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
  • Teach children to contribute as well as receive I receive a lot of emails and phone calls from parents facing difficulty in their parenting. Often parents ask, “What do I need to give my child? What do I need to do for my child?” While there are many moments we as parents need to give or do something, sometimes the answer lies in expecting from our children.

    July 23, 2014

  • Momma wasn't a sissy My mom was on a medical downslide for the last 20 years of her life, and I always wondered how she managed to keep going. She always said she was probably already dead but just too stubborn to lie down.

    July 23, 2014

  • They've been known to pick a song or two Someone I know — I don't even remember who — used to have a "You may be a Redneck if ..." daily calendar. One day it read: You may be a Redneck if your mother has a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt.

    July 23, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens urgency of lawmaker’s mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January. The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying in-state tuition to attend state colleges and universities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Exercise helps body resist injury I hurt myself last week. It’s a good one too. Low back, below the belt, all the way across. Hurt. When I get hurt, I am instantly grateful for the strength training and body care I do every week and the knowledge I’ve gain from moving my body regularly.

    July 23, 2014

  • A bee, or not to be It’s weird that while working in my garden I am always looking for insect damage as a positive sign. I spotted lots of torn leaves on my Dutchman’s Pipevine and was pleased. The vine is a larval food source — caterpillar food — for the Pipevine Swallowtail, one of Indiana’s many swallowtail butterflies.

    July 16, 2014

  • Basements aren’t just for tornadoes anymore The Lutheran church ladies are back in town at Beef & Boards performing “A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement.” The show runs through Aug. 17.

    July 16, 2014

  • Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.

    July 16, 2014

  • Extension Service celebrates turning 100 On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a nonformal educational program designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In recognition of 2014 being the centennial year of the Extension Service, Purdue Extension – Boone County will commemorate the milestone with activities and displays at this year’s Boone County Fair.

    July 16, 2014

  • Vacation workout can be simple, convenient It’s vacation time, so many of my customers are requesting workouts they can do while on vacation to stay in shape. The tricky part is 1.) knowing what kind of equipment they will have, and 2.) if it’s too complicated, they won’t do it. So I like to keep it as simple as possible to minimize both of those barriers.

    July 9, 2014

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