I chose to write this article about our planet because our world population is exploding and our garbage is accumulating. When I leave this earth I want my footprint to be almost invisible. When I leave this earth I want my grandchildren to have something left to enjoy.
For example, there is a swirling pool of plastic trash in the mid Pacific Ocean larger than the size of Texas. Now scientists have discovered a similar floating menace of confetti-like plastic debris stretching over thousands of square miles in the Atlantic.
This plastic ocean pollution is a global problem. The plastic pieces make their way up the food chain, the fish mistake it for food and swallow it, and then we consume the fish. Doesn’t sound very appetizing, but its happening. Environmentalists and scientists alike are now thinking that our plastic footprint is worse for the planet than our carbon footprint.
Therefore, I will continue composting my garbage. I compost newspapers, junk mail, coffee grinds (I get from Starbucks), tea leaves, vegetable peelings, kitchen scraps (no meat, fat or dairy), banana skins, dryer lint, leaves, grass and more. In 4 to 6 months I have organic compost. I then use my fabricated soil in my garden to grow my vegetables organically, without chemicals.
I will continue to separate my garbage. We have a blue recycle bin that our city gives us for plastic, cans, boxes, glass, electronics, old telephone books, magazines and anything else I can recycle. Our city processes the used goods to reduce the waste of potentially useful materials. Also it reduces the negative impact of that waste. For example, production of recycled paper uses 80% less water and 65% less energy, and produces 95% less air pollution than virgin paper production. For every four-foot stack of paper you recycle, you save a tree. Recycling conserves natural resources and conserves space in our landfills.
I will continue to use my Brita water filter. I wash and reuse my plastic and glass bottles and fill them with my filtered water. I always have a couple of fresh bottles of water, ready to go, in my refrigerator at all times. I used 384 plastic bottles of water a year, and we are only a household of two. Now I am down to zero consumption of plastic bottles.
I will continue to dispose of my unused medicine in a safe manner. I never flush it down the toilet or sink. I leave it in the same plastic container, add a little water, shake it, tape it closed securely and put it in the trash. Our water supply is being contaminated by our bodily fluid waste…no need in adding to the contamination with more pharmaceuticals. The effects of pain killers, depression medicine, chemotherapy drugs and hormones are creating changes in our wildlife. About 40% of all US produced antibiotics are fed to farm animals as growth enhances and then spread on the land through manure. All of this percolates into our ground water. What effect is it having on our children?
I would like to encourage you all to Remember: REDUCE, REUSE, And RECYCLE!