Earth-day-Blogathon - Plastics

Earth-day-Blogathon is just another excuse for me to write about certain small measures we have been incorporating in our lives to make it a little more eco-friendly.

One of the small steps we have taken is to reduce the use of plastics in our household. It sounds really easy to say that but over time we had slowly become slaves to plastics. Plastic bags, disposable plastic containers, plastic wraps, microwaveable plastics and so on. I admit plastics are so convenient and make life easier. We had been plastic junkies and had stocked up so much of everything plastic and so the move away was difficult but we are moving away now.

Off with all the disposable plastic boxes, yogurt bottles and stuff and in with the old stainless steel dabbas and glass/ceramic containers. We bought in a bunch of glass bowls to store food in the fridge and trashed a big chunk of our plastics into the recycle bin. Of course these glass bowls do not have a tight-fitting lids but I am back to the good old stainless steel plates to cover up my bowls. The pantry still has quite a lot of plastic bottles filled with all kinds of lentils and spices. We do want to make a move towards some alternative methods of air-tight, bug-free storage.

With regards to plastic bags, we have literally started carrying our bags to grocery stores like we did in those days. Saying no to plastic and paper bags offered at the stores. It is a habit we need to form. A little tough. We have a cloth bag in each of our cars and everytime we stop we try to carry in our bags and get it filled. Again a small way to reduce the use of plastics. There are times when we do end up bringing plastic bags to our house and those we use them in lieu of trashbags or throw them into the plastic bag recycling can at our local Randalls grocery store.

Why are we targeting so much on plastics? Plastics are basically petroleum based products and are non-biodegradable. And it does lead to environmental concerns that we are not aware of and not bothered about coz it really does not affect us directly. One such thing I learned during my research about plastic is about the North Pacific Gyre.

The North Pacific Gyre is a vortex of ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean. The vortex motion, draws in waste matter and marine debris which decompose over time and form the food for the tiny plankton that thrive in those seas. It is also called the Garbage Patch and the Pacific Trash Vortex because of its nature.

It is now becoming a plastic dump and ofcourse as plastic does not degrade it is causing big issues that are underworld. The plastic dump is supposed to be twice the size of Texas and extend from Hawaii to Japan. There is a good video on CBS on what you can see in the Gyre and its effects in jelly fish.

We might not end up cleaning the plastic vortex but we can do our bit and reduce the use of plastics.