it starts with 1

The other day, a friend of mine shared a photo of a large-scale sculpture of a couple of fish made mostly from plastic bottles. The sculptures are displayed on a beach (I think in Brazil somewhere) and were intended to draw attention to the amount of litter found on beaches and in oceans.

However, scrolling through the comments attached to the photo, I found out that the bottles were only glued on (with an apparently flimsy glue) and, over time, have begun falling off the sculpture. Kind of ironic, but I suppose the message was still getting through.

The photo was initially shared on FB by an organisation called “1 Million Women“, and came with the harrowing prediction that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. After browsing their FB page briefly, I followed the link to their official website, and actually ended up spending about an hour just reading articles there.

1 Million Women is a movement that was created to inspire and empower women to take action on climate change by making various small changes in the way they live. Well, it’s aimed at women, but a lot of the advice is relevant to everyone.

I could repeat a selection of statistics and suggestions from their site, but it’d be easier if you just went and had a look. Sure, there are a lot of things that are pretty obvious when it comes to reducing waste and energy consumption, but I consider myself to be reasonably environmentally-conscious, and there were still a few things that surprised me a bit.

One thing I will share here is that disposable/take-away coffee cups are not actually very recyclable (despite the “recyclable” symbols they display). These generally have a plastic lining, which makes them hard to recycle unless you physically strip the lining off from the rest of the cup. I don’t drink coffee very often, but now and then I just feel like a coffee, and sometimes I order it take-away so that I can go for a wander and drink it wherever I please; and I’d always thought it was fine, as long as I found a recycling bin to dispose of the empty cup in.

Well, not any more. Now that I’ve thought twice about it, it seems so wasteful. And I could easily go without (or just have my coffee in the cafe in a cup that will be washed and reused). I could get one of those “keep cups” but I feel like I don’t drink take-away beverages often enough to make it worthwhile, and I’d probably never have it with me at the right time…

And maybe this won’t really make a difference, but maybe it will. I’m hoping for a flow-on effect somewhere.

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3 thoughts on “it starts with 1

  1. Thanks for this post. The impact of our activity on the environment is definitely something that I am always conscious of. I can’t say that I am “passionate” about it but I do try to think about it. So much emphasis has been put on “recycle” but a lot of things cannot be efficently/effectively recycled, plus that is only treating the symptom and not solving the cause. There are 3Rs to the whole campain, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I think more importance should be placed on Reduce and Reuse, with perhaps more emphasis on Reduce, because ultimately that is treating the cause.

    • Agreed! Gotta get to the root of the problem. I’d like to think I’m pretty good with recycling whatever I can, but could definitely look at reducing a lot of things.

      • In a capitalist world like ours, it does make it difficult because it is so ingrained in our everyday lives. But I hope that we are educating our youth to learn otherwise.

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