Plastic and You and Turtles
Feb 3
Let's start with a video. I'm hoping it'll freak you out, but don't worry: nobody dies. There's a little blood, but it's not scary. There are no intestines being pulled out of a body, no chainsaws, and no ridiculous plot lines copied from earlier and better movies. There is just an uncomfortable turtle - and the turtle lives. But this video will probably freak you out anyway. Curious?

Here is the video. The turtle is cute. He's a sweet 'lil guy. Please watch until you see what comes out of the cute turtle's nose. The caption tells you it's a straw, but you have to watch it to believe it.

OK. Why the hell did I make you watch this? Because of this article that's been floating around the internet. There's so much plastic crap in the ocean that it will soon weigh more than the animals living there. You've probably heard that every fish caught has plastic in its stomach. But that's conceptual, right? Hence the video: hearing about the plastic is not the same as seeing that damn straw come out of a turtle's nose.

On an individual level, many of you probably have eradicated plastic straws and cups from your life. Maybe you carry around a reusable cup and metal straw, or even spare utensils. You don't get take-out food in plastic containers, or use plastic bags at grocery stores or restaurants. Sure, carrying your own containers is a pain, but you're used to it. This is all well and good, but it's not good enough. It's just not.

Consider that most of our trash actually comes from corporations and big corporate events. How is your workplace doing on the plastic front? Now ask yourself these basic Qs:

- Does your office / place of business use paper towels?
- Does it have a kitchen stocked with plastic cups, plastic utensils, and paper or styrofoam plates?
- Does it have a vending machine with snacks in plastic bags?
- Do you supply plastic water bottles at corporate events?
- What kind of coffee stirrers are in the break room?
- Where do the office computers and other electronics go to die?
- Where do corporate cell phones go when they're kaput?
- When there is a corporate event, is it a zero waste gathering?
- Has your company gone paperless?
- Does the company recycle not just paper, but also cardboard, aluminum, and plastic waste?

If you don't know the answers to these questions, check with your office manager. Ask some questions about your office's environmental impact. About your company's. If there's a group in charge of answering the tough questions above, does it need help? Can you help? If there is no such group, can you start one? Your workplace environment can be greener. Some of the answers are simple: stop buying paper plates and plastic utensils for staff use and corporate events. Buy a permanent set of dishes (not from Ikea - buy used from a charity), for the office to use. Install an energy efficient dishwasher in the break room. Run it every day. Remove the paper towels from the break room, and the straws and stirrers. (Spoons are the original stirrers.) Check out what IT is doing with phones and computers that are no longer useful. Can they be refurbished or donated to a charity?

There are bigger questions that can be tackled about food waste at the office, water conservation, purchasing from green businesses and more, but an easy place to start is often the trash. Can you, on a corporate level, reduce your company's waste? Can you get other employees to join in? You can. Make them watch the video. After seeing that damn turtle, you'll have everyone on board.

(1) Comments   | Tags: re: Plastic
 

COMMENTS

I watched the entire video even though it sickened me to do so. There are many things in our lives that are necessary and hard to find without plastic but straws aren't one of them. I was never big on straws, I saw them as a waste of money long before I realized the dangers of plastic. After seeing this I will never be able to look at a straw and not see that turtle.

By Lois@LivingInDenim on 04/02/2016

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