Baby steps to ending garbage soup

Brenda on how anyone can make a difference when it comes to single-use plastic.

Brenda Mallory

By the time you have figured out what we are talking about this week, Lent and Easter will have passed. What’s the topic? Plastic — and more plastic.

When Lent came to many decided that they would try to give up single use items made of plastic. One lady said she did not realize how tough that was going to be. She should have given up chocolate or something else. She stuck with it and went for the plastic concept. As it it turned out many others joined her in this effort.

I know as sure as the day is long that I use too many plastic items. After doing a bit of research I now know I will make more of an effort to use less plastic. For sure I will not be around to see if my contribution to the environment has made a difference.

Listen to this. Plastic bags can take 10 to 1,000 years to decompose. Plastic bottles take 450 years! Disposable diapers take 500 years. If they get air the process might not take so long. One child will with regularity add 2,000 pounds of garbage to the landfill over two years. I am wondering if I have too many zeros added to the decomposition times. Seems like a very long time.

We have seen the pictures of the garbage floating in our oceans. It is plainly a garbage soup. Plastic lids, straws, bags and many other bits of crap that make our oceans difficult for animals of the sea and I am sure for people as well.

So, what can we do? Use cloth bags for groceries. Skip all those water bottles. You could get a container that holds a larger amounts of water and will at the same time filter out bad things. When you buy a coffee that comes to you from a fast food place you could dispose of the cup, lid, etc. in a good way or get your coffee in a regular glass cup. I would like that so I don’t have to pick up your garbage when I walk the dogs.

During a lunch gathering just the other day a friend brought her own glass container for leftovers. Smart idea.

If you like those little containers of this and that like pudding or yogurt, I would think a person could buy a bigger amount and put it in a container from home.

How about those hard plastic tombs that hold salad or a collection of muffins? I was at fault here finding myself buying muffins for my 32 year old pheasant. Now I make muffins from a mix. Don’t think he cares about the personal touch but I do.

I would think if all of us try one way or two to reduce the problem with all this plastic it will make a bit of a difference. Not much mind you, but we can all do our bit. I know I am thinking of things I can do. Baby steps I guess.

As the snow recedes along our roadside areas you will notice all the plastic left in layers for some months.

Thanks for pondering this topic. Your ideas are welcome when you call 250-846-5095 or email to

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