The amount of plastic bags produced each year could encircle the world seven times. All of these plastic bags impact the environment. Some of them have recycle symbols, but most recycling companies won’t take them. Instead, the bags are thrown in the trash, where they get out into the environment. These bags take 10-20 years to decompose, but the microplastics that they break down into last for much longer.
Plastic bags also look like jellyfish to turtles and other animals, but when animals try to eat them, the bags can kill them.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of trash more than twice the size of Texas that’s floating in the Pacific ocean, is largely made up of plastic bags that get thrown away.
This week, don’t use any plastic shopping bags.
Comment below to take the weeklong pledge against plastic bags!
The planet thanks you.
Expanded polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, seems to never decompose. Once it’s thrown away, it stays in the environment forever. When it crumbles into little pieces, Styrofoam looks like food to animals, who eat it. It causes major problems in the animals’ digestive systems and can lead to starvation.
Styrofoam is made of harmful substances that are linked to multiple types of cancer as well as Parkinson’s disease. It contaminates our food and is dangerous to even make contact with.
Benzene and styrene (the “ingredients” of Styrofoam) are known to cause air pollution during manufacturing. This air pollution is worse than scientists previously thought. It depletes the ozone layer, just like CFCs that were a huge issue in the 90s.
This week, don’t use any polystyrene in any form (dishes, takeout containers, cups, etc.).
Comment below to take the weeklong pledge against polystyrene!
Reusable cups and water bottles are a great alternative to Styrofoam cups, and are ultimately cheaper because they’re used more than once.
Recyclable anything is better than Styrofoam because, although it can be recycled, most recycling companies won’t accept it.
The planet thanks you.
Happy May! The first of May, also called May Day, brings the tradition of giving a basket of flowers to your friends, family, and/or neighbors. This celebration came from Roman times, where May Day was a five-day festival of flowers.
Traditionally, May Day baskets contain paper flowers and treats for the recipient, but paper flowers can’t be planted and survive for years to come. Instead, give a gift of flower seeds or a potted plant.
Flowers and other plants help the environment in a lot of ways. They pull in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which helps reduce climate change and improve air quality. Studies show that flowers clean the soil by absorbing toxins through their roots. Many flowers also attract and provide habitat for beneficial insects like butterflies and bees.
This month, give a friend some flower (or other plant) seeds. It’s exciting to watch flowers grow, and plants are good for the environment. Instead of using resources (trees, water, energy) to make paper flowers, you’ll be using the resources of water (to grow the plant) and sun (which is free) for long-lasting environmental benefits. Post a picture of your grown flowers or plants on Instagram and tag @project5billion. Comment below to take the challenge!
The planet thanks you!
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