The plastic is everywhere! In your car, in your house, in your workplace, the very keyboard I am using to type this blog is made of plastic! Plastic is so prolific, it is not outside of reason to believe plastics make up the majority of the materials used in consumer products. And how can you blame people for using plastic so much? Plastic is cheap to make, according to “Plastics News,” a trade magazine, lists the recent price of PET virgin bottle resin pellets between 83 and 85 cents a pound. The issue with plastic is not plastic in itself, but people have grown addicted to plastic and consequently have abused its value by tossing it into the environment and effectively damaging it. We cannot continue like this, we must either grow our use of recycling, get rid of plastic and find an eco-friendly alternative, or let it consume us and destroy our natural environment. In this article, we will explore different ways to curb our use of plastic and as well as approaches to recycle it.
The best way to avoid dumping any plastic items finds new uses for items you would normally throw away. There are many websites that show you how to craftily turn used cartons, old T-shirts, wine bottles, and other knickknacks into beautiful art projects and handy tools. Find ways to reuse hard-to-recycle items like milk cartons and aseptic cartons at lifehacker.com, which provides instructions on converting them into CD mailers, or Disney’s familyfun.go.com, where you can learn to turn them into change purses like the one pictured at right. Know a bookworm? Old seed packets make great bookmarks., paper, cartons, or whatever else you have around the house, all found here.
Plastic exists to support the on-the-go lifestyle that we all think we need to maintain. Committing to cutting back on plastic gives you a reason to insert some helpful speed bumps into your day. So, enjoy them! Take 10 extra minutes to eat breakfast at home or use a full 30 minutes to eat lunch at a restaurant, eat off plates using real silverware, rather than grabbing something packaged in plastic to eat at your desk. Along with the benefits of avoiding plastic, you will gain an opportunity to catch your breath, enjoy your food, and let go of some stress.
GET PAID TO RECYCLE
One man’s recyclable garbage is another man’s path to free things. Using special ID tags affixed to your recycling bin, Recyclebank tracks how much you’re recycling and gives you rewards points that you can use at stores, including Origins, CVS, and Whole Foods. Your municipal recycling program has to work with RecycleBank in order for you to benefit.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NOW?
The next step needs to come from us on an individual basis. If we want to improve the condition of the environment and control our obsession with plastic, we need to start considering the alternatives now. Recycle more, use glass bottles, and thermoses instead of plastic water bottles. Massive societal change starts small even if it feels insignificant. Another you thing you can do is telling us how your communities can do more to contribute to the solution, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.