Karen Kreider Yoder of FMCSF’s Green Team gave this “Earth Moment” on June 2, 2019.

If we cannot acknowledge the problem and mourn, we cannot change our actions and heal the Earth. 

When I was a young girl in the 1960s, humans began producing plastic. Since then, our plastic use has grown steadily. 

From 2000 to 2010, humans produced more plastic than ALL the plastic produced until then. 

Plastics are so durable that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports, “Every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” 

Much of our plastic, even that which we recycle, enters our waterways.  In only a few decades, plastic in the ocean is expected to outweigh all the fish of the sea.  

Fish, marine mammals, and seabirds die from ingesting plastics. 

And yet, we use a plastic bag for an average of 12 minutes.  Single use. 

Now mourn with me the impact single-use plastic has on our Earth.

[30 seconds of silence]

Here are 5 small things we can do: 

  1. Walk through your grocery store. Not to buy things, but just to notice. Notice  the products packaged in plastic with the single purpose of getting them to your home. 
  2. Refuse single-use plastic packaging and plastic bags. Carry cloth bags to pack your produce. 
  3. Petition the EPA to begin regulating plastics as a pollutant. Public policy can help stop plastic pollution at the source. 
  4. Live by the 5 Rs:  Refuse…reduce…reuse…repurpose (and repair)…recycle, in that order.   Recycling is at the end; it is not always the best solution. Main thing is to refuse.
  5. Don’t joke about single-use plastic.  It’s not a joke.