Friday, May 23, 2008

My Private War Against Plastic

My only home in America is located in Hawaii, in a set of islands the Pacific Ocean. I have been an organic gardener who has lived in the Pacific Islands of the Philippines too. My father is from Pennsylvania, and he passed away in 2005. He brought me up to love nature, and organic gardening. He taught me much of what my ancestors knew about organic farming, and it has enriched my life to the point that being "green" became a way of life for me. Yet like most people of my generation who were born after World War II, the convenience and the curse of plastics crept in little by little, and it has become the principle element for practically everything we humans own. Even in the most remote parts of the jungles of Asia, plastic pails and bags are found everywhere. Now plastic cannot deteriorate unless it is melted down by strong heat, or it becomes part of the environment, in land fills or often tossed into the rivers and oceans to become the menace of the 21 century!

This gut wrenching video will convince anyone who views it, that plastic must be totally banned and eradicated from the earth. The problem is, how? Recycling only makes it more toxic, like a snowball of even more dangerous elements.

Watch this BBC documentary:

Plastic is a man made substance made from oil that is already so expensive, that its by products like plastic come from the same source as petroleum. Plastic forms the primary synthetic and artificial element of everything from thread, rope, textiles, fish nets, food containers, beverage bottles, grocery and shopping bags, crates, DVD, computer disk, computer parts, auto parts, telephone instruments, cell phones, childrens toys, kitchen utensils, plates, straws,cups, disposable hospital equipment and name it, plastic is a component of whatever we have in our homes, offices, hospitals, and body bags with people in them are even in graves!

Another good video about this subject matter:

I have joined the war against plastic...and each day I will endeavor to rid my life of it. I grew up without plastics, and I can remember what it was like to do my math without a calculator, and call friends on an old antique brass telephone! We had rubber and wood spatulas in the kitchen, and Pyrex was just introduced. I do remember what life was like without plastic, but my children and grandchildren do not know what life is without plastic. I hope while I am alive, I can help undo what my generation has done and get rid of the dependency on plastic.

Recently I heard that STARBUCKS in Manila will give a P40.00(pesos or 1 USDollar) discount for everyone bringing thier own tumblers when buying a beverage from this coffee shop. This is a start, and it only takes one person to influence marketers to change over to "Green" philosophy, and stop using plastics.

I guess I can say, I have joined the "Green Revolution." I don't have to donate a penny, but stopping myself from buying products or services using plastic will create a demand for natural organic products. I bring a canvass shopping bag with me now to place purchases inside. I speak with cashiers, sales people, managers of restaurants and inform them about how plastic will affect the environment. A lot of people are listening now after the oil crisis has made costs rise to beyond what an ordinary person can cope with.

This will be very challenging, but so is getting up and down stairs in my house at my age! Wish me luck!