If we continue the path we are on with plastic pollution, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Business lobbyists are working hard to make sure we use plastic products. Laws are being passed to stop cities and counties from banning plastic bags and plastic/Styrofoam containers. We are in a sad place when the lobbyists have more power than the common good of everyone. These lobbyists make me more determined than ever to boycott their awful plastic products.
What are some ideas to reduce your plastic use? Here is an excellent article from Minnesota Public Radio(MPR) on what you can do about plastic pollution. When a plastic product comes your way, ask yourself: Do I really need this, or can I use something else? Chances are you can say no, and yes.
Each one of us can make a huge difference. On Earth Day 2018 set a simple goal for yourself, something that is easy to do. Maybe just keeping your reusable bags in the trunk of your car, or refilling olive oil and balsamic vinegar bottles at your local grocery. Maybe refusing to purchase anything in Styrofoam or never again using a plastic straw. You know your situation, what works for you?
Make sure your environmental goal is easy to accomplish, and something you have a passion or interest to accomplish. Remember, our youth want a livable future.
There are always new things you can purchase in bulk, instead of plastic. My newest way to avoid plastic using bulk hemp seeds to make hemp milk . Trying to reduce one plastic container at a time!
Plastic came into being about 1950. It is lightweight and easy to make into many things. Unfortunately, plastic is awful for our wildlife and waterways. Both are choking on this ubiquitous plastic pollution.
What are microplastics? They are tiny pieces of plastic that come from our clothes, plastic litter, and synthetic fibers. Read or listen to the entire story at MPR.
At the present these plastic particles are too small to be strained out of our water treatment plants so they end up polluting our waterways, lakes and oceans. There is a new laundry bag you can purchase (see below) that will filter the microfiber when you wash your clothes.
I love this list from MPR:
5 things you can do to reduce microplastic pollution
Cut back on consuming single-use plastic products such as shopping bags, Starbucks cups and plastic utensils. Replace them with reusable items like travel mugs, silverware
and cloth bags.
Buy only facial scrubs, toothpaste and other personal care products made with natural exfoliants, such as oatmeal and salt.
Buy clothing made of organic or natural materials rather than synthetic fibers. Buy only what you need, and invest in higher-quality items so you don’t need to replace them as often.
Don’t wash your clothes as often, especially items made from synthetic fabrics like fleece jackets.
Invest in a mesh laundry bag, guppy friend, designed to capture shedding fibers during the washing cycle. Read about guppy friend here.
Adding new pollinator plants is not easy if you are a hosta gardener or a new gardener.
I would start small by adding a few of these: purple cone flowers, black-eyed Susan, bee balm, a few asters, and columbine. I suggest these because many garden stores sell them, they are easy to grow, add diversity, and are loved by pollinators.
Today’s news on the Arctic from the World Wildlife Fund:
In response to today’s news from the National Snow and Ice Data Center about record low winter sea ice extent, World Wildlife Fund released the following statement from Margaret Williams, managing director of Arctic programs.
“Today’s news is not only about record low levels of winter Arctic sea ice, it’s about the unraveling of the Arctic and the impact of climate change on the wildlife and people that call the region home.
“This is yet another signal that bold leadership is needed to address the climate crisis. As the US assumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council next month, we need a vision that redefines business-as-usual in the rapidly changing Arctic — one that embraces renewable energy, sustainable development, and healthy communities.” http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/03/19/bcst-climate-cast
Minnesota is warmer than it used to be. Rain falls in bigger downpours. Hay fever sufferers have a longer sneezing season, and the ticks that deliver Lyme disease are expanding their range. Red maple trees are moving north. So are purple finches. Moose numbers have shrunk.
Without question, the state’s climate has changed in recent decades. And that’s had an impact on the lives of its wildlife, its plants, its people.
Minneapolis will probably set a record cold for this week’s temperatures, and British Columbia and the Arctic might set record heat records.
When I travel, people often say, “Minnesota, it is really cold there!” This week’s cold spell during the All-Star Game is going to reinforce those beliefs. Usually this is the hottest week of the year in Minnesota with average highs in the 80s F.
As someone who loves outdoor activity, I love cooler temperatures, but what is scary is the record heat in British Columbia and the Arctic.
From Minnesota Public Radio:As Minnesota shivers today in record July cold, western Canada is baking, and literally burning up in record heat.
This unprecedented “high amplitude” jet stream pattern is producing record cold and record heat at close range within North America.
Temperatures reached 105 degrees Sunday in parts of British Columbia. At least 20 weather stations across western Canada set high temperature records Sunday.
And from Paul Douglas at the Minneapolis www.Startribune.com
Climate Change for Dummies.Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed at theConcord Monitor: “…I distinctly remember my professor Richard Bopp, researcher at Goddard Institute for Space Studies, telling us that the only thing he knew was that you could not overload such a delicately balanced system like our atmosphere and not have something change. The idea that everything in the world would gradually and evenly rise in temperature was unlikely, but he and his colleagues could not offer an alternative at that time. Well, 25 years later, we have a better idea. Thanks to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a voluntary 2,000-member group of scientists committed to understanding climate change, we can verify that we are experiencing more severe weather and increases of ocean levels, glacial melting and average temperature…”
When Susan Damon and her husband bought their St. Paul home a couple decades ago, invasive plants had a stranglehold. Now their yard is home to more than 100 species of native plants and a food source for an array of critters.
It’s proof that even city dwellers can create a welcoming habitat for butterflies, bees and songbirds.
They replanted with prairie grasses, high bush cranberry and hazelnut, among other species. There’s almost no weeding — the natives crowd out the dandelions — and hardly any watering since some of the plants have roots sunk up to 10 feet deep into the soil.