Sunday, February 24, 2008

Plastic Paradise?

While I was looking for some information on the the North Shore of Oahu, I came across an article that gave me pause for thought. It started with me finding a story about plastic bags and how there is a group on this island that is working toward banning them - and since it's stalled in their legislature at the moment, they are working on converting the people that live here. They promote reusable bags and one person even went so far as to bring in compostable take out containers (replacing the styrofoam clamshells) as well as compostable cutlery and even a recycled paper napkin. I was impressed. I wasn't as impressed with the lack of recycling pickup here - that's a definite thumbs down for Oahu and something that needs to be instituted here.

What really got me was the conversation that started in the comments section. It brought out a lot of opinions, that's for sure. What seemed to run through was that people don't want plastic if it's bad for the environment - but that they don't want laws that tell them what to do. I keep hearing that in different places - that we shouldn't be pushed into this Global Warming issue. That people aren't sure of the science and aren't willing to let the government make that choice for them - they want to do the right thing - but not because they have no choice and not under the banner of Global Warming.

I think I have to agree - somewhat. In a world that has countries that won't be players in the issue because they appear not to care, it's hard to swallow the fact that your government thinks you should be the fix. It's also hard to compete in a global market when you are taxed to death over everything - and then again for this on top of it - while at the same time your competitors don't have that to deal with. But, if you do it of your own accord - because you care - and if big business is forced to do things in an environmentally safe way, without having to additionally compensate for the rest of the world that isn't, maybe that's a good compromise. No one should be allowed to exploit and pollute our world. We've done enough damage.

Ah - now off my soapbox and back to my article. I was shocked to hear this one. Here I am - in Paradise - and I find out that a part of this state has a plastic beach. Yep, you read that right - a plastic beach. Apparently so much plastic wears down in the ocean that the little itty bits it separates into end up there and it's a plastic beach - a good foot or so deep. Now if that doesn't have you thinking twice about things, I don't know what will. If I'd read that article before I bought my son some toys to play with here (that we are leaving for future guests to enjoy) I'd not have bought them since they are beach toys and they are - you guessed it - plastic.

Here is the article if you'd like to read it.

So - while I admit to getting some plastic bags when we picked up a few things at the swapmeet, (couldn't leave without a classic Hawaiian shirt, right?) I used the first bag to put all my purchases in. And I'm using the bags over and over as I can. I'll probably even pack stuff in them, and then recycle them when we get home.

Lastly - I thought I'd share. I did laundry yesterday and not only did I wash on cold but... I hung it out to dry! I did have to put some things in the dryer (thick towels and what was damp at days end) but most of it air dried and it felt great! My friend Maisie would be proud.

1 comment:

Maisie said...

Well Done you!!

On holiday and still doing those little bits that help.