My story isn’t unique. Unfortunately we are years behind when it comes to recycling and reusing what we own. There is a lack of education and enablement around sustainable and more environmentally conscious ways of living. We are known for our consumerism in this country and changing our ways will take time but we have to start somewhere…
Consistency isn’t my strong suit but let’s just say, I am getting better at it. Each week, I would put the empty plastic bottles and containers in blue bins, and walk them to the curb. Well, not every week, but most weeks. I tried to make an effort to do my part.
In early April 2020, I was Googling around, jumping from site to site, when a headline caught my attention: “A Whopping 91% of Plastic isn’t Recycled”
I thought to myself: “What? No Way. Impossible.” I was so intrigued that I had to click and I landed on the National Geographic website, to an article written by Laura Parker.
As I began to read the words on the screen, I was horrified.
- Plastic takes more than 400 years to degrade, so most of it still exists in some form.
- Only 12 percent of plastic has been incinerated.
- Half of all plastic manufactured becomes trash in less than a year.
- 8 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year.
- Oceans will contain more plastic waste than fish, ton for ton, by 2050.
- 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced.
- 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic has become plastic waste, and only 9% of it has been recycled.
- Only 9% has been recycled? NINE percent?
Where is the outrage? Why haven’t I heard about these facts before now? Unfortunately the devastating effects of our consumer lifestyles rarely make it into mainstream news. Although some schools are getting better at educating children about the environment, we need to do more and change our ways.
What has changed since then?
Now I no longer throw a plastic bottle in the trash because I’m too lazy to walk it to the recycling bin. I no longer miss getting those blue bins to the curb on recycling day. Because what I had realized, was that I was part of the problem.
We need more awareness and one day in April (Earth Day) is not enough. The Artemida community was created with this in mind. Doing our part and reaching out to those who are ready for change is why we are here. As they say, together we are better and spreading the word about not just recycling but conscious and considerate ways of living is part of our mission.