Cooper's SUP collection

         When I started the challenge I had an idea of how much plastic we would use and thought most of it would come from things like bottles and packaging. At first it was hard for all of us to remember to keep our plastics instead of being able to conveniently throw them in a recycling or trash bin so they could be someone else's problem. We have 4 people living in our house so I thought we'd only be able to fill a bucket sized container. However we managed to fill a whole trash bin and ended up with about 3 lbs. of plastic. That may not seem like an extrodinary amount but within a year that could amount to 200 lbs. per family in plastics, which mostly end up in landfills taking around a thousand years to biodegrade(styrofoam takes at least 1 million). I found out that the majority of the plastic we used came the packaging and storing of food, while the amount from things like bottles, jugs, and plastic bags was minimal. However it surprised me to find out that not all SUPs are made of even remotely the same material. You could make huundreds of ziploc bags with the amount of material in something like a detergent bottle. I found this cool article that explains the difference:

         When it comes to plastics our real problem is our dependence on them in our daily life. I think my family probably uses slightly less plastic than the average household, but even if we don't buy bottled water we still are dependent on plastics in packaging, carrying, storing, and eating our food as well as in pretty much everyhousehold item. We rely on plastic because we don't grow our own food. So in order for it to have the shelf live we expect it needs to be sealed in sterile plastics. Beyond the SUPs are all the other plastics in things like cars, toys, work supplies, computers, remotes, and refrigerators. Even though these aren't what we think of as SUP they're still going to a landfill someday considering that all products are designed to brake not long after their warranty is up (this really is a science designed to leave you satisfied enough to buy the same product again) in order to keep consumers buying in a never ending cycle. 

         The key to stop this is for us to use less by reducing our complete dependence on it. Abviously you can't use 0 plastics immediately if you're actually a part of society so the trick is for society as a whole to taper off. My family and I could start buy each using only one metal water bottle. We'd stop using plastic utencils and plates/bowls and each have just our own ceramic bowl, plate, and cup so we'd keep dishwashing to a minimum. Then we'd start buying food in bulk with no prepackaged foods, use reusable grocery bags, and use glass tupperware for storage. The list is endless and although we might not become completeley self suffiecient on our own farm we could at least limit plastic use to essentials like car parts and refrigerators which are useful for many years. It's hard to believe how dependant we really are when we don't have to watch our plastic pile up but someone else does. The long term effects of the chemicals from plastics in the enviornment, consumption of plastic by marine life, and the pollution emitted from producing it just aren't worth being able to buy a waterbottle, which is immediately thrown away, instead of just using a water fountain. 


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03/26/2014 - 23:11
# 64
What's SUP Challenge

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Dedham, ME 04401
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