Earth Day 2018 is coming soon and this year’s theme is End Plastic Waste.
If you’ve ever walked or driven past a pile of garbage filled with plastic and other debris, you’ve probably said, “Wow – what an eyesore!” or “Gee, that’s ugly!” And you would be right. But the truth about plastic waste is that it has dangerous consequences to our health, the environment, and our future on this planet.
Being proactive and positive now can help us look forward to a cleaner, brighter healthier future for our kids and the world as a whole.
This year I learned a lot from an Earth Day project I have been doing with school children in Cameroon, Africa. In fact, one of the lead teachers sent me his video.
Wow, that’s shocking and ugly.
Can you imagine the impact on the local drinking water, wildlife, and habitat? In fact, did you know that people on Earth throw away 1 trillion (yes, that was trillion with a “t”) plastic items each day, and over 50% of those items are “1-time use” containers?
A “1-time use container” may live anywhere from 450 years (plastic bottles) to over 1,000 years (plastic bags) in a landfill or become part of a floating sea of garbage choking waterways of our green planet.
Now that I’ve read more on this topic, I can see why this year’s theme to End Plastic Waste is so important!
Get The FREE Earth Day Tool Kit!
If you visit the Earth Day website you can download the free 53-page Plastic Pollution Primer and Toolkit. When you know more, you can make better choices.
This invaluable resource helps you with both background information and action steps to change your personal habits or effect and advocate for larger scale change. It teaches about the 5 R’s, too.
3 R’s – 4 R’s
Did you grow up with the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle song? I know I did! As a musician and educator I used to joke about the 4 R’s because I often taught about “reducing, reusing, recycling and Rocking Out!” The more I taught kids about recycling, the more they began to see plastic and recyclable items as useful components in creative projects. And the more they learned, the less they were okay with just thoughtlessly tossing items into an ever-increasing waste stream.
Since my love is multicultural music, I turned straws into panpipes, coffee cans into bongo drums, milk jugs into sticker-beaded shekeres and those one-time use mini-water bottles into realistic-sounding maracas. My approach was to unleash the creativity of kids and get them to look at common items differently and not just as disposable trash.
So, to get the 2018 End Plastic Waste theme rolling, we’ve started a linky below and would love for you to add your favorite “Recycle That Plastic” crafts and activities. Let’s inspire one another with inventive ways to reuse what we already have in our home, school or recycling bin!
What About The 5 R’s?
My young friends in Cameroon introduced me to the concept of 5 R’s this year. Here’s what’s new for us to consider. One new R is to Refuse. You can say “No, thank you” to extra plastic bags, straws, or extra packaging that simply are not needed. Instead, carry your own plastic or string bags or baskets. You can start thinking more intentionally about your purchases. The other new R is to Remove. When plastics and other wastes pile up, what do you do to properly mitigate that problem? Downloading the free Earth Day toolkit will help you understand this topic so you can make positive choices and encourage others to do the same.
Bloggers – Can You Spread The Word?
One of the 2018 Earth Day challenges was to ask journalists and bloggers to cover this topic. Bloggers, mom bloggers, and green bloggers have an enormous reach and can help tip the scales to encourage new behaviors. So, let’s get with it! If you blog, please consider covering this topic during the month of April 2018.
What Will You Do?
Can one person solve this problem? No, but together we can make a huge difference. Let’s get fired up this April and learn all that we can to End Plastic Waste. We can take meaningful steps that show our love and respect for Mother Earth.
Happy Earth Day 2018! Let’s Celebrate Earth Day every day.
Links And Resources
Earth Day Organization – For toolkits for individuals, schools, organizations, and more please visit www.earthday.org.
How Long Does It Take Garbage To Decompose – Learn more here.
LINKY – Please share your favorite RECYCLE THAT PLASTIC Crafts and activities below:
First Post Image Credit: Earthday.orgby