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Earth Day 2017

Eleanor McCloskey, CND for JPIC Core Committee

Saturday, April 22 will be Earth Day. Sometimes people ask, ”What can I do to respect, protect and nurture the Earth?” Each one of us needs to find our own answers and do our own search. In our local paper, one environmentalist wrote a column about plastics, that huge umbrella of manufactured materials that can be made into so many of the products we use so liberally. We see bags, bottles, jugs, clamshell containers, stretch wrap, disposable cutlery, stir sticks, straws and so on. Plastics are made of very long and strong chains of carbon atoms; this makes them last a long time. Plastics have a very large carbon footprint; it takes huge amounts of petroleum to make just the plastic water bottles so commonly purchased and tossed away. Plastics pollute our land and our water bodies. Plastics may have additives that cause health problems. We could all make an effort to learn the plastic recycling symbols: Number 4 plastics (bread bags, grocery bags and milk bags) can be recycled into new products; Number 7 plastics belong to a catch-all class that is diverse and essentially unrecyclable. We could make choices about our use of and dependence on plastics. 

 

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