Friday, July 06, 2007

Name Your Poison

I once had a friend named Jim Ring. He was several years older than me. He was a veteran of the Korean War, which ended two years before my birth.

Jim was an independent thinker and trained to do so at a Jesuit school. Jesuits loved debates and were rather skilled in it as well.

Jim once said something that opened my eyes. It was an Ah-Ha! Moment which lead me toward the path I am on today with my environmental leanings. Not ever considering the three packs of Chesterfield Kings he smoked every day would ever take their toll, he saw plastics as the enemy. His exact words were, “They are going to kill us with all this fucking plastic.”

I was in my early 20s and that statement made me able to see plastics for what they really are. On one hand they can be customized to do wonderful things and they keep material costs down, but on the other hand they will nearly forever.

I’ve recently came by a web site that talks about how few plastics are being recycled. They estimate that over 244,000 water bottles are not being recycled every minute. That’s over 351 million water bottles every day that are going into a land fill when they could be recycled.

Though I only reach about a hundred people a day through this blog, I feel it is my duty to ask you to shun the individual water bottles and get a good durable water bottle and refill it at home. Keep a couple in the fridge. Please stop buying water in a bottle.

In case you were wondering, Jim died about fifteen years ago from a heart attack, more than likely fueled buy a life-long addiction to the Chesterfield Kings.


Blogger Auntie said...

One of my favorite lines from the Graduate was about plastics.....

6:36 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Guy, we here in the House of Mel reuse 2 liter bottles; once I've drunk my RDA (a liter a day) of Code Red and the bottle is empty, we'll rinse it out, fill it with water, chill it, and take it with us up into the park. Or the husband will take it with him to work.
We'll do that every few days, and then recycle the bottle and do it again with the next one.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My old man was done in by Chesterfield Kings also. Big Tobacco got him hooked during WWII while he was doing his thing as a bomber pilot over Europe. The AAC encouraged the boys to smoke and drink as they thought it helped them deal with the stress of combat. They were wrong. The booze compounded the PTS and the cigs gave him the fatal throat cancer.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

The bottles that make it into a landfill are even a step better than the ones that end up in the North Pacific gyre and otherwise screw up our environment.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

The state here runs a really good deposit/recycle program for cans, plastic, and glass beverage containers. The term landfill is unknown here these days as all goes to recycle, composting, or co-generation plants. Our town is running a recycle rate vs total garbage of 47% this year so far.
We're also pretty cheap around here and things generally go through many life cycles before final disposal. Never understand those who buy cans of coke just because they fit cooler. Buy it cheaper in 2 litre size and pour in into smaller bottles that will fit as well. Then reuse them. One of the best areas to be an entepreneur here is recycled product usage as the state has a great financial package for such businesses.
Still trying to get Blondel from the stingy site it's available on:)

4:50 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

I wish more localities would wake up to that sort of thinking, Mike. Virginia can't get enough trash from its residents so it has to import It's second only to Pennsylvania in the amount of out of state garbage it takes in. There is little incentive for recycling and too many people seem to not give a damn.

6:15 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Auntie, the Graduate? That's telling...

Mel, one gold star for you.

Anon, now they are giving them speed to keep them alert.

Rich, thanks for the link. That turtle photo was really sad.

Mike, the stats in our county is that each person create 1 ton of trash a year and they recycle 1/2 ton a year. I am 2 months away from one year since I last took a load to the dump. I take a load to recycle every month.

6:21 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Guy, now to get the rest of the US and the world to follow along:)

12:45 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

I couldn't agree more. I am from the generation where it was perfectly acceptable to suck water from a nearby hose, and I hate bottled water. I think it's vain. However, that being said, SH loves it and there's a case in our fridge.

What I put up with.

11:08 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Mike, that's why I write.

Mo3, refill his bottles and see if he notices.

8:09 AM  

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