Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Why

Great Pacific Garbage Patch - The Trash Gyre

My decision to reduce single use plastic and paper has been a journey of heart and mind, and the decision was made based on both fact and emotion. The facts are irrefutable, but also difficult to comprehend because of the massive scale. For example:

  • 14 million tons of plastic is generated a year in the US
  • Half of it, 7 million tons, is made into single use containers and packaging
  • 89% of single use plastic waste is not recycled

What really cinched it for me was the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, pictured above. If you haven't heard, there's a floating island of trash in the Pacific that's larger than the state of Texas. I live in Texas. I've driven from Beaumont to El Paso and this sucker is huge. For that reason, the thought of kayaking around a tangled web of plastic the size of this state made me want to cry. And then, it made me want to do something about it, or at least opt out of being part of the problem. 

And that's the heart part. It's sad to see trash lining our roads and trails, and the effect it has on people's morale in unkept inner city neighborhoods. And the paper - just the thought of trees being cut to make paper, then sheets of paper being used once, thrown away and carted off to a big hole in the ground....that waste is painful. And then there's this short video, again a clincher to make sure that I really really get it. 

"Do we have the courage to face the realities of our time? And allow ourselves to feel deeply enough that it transforms us, and our future?Simultaneously beautiful and haunting, I challenge you to watch it and not be moved. Midway: A Message from the Gyre