Rethink your use of plastics as you celebrate Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Hopefully you are inspired to make some lifestyle changes to help our planet. Whether it's recycling, composting, buying less, switching off the lights, adjusting your thermostat or the other million acts of green out there, take action today and do at least one thing to make a difference.

My suggestion for Earth Day is that you cut back on using plastic bags and water bottles. Check out these stats from the Surfrider Foundation:

  • If you stretched end-to-end 100 billion plastic bags (a year's supply), they would reach from the Earth to the Sun every two years.
  • Americans purchase 28 billion water bottles annually, enough to fill Madison Square Garden from top to bottom with water. This uses up 20 million barrels of oil.
  • It costs between 2-5 cents to produce a plastic bag, yet 17 cents to clean it up.
  • Plastic does not biodegrade, instead it breaks down into small pieces that marine animals mistake for food.
  • It is estimated that over 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year from ingestion or entanglement in plastics.

Unbelievable? See it for yourself. Check out this video of trash in our oceans.

 

It only takes simple changes in your lifestyle to reduce the amount of plastics polluting our planet. Take your own reusable bags to the store when shopping and use a stainless steel refillable water bottle instead of buying bottled water. 

Here in North Carolina, our barrier island beaches are protected by a plastic bag ban, which requires stores to only use paper bags. Unfortunately, there is a Senate bill threatening to reverse the ban. If you live in North Carolina, please send a letter to your representative asking to protect our beaches by preserving the plastic bag ban.

Plastics pollution is a huge threat to our environment, and you alone can make a difference if you choose to! 

Chel Rogerson