Please take a reusable bottle with you today, and say “No” to plastic!
Today I start my new series on trash that should be recycled! In 2015 there is no excuse that recyclables fill our landfill trash cans. I am guilting everyone into recycling more. Because this is World Water Week, I am worried about the plastic that fills our water bodies. Plastic makes up 80% of the trash found in the ocean. This plastic could be part of the ocean forever breaking into little tiny fragments ingested by fish and other sea life and eaten by us??
This past January when I was visiting one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Caribbean, I observed litter that upset me. Yes, I am obsessed with litter and clean water. Litter along waterways is unacceptable. The shock was that some local restaurants only served their food in Styrofoam boxes. The Styrofoam boxes were littering the street gutters and shoreline. I wanted no part of this Styrofoam disaster, and searched for food on real plates. Often they had to wash plates just for us.
Why does this upset me? Styrofoam breaks into tiny pieces and no one knows how long it will last in our oceans, maybe forever. Not good for sea life or ocean health. Styrofoam can be recycled, but it is very hard to find. Manufacturers of Styrofoam as well as Coca-Cola and plastic bottle industry should recycle the harmful products they produce, and we should all avoid Styrofoam and plastic bottles as much as possible.
This is FABULOUS news:
Today as I shopped at a Jewel Osco grocery store in Chicago, I was sick to see every item loaded into a plastic bag. I found the same situation as I traveled through New York and Michigan last week. In Minnesota I see more reusable bags and brown paper bags. This was not the case in either the state of New York or City of Chicago, plastic bags dominate!
The chemicals from these bags leach out into our waterways from the land fills where they will sit for hundreds of years. Also they litter our landscape and are harmful to wildlife. What can you do?
1. Bring reusable bags shopping. I would use washable bags that will last. Contact me and I can tell you where to purchase them. I can sell you my health4earth bags, but they are expensive
2. Wash, dry and recycle any plastic bags at most grocery stores.
3. Refuse, refuse, refuse plastic!
4. Never litter!
I am encouraging Minneapolis and other city governments to ban Styrofoam. The past 42 days I have done daily litter pick-ups on my walks in Minneapolis. I was picking up Styrofoam along with wrappers, cans and plastic. Some of what was picked-up could be recycled, but Styrofoam, which is recyclable, is hard to find a place to recycle. I think the Twin Cities area has one place to recycle Styrofoam which is miles from my home.
At an Earth Day pick up along the Minnehaha Creek . I was surprised to notice how much the Styrofoam along the creek was breaking down into little pieces. Pieces so small it was impossible to pick up. Water and sun cause it to break up faster. The past few days I have been picking Styrofoam out of Lake Harriet. It has broken into pieces that might never dissolve and survive in the lake for generations. I wonder what harm this does to the birds and fish?
Banning restaurant containers is only a very small piece of this, but it is a start. The best part of banning Styrofoam could be that it heightens awareness for individuals who never think about the consequences of Styrofoam.
Finally, I have never figured out why businesses that sell products that are so harmful to the environment are not held responsible for what they spew. Why aren’t they at least required to offer recycling?
“People are already paying a price for allowing this packaging (styrofoam), noting the cost to remove the materials from the recycling stream, uncloging storm drains and picking up litter. You’re paying for it in so many different ways,” Minneapolis Council Member Andrew Johnson http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/258989321.html
The following letter was printed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on April 3,
Our planet, Literally Trashed
One of the revelations to come out of the Flight 370 tragedy is the sorry condition of our oceans. One headline noted that the search for the plane was hindered by a “sea of garbage.” On a recent trip to Ohio from our Burnsville home, I was shocked to see the garbage littering the highways after the winter thaw. I saw a car bumper, a vacuum cleaner, tires, mattresses and thousands of plastic bags. Yes, global warming is a threat to this planet and the solutions are complex, but the solution to the trashing of our planet is relatively simple. We need to take responsibility for the waste that we generate. A good start would be the end of plastic-bag use on the part of our retailers. Target, Wal-Mart and others: Spend the extra 3 cents a bag and help in the cleaning up of our planet.
Don Lohrey, Burnsville
My letter in response: Printed on April 4,
To the editor:
I too have been on a road trip through the middle of our country and the plastic bags littering the landscape is disheartening(In response to Our planet, literally trashed 4/2) Personal responsibility is needed to get those plastic bags and all trash recycled. Also, businesses need offer recycling opportunities for individuals away from home. Hennepin County offers grants to businesses to improve their recycling. Look on their website.
For the next 30 days I challenge each of you to “Thirty Days of Earth Day.” Please pick up one piece of trash or more for the next 30 days. Yes, each one of us can make a difference.
For 30 Days of Earth Day, pick up one piece of trash or more everyday for 30 days https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pick-up-One-Piece-of-Trash-a-Day/267910856667805