Feb 222011

While doing some research online today I came across an awesome article written by Susan Casey, now the Editor-in-Chief for O Magazine. Entitled, “Our Oceans are Becoming Plastic… Are We,” it was the first to outline in explicit detail the alarming amount of plastics which pollute our ocean, our planet and thus our bodies. If you haven’t read this in a long time please check it out. I guarantee you it is worth it.

It is shocking to me that after all this proof we still use toxic plastic in children’s toys and that those pesky plastic bags haven’t been outlawed by all of society. I’m so passionate about not using plastic bags that if I forget my reusable cloth bags, I place all my groceries back in the cart or hand basket and load them into my car one by one. Yes, my children have toys that I’m confident are not BPA free that were given to us as gifts, and I do my best to recycle or dispose of them properly so that they go to a landfill instead of the ocean.  But as Susan’s article explains, the tiny toxic particles used to create plastics, known as nurdles, are still blowing freely into our air, water, food sources, and ultimately our bloodstreams and we as humans need to work together to consciously improve the way things are done.

One man is doing his best to change things. From Susan’s article, “Green architect and designer William McDonough has become an influential voice, not only in environmental circles but among Fortune 500 CEOs. McDonough proposes a standard known as “cradle to cradle” in which all manufactured things must be reusable, poison-free, and beneficial over the long haul. His outrage is obvious when he holds up a rubber ducky, a common child´s bath toy. The duck is made of phthalate-laden PVC, which has been linked to cancer and reproductive harm. “What kind of people are we that we would design like this?” For more info on his work, visit http://www.mbdc.com.

Remember, change starts with the individual, that means you and me. The more we invite green living into our daily lives, the more we support global efforts to protect the earth and its people. In the meantime, I think it’s time for Publix, one of the largest and most influential grocery chains in Florida, a state surrounded by ocean, to stop carrying plastic bags. If you feel so compelled, send them an email here: http://publix.com/contact/SendUsAMessage.do

Of course, paper bags are not a good alternative as it requires LOTS of raw materials to manufacture paper, including trees and 1 gallon of water PER BAG! Please remember your reusable bags.

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