Are you as disturbed as I am by the images we are seeing regarding plastic pollution? Many places I hike or camp these days in Colorado have bits of plastic garbage here and there that I pick up. I visited the Padre Island National Sea Shore with my sister recently, and they were handing out large garbage bags for visitors to pick up trash. My sister and I filled our bags easily in 30 minutes, and many pieces of the plastic had bites out of them from sea turtles.
Images like the ones included here are really sad, but I choose to share them because we are living in a time when we have to make changes quickly or the animals and planet we love may be lost, impacting us all. But what can we do?
An Australian group has formed a world-wide movement called Plastic Free July with helpful tips. You can visit their website to sign a pledge to say no to single use plastics. National Geographic also has an online pledge you can sign.
Our family has been on a journey to reduce and reuse for several years. I noticed a neighbor was putting out orange bags for the garbage pick up only once in a while, so I asked her about it. If you don’t know about it here’s the scoop: You can ask Western Disposal to pick up and cancel your garbage cart, and instead buy their orange plastic (I know) bags for $5.00 a piece in bundles of 10 or more. You just put out the orange plastic bag when full. This is a good deal money wise if you only put it out two times or less per month.
We are currently filling our bag only about once every 6 weeks. We had noticed that our trash can was never full and in fact sometimes had little in it, so we had been successful in reducing and reusing. We are now even more encouraged, and I know I, at least, enjoy the challenge of not producing trash. Taking a look into our orange bag, it only contains well…..plastic! It is really hard to buy food items, for instance, without buying plastic, but we really try.
We bring our own bags to the store, buy in bulk, and put in our own containers such as Mason jars for bulk and left overs.
We reuse the plastic containers that we do have by refilling them at a store in Boulder called Refill Revolution. I like to support the young local owner, and it’s a good idea! We refill our shampoo, dish detergent, and liquid laundry soap at her store. My newest thing is to use tooth paste in a jar (sold at Refill Revolution) or Rebecca’s Apothecary, and to use compostable dental floss in a glass container (Refill Revolution).
What ideas do YOU have to make it a Plastic Free Journey? Let’s talk!
~ Brenda Mehos
Click HERE to email Brenda, a member of FUMC’s Green Team.