Today is Earth Day. With its beginnings in 1970, Earth Day has grown into a world-wide time devoted to helping and educating us all to better care for our planet. This year’s theme is End Plastic Pollution. This is a problem we see in the news every day. A problem that is poisoning our oceans and land, injuring animal and marine life, and affecting our own health. And yet, how many of us do anything about the problem.
The most popular solution to the problem is recycling. Some cities and towns make that easy by supplying the blue trash cans with a recycle symbol. We can just toss in all sorts of recyclables for pick-up. Some places offer recycle centers where you can bring your glass, plastics, cardboard, etc for disposal. However, for those centers, you might need to do a little checking first – what plastics will they take? Will they actually take all types of glass containers? How does everything need to be separated?
The ideal solution would be that food manufactures stop using plastic containers. Probably that’s not going to happen. When I was young you’d buy milk, soft drinks and such in glass containers which you could return. These would be collected, sterilized and used again. But we’ve turned into a disposable society – easier and cheaper to throw away and buy new than reuse. Now, however, we are reaping the result of “easier”.
Solutions? Well, recycling is a good solution. But, what about reusing some of those many plastic containers? A few suggestions …..
So, if you want to start recycling and your town doesn’t offer the service as a part of standard trash pick up, set up an area in your garage for recycling bins. Rinse out the item to be recycled and put it in the right bin. Easy peasy.
CUT DOWN ON SMALL WATER BOTTLES. Yes, they are easy to use. But, in the long run, they are too expensive to the planet. There are shelves of alternatives in most stores.
I’m sure most of us do this – use plastic bottles as portable freezer units. Freeze bottles of water for your ice chest. Afterwards, you can use the water to cool hot heads and feet, wash off sand or dirt, water some plants.
This is one I’ve started doing recently. Our garden club is having a plant sale. Members are donating plants to be sold. Cool. I’ve started cutting the tops off gallon bottles and using the bottom as a plant container.
Reuse bottles to make and contain compost tea – easy to do and good for your plants.
Our library is having a plant swap soon. Many people bring plants that they’ve just dug up out of the ground and not repotted. So, going to something like that? Bring some gallon bottles with the tops cut out to hold these plants or cuttings. Keeps your car clean. Leave them in the trunk for future use.
Oh – I really like this one – a Slug/snail watering hole. Take the bottom 3 inches of a bottle, sink it in the ground and fill with beer (or sugar water with a pinch of yeast). Those little guys will make a bee-line for it!
You can make mosquito, wasp and fly traps easily by cutting the top off a bottle, invert the cone and place it inside the bottom part of the bottle, glue the two pieces together, Add 1 tsp yeast and 1/2 cup sugar to some lukewarm water (mosquitoes) or just sugar water (wasps) or something smelly (flies). They get in but can’t get out
There are dozens of other ways to reuse plastic containers. So, start today – Earth Day - Help End Plastic Pollution. Make a pledge to reduce the amount you use and recycle, one way or another, what cannot be reduced!
|Make a cookie cutter!|