Post by Kent Wittenburg on Jun 16, 2020 14:40:22 GMT -5
Many of us are interested in reducing the use of plastics, particularly single-use plastics, in our personal lives and in the lives of organizations we are associated with. It is difficult in the face of seemingly universal use of plastics in packaging in all facets of consumer life. However, we can take steps such as reusing plastic packaging when we can, avoiding purchasing of single-use plastics such as water bottles, and finding alternatives to plastics plates, cups, and silverware.
Post by Kent Wittenburg on Jun 18, 2020 13:29:19 GMT -5
There is an article in the latest Environmental Defense Fund's newsletter about reducing plastics in our personal lives. Among the suggestions were to find alternatives to plastic shampoo and milk bottles, to buy staples in bulk using glass jars or our your own reusable bags, to use silicone containers instead of plastic, wax-based wraps instead of plastic or foil. She recommends communicating with companies to encourage less plastic packaging.
Post by Kent Wittenburg on Jun 18, 2020 16:18:54 GMT -5
An ocean conservation organization called Oceana is leading a campaign to reduce plastics usage and change the laws accordingly. They have a very succinct and effective presentation on their website on steps to take individually and on a legislative level. They have organized a series of pledges to sign up for.
Post by Gary Riccio on Jun 22, 2020 9:54:40 GMT -5
We need social psychological and spiritual innovation and guidance to keep us from being demoralized about the tradeoffs in our behavior (e.g., patterns of consumption, activism, education) amid multiple crises such as pandemic, climate change, waste and pollution.
How can we keep from being overwhelmed with calls to action? How can we avoid overwhelming others with calls to action?
Perhaps we can identify ways in which a multiplicity of considerations and responses do not, in fact, require tradeoffs or independent efforts. Where can there be synergy among the effects of particular actions? How can progress in one effort be energizing for other efforts?
One synergistic effort we will be exploring is voter registration and access to polling places motivated by the overlapping issues of environmental justice and environmental health. We, as individuals, can help other individuals. This redefines what it means to be an individual and the conceptions of power that such definitions imply.
This is brought to you by a company that sells products that are alternatives to plastic, particularly for the home and personal care. I've been trying out their silk- and wax-based dental floss, which is working for me. The offsets amount to paying a monthly fee of $8 towards hiring people to pick up plastics waste and, supposedly, recycling it. I say "supposedly" because recycling plastics is fraught with problems and misinformation. According to their website, the average monthly amount of plastics waste in the US is 22 pounds per person. That is how much this organization pledges to remove from the environment for $8 a month in coastal communities worldwide--including Haiti, Indonesia, and the Philippines. $3 of the $8 goes to administration.
I have some concern that this concept might ease guilt about plastics waste generation without tackling the root causes. But no doubt that paying people in poor countries to pick up plastics waste is probably a good thing as long as it doesn't go straight into the trash again.