We love rivers. Lakes. Streams. We love water. We want to keep them clean.
What is all the hype on plastics?
For this section I am speaking solely for personal experience and opinion and from the context of Minnesota and the Twin Cities.
The Mississippi Watershed is where most of us get our drinking water. Also, many cities in the metro area have infrastructure systems that drain directly to the Mississippi River and other water bodies that are in this watershed (meaning they eventually drain to the Mississippi too). I have done enough cleanups on local water bodies to tell you that single-use waste is a big problem, right here in the Twin Cities. It washes from the streets, down the drain and straight to the river.
This also means gas and oil spills from cars drain to the river too. Please clean up any spills from your automobile. Ciggie butts are a huge clogging pollutant found in our water for this reason too. Please keep your ciggie butts and dispose of them properly and encourage local businesses to offer waste cans for butts and to clean their street corners. Yes over-salting in the winter is harming water, consult local watersheds for advice on proper use.
Data shows that much of the waste we think is recycled actually is not so a good practice to follow is reuse. Plastic is not the only problem but it doesn't biodegrade. Here are the top four single-use items found in water (give or take): Plastic water bottles, plastic bags, plastic straws, Styrofoam cups and any little plastic bits that go with single-use drinks like lids and plugs and sleeves. However, we also find a whole lot of fishing line, fishing worm tubs, flip-flops, tires, food wrappers and the like. What else? A bowling ball, a vacuum, fish tank, aerosol cans, fishing decoys.
Is plastic evil?
Nope. Not in my opinion. For example, lets say you bike to a local antique store and pick up an orange plastic bowl set with green flowers painted on the side for your new kitchen in a LEED green building with a yard designed by the MWMO. This is a win-win all around. Use the plastics we have already lying around (plastics don't die.) Reuse items that are in good condition. Keep reusing the plastics you have. Resist buying new for fads sake. Get some reusable utensils, mugs and bottles for your family and bring your own bag to the story. All really obtainable and easy ways to cut back our product use. When you can buy something naked, on a share or reduced packing, go for it. Truth is we have too many bodies on the planet these days for us all to be wasting resources on silly things like a morning coffee. Challenge yourself to find ways in your lifestyle to balance the CO2 card. The way I like to look at it is, I love driving my boat so I better get out there and plant some prairie and cleanup some shores, makes sense right?