do to stop it.

Stop the source of the pollution. We have created a synthetic polymer that lasts almost forever and we often use it to package one-time-use products. Stop buying over-priced plastic bottled drinking water. A reusable (glass or stainless steel) water bottle is better for the environment, for your health and your pocketbook. Make the choice to bring your own reusable shopping bag to the store. Pick up trash on your next visit to the beach. Simple steps, small lifestyle changes and concrete action multiplied throughout a community and a nation can have a big impact.

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