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Celebrate Earth Day


Guess what? This Sunday is Earth Day! Today is the day we celebrate our wonderful planet that we live on. The theme is Earth Day 2018: End Plastic Pollution. Here is what the Earth Day Network had to say in response to their theme:


“From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet.


In response, Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics.”


What is Plastic Pollution?

Back when plastic was first created in 1907, we only saw the benefits of this brand new material. Overtime, we’ve come to finally understand the harm that comes from using a lot of plastic material. The harm affects the ecosystem, climate, and ourselves. The main source of the plastic problem: the material is un-biodegradable.


According to the New York Times, the rise in plastic pollution comes from the rise of plastic packaging.


What is Affected?

Food and beverages stored in plastic packaging can become infused with chemicals that could seriously harm your human health. Consumption of these chemicals could cause respiratory problems and hormone problems.


The creation of plastic comes from the same source of gasoline. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) stated that plastic products accounted for 8% of the overall oil production. Harmful gases are released from the production of plastic into the atmosphere, including carbon monoxide and methane. The creation of plastic alone fuels climate change and global warming.


Marine life is heavily impacted from plastic waste as well. Aquatic animals will consume the plastic, but since they can’t fully digest the material, it just gets passed on to whatever eats the creature. Animals are still impacted by the effects of plastic, so the chemicals just carry on from organism to organism.


How to Help

  1. Refuse: Refusing to use plastic is one of the easiest ways to help the cause. If you are at a restaurant, don’t ask for a straw. Instead of plastic bags at the grocery store, use reusable canvas bags. Even avoiding plastic packaging at the grocery store helps, too.

  2. Reuse: Instead of using plastic silverware and plates, use actual forks and plates. Buy a reusable water bottle. Donate old clothes.

  3. Recycle: Follow a recycling guide to determine which products are recyclable, and where to place each product.

  4. Remove: Help clean up your local beach. Support local organizations in their recycling efforts.

This Earth Day, raise awareness of plastic pollution in your area!


Local Events:


13th Annual Lakeshore Earth Day Celebration

Saturday April 21st at the Grand Haven Community Center

421 Columbus Avenue, Grand Haven MI 49417

  • Green March: 12:30 pm -1 pm at the Ottawa County Court House

  • Earth Day Fair: 1 pm - 4pm


Muskegon Earth Week

From April 21st to April 27th, celebrate with various events around the Muskegon area, including hiking, clean-ups, workshops, and more!


John Ball Zoo: Party for the Planet

On May 5th, multiple organizations and agencies will come together to discuss how we can do our part in the Grand Rapids area to clean up and make it a better place. 20 organizations usually participate, and well over 5,000 people come out if the weather is good. There will be some educational activities to show how you can reduce, reuse, and recycle!


Sources:


http://www.earthday.org/wp-content/uploads/Plastic-Pollution-Primer-and-Action-Toolkit.pd


https://www.earthday.org/


http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-oea-ee-StateEarthDayEvents-GrandRapids_376165_7.pdf

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