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Sheila ShawIt seems everywhere you look these days there are organizations urging us to help save this and help restore that! At first glance, it’s overwhelming. At least that is how I felt until I did some research of my own.

After learning about the garbage and plastic pollution in our oceans and rivers, I embarked on a learning crusade which took me all around the world (via YouTube) - from the depths of the North Pacific Ocean gyre to the slums of Bangkok and all points in between. I found the severity of the crisis Earth faces shocking. The amount of garbage in our oceans is staggering and the deforestation of our planet's native forests is disheartening. I learned that wildlife all over the world is suffering the cruel effects of our casual use of plastics and unrestrained logging. continued

Single-Use Plastic Insanity An Inconvenient Truth How Green Are You?

In 1957, when the first plastic sandwich bags were introduced in the United States, the throw-away generation was born. However, no one could have imagined that our country’s appetite for plastic would reach the level of insanity that it has reached today.

Americans currently take home 100 billion plastic bags per year, consume ½ billion bottles of water each week, and choose decorative, single-use plastic-ware instead of compostable or reusable items (e.g. glass, metal etc.) every day.

Nearly every piece of plastic EVER made still exists today!

When discussing fossil fuel consumption, the spotlight usually falls on large recreational vehicles, but what about bottled water?

Some members of the public are angrily focused on the differences in fuel efficiency among various models of cars people choose to drive, yet many of those same individuals are unaware of the amount of crude oil used to produce bottled water.

Currently, US production of plastic water bottles consumes a quantity of oil sufficient to fuel 1 million cars for one year, not include the energy (i.e. oil) required to get the product to the consumer.

80-90% of the plastic pollution in our oceans and landfills is made-up of single-use plastics (e.g., cups, candy wrappers, toys, utensils, plates, etc.).

Our chart captures some of the opportunities we all have to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in oceans and landfills. Each column represents a level of 'going green'.

At first all of my own attempts at 'going green' barely landed me a merit award in the light green category. I now realize 'going green' requires a steady maturing of consumer decision making and a willingness to share information.


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