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Celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd: What Three Small Things Can You Do?

April 16, 2013

By: Marcelle Benedicta, Work Programs Employer Relations Manager

To be honest, I wasn’t much of an environmental gal. My focus has always been, “what’s more practical and easy for me to do?”

sea of plastic

That changed a few years ago when I learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is an area in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii, that is clotted with plastic micro-particles.  Captain Charles Moore, an oceanographer and racing boat captain discovered this sea of plastic.

turtle

Read more here:

http://grist.org/list/pacific-garbage-patch-has-gotten-100-times-worse-in-40-years

http://www.dogonews.com/2010/2/14/video-of-the-week-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch

I never realized that all the plastic we use just ends up in the ocean. Worse, they break down into small particles and get ingested by plankton, who in turn, are eaten by the fish. That sushi you just love or the delicious fish & chips at your local bar? Yes, those fish might have plastic particles inside their body, and indirectly, we also may have the particles in OUR body. So if you think about it, our problems really do come full circle! I came across a related article that has really hit home – this plastic problem has now arrived in our backyard, in Lake Michigan! For all in Chicago, it is very sad and quite alarming.

I knew that I needed to stop ignoring this problem, and decided on three small things to reduce my plastic consumption:

  1. lunch boxNo more plastic reusable bags for my sandwich. I’m toting a more stylish option that I can re-use every day and throw into the washer when the Nutella and strawberry jam bits have discolored the inside lining. I got mine here.
  2. BLOG Reusable Water BottleNo more plastic bottled water while I’m travelling. I was thrilled to find this reusable bottle that filters the water as I drink it, so I can just get a refill from any fountain at the airport or bathroom sink at the hotel, and know that the water will taste good. I got mine from the Container Store.
  3. BLOG Biodegradable Poop BagsNo more plastic grocery bags to pick up after my dog’s poop. I choose NOT to mummify my dog’s poop, so instead, I use 100% biodegradable dog poop bags that are made with renewable resources, not oil, and are compostable by California standards (the highest in the country). I got mine here.

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd. Know that no action is too small and you CAN make a difference! I’ve listed my three small things to be more environmentally friendly and to stop contributing to the Great Pacific and Great Lakes Garbage Patch. What are YOUR three small things?

Have a environmentally safe Earth Day from CCI Greenheart!

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