Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

October 11, 2012

From field to oceans, plastic is everywhere

(Continued)

The solution is not recycling. Even with the upswing in recycling, plastic has become a serious contamination problem, including the Great Pacific Garbage Dump (mostly plastic) that is the size of Texas in the middle of the ocean. If you’re not familiar with it, just Google it and be dismayed at how we are trashing our oceans with plastic.

Answers remain relatively simple: stop buying single-use plastic. Stop buying plastic disposable water and soft drinks bottles. Stop using plastic bags. Fifty years ago, we survived quite well without them and we can do so again. Here are two easy ways to make a difference.

Use refillable water bottles instead of plastic. Use a glass or stainless steel reusable bottle and refill rather than using and tossing plastic bottles. Never refill or reuse disposable plastic bottles — the chemicals can leach into the water. Remember that recycling is not as efficient or clean as reusing. Even if 100 percent of plastics were recycled, there is tremendous chemical and oil-based energy used for recycling. Avoid it by choosing refillable bottles or buying drinks in cans or bottles. Savings to your health, the environment and your wallet will balance the minor inconvenience.

As for plastic bags, there is hardly ever a reason to accept them. Keep a few canvas bags in your car. I stash my reusable bags in a small wire storage cube that sits conveniently in the back seat. As you exit the car, you will learn to ask yourself if you need a bag. It becomes a simple habit that makes a huge difference.

The Plastic Pollution Coalition has many more alarming facts and several useful ideas on avoiding plastic. They also propose an addition to the three R’s of “reduce, reuse and recycle.” Refuse disposable plastics. Say no to plastic.

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Commentary
  • Mental illness prevalent challenge for Indiana youth Terre Haute native Tommy John understands all too well how the pain of depression can lead a talented entertainer like Robin Williams to commit suicide. Like Williams, John achieved national fame, posting 288 victories as a major league baseball pitcher. But one opponent was too strong to overcome: his son's mental illness.

    August 20, 2014

  • PE is essential in child development Of course, I loved physical education in school. Not only was PE a welcome break to a day of sitting at a desk absorbing our teachers’ wisdom — and fun time with friends — but it was also a setting where we could learn about our fast-changing bodies through movement.

    August 20, 2014

  • The tires, they are a changing A few weeks ago I was part of a small group that was tasked with designing an hourlong class teaching people how to do something. We chose to teach new drivers how to change a car tire. One of my teammates got his 16-year-old daughter and two of her friends to take our training, and their comments after the fact got me to thinking about changing flat tires and changing times.

    August 20, 2014

  • Craft brewers, vintners return sprits to Indiana State Fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week.

    August 20, 2014

  • Household waste, hazardous, toxic and dangerous Once a year the Household Hazardous Waste Collection or Tox-Away Day rolls around for Zionsville residents, and it’s coming up from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Zionsville Town Hall, 1100 W. Oak.

    August 13, 2014

  • Kill grubs, plant fall garden in August If you had a problem with grub damage in your lawn last year, now is the time to start applying treatments.

    August 13, 2014

  • A day without recess is a day without joy Youngest started school last week, which isn’t really newsworthy, but what we learned the first day of class kind of is. Our elementary school has embraced an initiative called TEAM30 or something like that. The idea is to make kids exercise every day. In order to work an extra 30 minutes of exercise into an already full school day, something had to go. It was recess.

    August 13, 2014

  • Public safety workers close ranks around gay, lesbian colleagues Jason Miller has spent 15 years in a job he loves. He’s an emergency medical technician working two jobs as a first-responder, and he’s training to become a firefighter in Kokomo. Miller loves the reward of helping others, he said, and the camaraderie among people whose inclination is to run toward danger. For police, firefighters and EMTs, he said, backing each other up is “second nature.”

    August 13, 2014

  • Colleagues of indicted sheriff feel the glare of distrust Last Tuesday didn’t go the way Daviess County Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit thought it would. He was in Indianapolis in the morning in his role as president of the Indiana Sheriffs' Association, to listen to a speech by U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett about his high-profile crackdown on public corruption.

    August 6, 2014

  • Simple tips for packing healthy school lunches It’s time for the kiddos to go back to school, and you’re committed to packing their lunches this year. For those who haven’t packed lunches before or are getting tired of the same old stuff, it may seem a bit daunting to think about planning yet another meal each day.

    August 6, 2014

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