A Plastic Challenge: Commit to Reducing Your Use of Plastics

“In 2010, the United States generated almost 14 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, almost 11 million tons as durable goods, such as appliances, and almost 7 million tons as non-durable goods, (for example plates and cups).”

“Only 8 percent of the total  plastic waste generated in 2010 was recovered for recycling.”

-The Environmental Protection Agency

This Earth Month My Green Birmingham wants to help raise awareness about the significant waste, pollution, and even toxicity issues relating to our nation’s plastic dependency. Beginning Monday, April 16th, we’re committing to a 7-day Plastic Challenge in an effort to help educate about the issues, promote specific solutions and alternatives, and to encourage more conscious and responsible habits. We’re dedicated to creating increased sustainability within our Birmingham communities!

How to Participate:

1) Demonstrate. Save your daily plastic waste (recyclable and non-recyclable items) and document it via photo or video daily or as many times as you’d like until Earth Day, April 22nd, 2012. Each day, post photos/videos to the My Green Birmingham Facebook wall, or send submissions to kate@mygreenbirmingham.com.

2) Think. Start considering different methods of how you can reduce your plastic use

3) Transform it. Put your brainstorming into action and change your plastic use habits.

4) Share your experience with us by posting about it on our Facebook wall or sending it to kate@mygreenbirmingham.com. Be sure to tell us about the changes you’ve made, and how the Plastic Challenge has impacted you! ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY APRIL 29TH. We’ll choose three winners, one grand prize, and two honorable mentions. We’ll announce our winners on Monday, April 30th.

Example: Before the Plastic Challenge, I typically purchased 6 new, disposable plastic food storage containers each month, costing me an average of $120 a year. Now I use six glass storage containers and with good maintenance, may never have to replace them.

Example: I used to buy individually wrapped items for my children’s lunches. Now I buy snacks in bulk and separate them into small reusable containers. My family has seen a significant decrease in our overall use of plastic packaging.

Example: For the past ten years, I’ve always replaced any outdated plastic kitchen appliances or gadgets with new ones, bought retail. Now when something needs replacing, I shop first at thrift & consignment stores and buy previously used or vintage items-many of which are in perfect condition! I feel good knowing I’m helping to reduce overall plastic production and the resulting manufacturing wastes.

What you could WIN: (Prizes-woohoo!):

Grand Prize Winner will each receive:

  • A copy of Nena Baker’s Award winning book, The Body Toxic
  • Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel water bottle
  • A Preserve (recyclable) Toothbrush-made from recycled yogurt cups
  • A gift set from Black Warrior Riverkeeper including a shirt, dock markers, bumper tag and reusable bag
  • A gift basket from Freshwater Land Trust

Two Honorable Mention winners will each receive:

    • A copy of Nena Baker’s Best Selling The Body Toxic
    • A gift set from Black Warrior Riverkeeper including a shirt, dock markers, bumper tag and reusable bag

Why You Should Participate:

Although plastics provide us with an incredible amount of modern day products and conveniences, our insatiable desire for hassle-free living has led us to embrace a massive overindulgence of plastic products, most of which continue to pollute both our health and the environment. Our goal is to help people become more aware of the significant dangers associated with the irresponsible use of plastics and how that misuse can threaten our environment, waterways and marine life, and even our own human health.

We hope you’ll join our efforts, and commit to a week of reducing your everyday plastic use!

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