I listen to NPR sort of compulsively. It is tuned in on my clock radio, and plays quietly throughout the day and during naps. This morning I woke up to Prime Time, which is actually an AARP show. It is always awesome. This is what I heard upon waking up:
Since 1907… every bit of plastic that has ever been produced is somewhere on our planet, either in our atmosphere through incineration, in landfills if its been buried or if it has been disposed of irresponsibly or by mistake it ends up in our oceans or ends up in our natural environments. So every bit of plastic that has ever been produced is somewhere out there. Plastic lasts forever, we use it for a very short period of time, so it’s no suprise that these fingerprints are turning up all over our natural environments.
These are things you know. Right? We know that plastic doesn’t go away. But the idea that EVERY PIECE SINCE 1907 is still here is shocking.
(god, that image search was super depressing. “plastic trash island.”)
These gyres are the unseen consequences of our disposable culture.
Consumerism necessarily distances the consumer from the consequences of their consumption, and stewardship has been lost in our culture. I encourage you to look beyond the hipster esthetic associated with Etsy and thrifting and think about the environmental impact. Challenge yourself to use more vintage, second hand and re-purposed goods. If you are like me, you will find satisfaction in looking around your house and realizing that not only have you minimized your waste, but that you have created a beautiful and eclectic space filled with one of a kind items.
Here is some inspiration to get you started: