How We're Killing the Planet: The Ultimate Guide to PlasticPosted: July 20, 2010
And How Minimalism is the Solution
Why should you simplify your life? Or even better, become a minimalist?
Quite obviously, for the environment. I’m quite sure you’ve heard of the BP oil spill. Yes, it is partly the government’s and BP’s fault for having terribly loose regulations. But, what most people don’t realize while playing the blame game and driving to work everyday after disposing of 1 pound of plastic is– it’s our faults too. We’re the ones who demand so much oil. The people, the citizens. Did you know that plastic never biodegrades? It only photodegrades meaning plastic is only able to emit toxic chemicals and turn into tinier and tinier pieces for the fishies and birdies to eat. Yum.
Things made out of Oil List:
- Plastic bags: 500 billion to One trillion bags (!) are used each year. That’s twelve 0′s!
Fact- Plastic enters the food chain and leeches toxic chemicals. Who ends up eating that plastic? US! Mmmm, plastic stew.
- Plastic for our food, i.e. Tupperware, packaging, disposable utensils (ugh!), food preservatives and mineral oil in our food (ewww), plastic covering, sandwich bags, Egg cartons, breadboxes, cake decorations, jars, milk jugs, wax paper, coffee pots, mops, ice trays, lunch boxes, Styrofoam, drinking straws, pudding and yogurt molds, refrigerators, detergent bottles
- Water Bottles (two million are used every 5 minutes in the USA), Canned Food, Baby Bottles
Fact- BPA, found in the above, is one of many man-made chemicals classified as endocrine disruptors, which alter the function of the endocrine system by mimicking the role of the body’s natural hormones. BPA is drastically released once exposed to heat. Don’t drink those old bottles in your car!
- Tires, cars, rugs, shower curtains, lamps, glue, DVD’s, dice, crayons
Fact: There is a
little Ginormous floating toxic garbage island twice the size of Texas to twice the size of the USA, it’s hard to measure. And Texas is big y’all. The government has been ignoring it since it’d take about 10 billion dollars to clean up. It is made up of 80% plastic and floating in between Hawaii and Japan. It is estimated to weigh around 100 million tons.
- All Polyester clothing (flannel PJ’s, blouses, pants), all nylon clothing, ballet tights, pantyhose, plastic hangers, purses, flip flops, earrings, faux fur, raincoats, sneakers, umbrellas, boots
- Cosmetic packaging, deodorant, makeup, skincare products (in the form of mineral oil, propylene glycol), shampoos, conditioners, and body washes, shaving cream, wigs, nail polish, cologne, hair brushes, lipstick, curlers, perfume, hair color, mascara, toothbrushes
Fact: Since plastic can never biodegrade, all of the plastic we’ve ever manufactured, ever made, is still with us today. O.M.G. !!!!!
- Ball point pens, ink, computers, printers, copiers, wastebaskets, calculators, binders, erasers, rulers, tape, markers, telephones
Fact: 2 Million Pieces of plastic are thrown into the ocean every hour.
- Balloons, beach balls, fishing poles, hang gliders, footballs, frisbees, golf balls, golf bags, ear plugs, yarn, kites, tennis rackets, fabric dye, life jackets, volleyballs, plastic water guns, soccer balls, oil paints, parachutes, ear phones, photographs, goggles, poker chips, roller skate and skateboard wheels, guitar strings, rafts, tents, sleeping bags, helmets, sails, hot tub covers, tennis balls, boats
- Trash Bags, baby oil, laundry baskets, pacifiers, commercial bath soaps, bibs, rattles, disposable diapers, teething rings, dolls, stuffed animals, baby lotion
- Allergy medication, cotton swabs, inhalers, aspirin, first aid cream, band aids, latex gloves, bug spray, chapstick, Vaseline (aka gas by-products. It’s cheaper to sell this stuff than dispose of it.), hearing aids, laxatives, prescription glasses
- Pots and Pans. That kill Birds. Basically all of those “nonstick pans” aka Teflon, are coated in plastic. Teflon has been associated with severe birth defects in the children of workers who make the stuff. It can also come off of your pans in flakes. Imagine accidentally eating that. S$&t! While researching, I found out Microwave popcorn bags have teflon! It is toxic, makes humans sick, and can cause seizures. Not pretty.
AHHHHHHHHHH! I’m tired of naming stuff! This is obviously not all of the things we use made out of oil but I’m stopping here. Look at that list. You should find more than a few things that you use. We take oil, smear it on our faces, package our food in it, eat it, live in it, use it for our daily routines. Do you honestly think you could go a day without oil? Oil is the reason for our wars. Our wars take most of our taxes. They aren’t used for education or to make our nation a better place, they’re used for wars. The oil spill in the gulf of Mexico only grows larger every minute.
How you can help:
The simplest advice: Consume Less.
Drive less, Eat less, Use less.
Everything you buy takes up a large amount of natural resources. From manufacturing, to packaging, to shipping it around the country. According the the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces 4.4 pounds of garbage a day, 29 pounds per week, and 1,600 pounds a year. Instead of buying say 1,000 things a year, lower it down to 50. Help fix the oil spill.
The little things we do everyday definitely add up. We, the people, hold the power to make a difference. Whining about the oil spill will never make a difference, our actions do. What we do matters. Together we can lead a revolution. A revolution that will make sure we don’t deplete the planet for the next generations to live in.
BE THE CHANGE. LIVE THE CHANGE.
A MUST see: The Story of Stuff
Sustainable things: Chagrinvalley Natural Soaps: They have extremely minimal packaging and offer the best cost per ounce soap. DBA Pens: Made out of non-toxic pronounceable ingredients and 98% biodegradable. Source Toothbrushes: Made from things like recycled dollar bills, recycled flax.
Get a still longer list of things made out of oil at PBS
Click on the links if you wish to find out more information or you just want to make sure I’m not a crazy hippie making this stuff up.
Have any sustainable products that you’re dying to share? Have any more facts you would like to share? How are you going to change the planet?
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