"I have learned that there is a growing number of people in this world who are making positive changes, and there is hope to be found, starting right here with this website and blog" -Mark Meyers (PSU Student)
During this term I have have learned a lot of new information about plastic pollution that has really impacted me. I've learned what happens to our plastic after we throw it away, and that a lot of it ends up in the ocean. I've learned how plastic is damaging the barrier reef, killing animals and fish, and how BPA is ending up in our food. What this class has really cemented for me was the fact that all the plastic that has ever been made is still on the earth, it doesn’t go away. I’d heard that before, but it had never sunk in, or hit me as powerfully before. I realized that just because I throw plastic in the recycling, doesn’t mean that it just goes away, and that it is hurting the environment, and myself. This class had such an impact on me that I stopped using plastic grocery bags and stopped buying water bottles. I make more of an effort now to be prepared ahead of time, to bring a water bottle with me, and reusable grocery bags. I also stopped using plastic lids and straws on my drink and coffee cups. I love Oregon, and I love hiking on the Coastal trails, the picture above is of my friends and I on one of our hiking trips. I want Oregon to be beautiful forever, so I have made a pledge to do my part to reduce plastic pollution!
A change for the better... by Alicia Osborn
When I started this class, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had always been a basic recycler, recycling cans, bottles, glass and cardboard. However, it never seemed to sink in that even the little I was doing, was making a difference. Researching how plastic affects our environment has changed the way I used to see recycling. Finding alternatives to plastics has been much easier than I ever thought would be. I'm a regular user of essential oils, and because essential oils break down plastic, I have switched over to glass for most items in my home. I have been able to see that even the little things we do, can make a huge impact on our environment!
My name is Kerttu Reesna and I am happy to have been part of this learning experience. I learned a lot about plastics and its effects during this course. I always heard in the media that plastic is very bad and thought there were very few positives to using it, but I have learned that it also has a good side. Plastic can be very useful and a lot of beneficial industries have advanced so much thanks to plastic, i.e. the medical industry. Produce goods in plastic is very inexpensive compared to other materials - for example paper bags. I also learned that in some cases, plastic can be used to help the environment. However, it can cause damage to the environment. There are huge plastic waste “islands” floating in the ocean and they are harming birds, turtles and many other animals in the ocean habitat.
However, I think the most important thing that I learned is that it’s important to know the facts about plastic, know how to correctly dispose of it and also know the alternatives to plastic to use. There are so many resources out there that you can get more information, and the recycling practices I learned in this class will continue in my daily life.
My name is Mark Meyers and I'm proud to say that I took part in this Capstone project here at PSU. What I've learned these past nine weeks has forever changed the way I see the world around me. What has been revealed to me about the devastating environmental impact that our use of plastics is taking on our planet is enough to make me feel quite overwhelmed and at times seemingly powerless. Yet I have learned that there is a growing number of people in this world who are making positive changes, and there is hope to be found, starting right here with this website and blog. But aside from my participation in this project, major changes have taken place in my day to day life. I have literally made a conscious shift in my mentality in regards to how I see the toll that my usage of plastics takes on our environment. Here are just a few of the changes that I have personally made as a result of this newfound knowledge: I always bring my own cloth shopping bags to the grocery store; I stopped using disposable razors; I don't put produce in plastic bags anymore; I never purchase any kind of liquid in a plastic bottle (I got my own metal water bottle that I take with me everywhere); the list goes on but these are a few of my simple favorites.
The key is to not give up hope. The oceans are polluted, but there are people out there trying to clean them up. The landfills are outrageously full. But we can lessen our input if we try. We may not have the resources to get out there on a boat and go clean up the seas ourselves, but we have the daily choices of how we spend our money and how we can try and not contribute to the problem of plastics. It may seem daunting at first, but I assure you, life can be lived without having to be a part of the devastation of our planet, one choice at a time. Please take the time to read our blog, and learn as much as you can, and tell your friends. It's not too late, but we do have to act now.