Tuesday, April 13, 2010

save a sea turtle and the plastic problem

the more i read about the overuse and growing pollution of/from plastics the more and more upset i get. my plastic awareness began as an initiative to limit chemicals and toxic elements for my son. i didn't want him sucking on pvc or being exposed to lead as he played with toys or sucked on teethers. for that purpose my war against plastic was born.

limiting A's use of plastic is making me look at my own plastic consumption in new ways. the water i drank came out of a bottle, my yogurt cups end up in the trash after three spoonfulls, yes my recycling efforts save plastic from our trash can but where does it eventually end up? and what is all this plastic doing to our bodies before it ends up polluting our planet?

according to Greenpeace International, a mass approximately the sie of texas made out of plastics and other trash is slowly circulating in the North Pacific. this thought alone horrified me and when i googled images of it i was disgusted. also according to greenpeace, 'It has been estimated that over a million sea-birds and one hundred thousand marine mammals and sea turtles are killed each year by ingestion of plastics or entanglement.' why isn't that information enough to change the way we consume?

i remember being about 6 years old walking on the beach with my grandfather. a woman approached us holding a fistful of 6 pack rings. she asked me that if i ever saw a 6 pack ring on the beach or on the ground if i could pick it up and cut it so that no rings were left. she explained that sea turtles mistook them for food and would either eat them and get sick or get stuck in them and die. this knowledge horrified me and to this day i still, out of habit now, cut up any 6 pack ring i come across.

sea turtles have always had a soft spot in my heart and reading about how many of them are dying due to plastic is breaking my heart. what can i do? i know limiting plastic in toys and teethers is important for health reasons for A. but limiting how i buy and consume can have an environmental impact as well as a health impact.

a big part of my journey as a mellow mama is my desire to get back to basics in our life. i want us to eat whole, healthy foods, breathe fresher, cleaner air, and live well. back to basics is a step away from packaged and marketed food. we switched to a tap water filter to stop buying plastic water bottles but i still buy soda. this week i want to stop drinking soda. its bad for me, its not anything wholesome or healthy, and when its gone the plastic bottle it came in is disposable. this week i vow for my health and the planet's health to drink only my filtered water.

going back to basics will beneift my health, my son's health, my husband's health, the planet's health and maybe a sea turtle will be spared because we are limiting our contribution to the plastic problem.

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