Helping the environment

From the introduction to Transforming Plastic. Most people come to the discussion about plastics having been moved by an image. Perhaps it was a sea turtle with a plastic straw in its nose, or a seal pup suffocating after getting tangled in a plastic bag. Maybe it was the corpse of a pelican or whale whose innards were packed with colorful plastic knickknacks. Perhaps you read a magazine article telling you that you now have microplastics in your kidneys and liver, as we all do, and as your children will, and their children. These things horrify us, and rightly so.

They may make us angry, but do they empower us to do something?  I come to this subject from a dedication to regenerative system design. Whether teaching permaculture courses, working with bright young students at Gaia University, or building communities of the future with the Global Ecovillage Network, my strategy has always been to turn the amazing energy and creativity of youth toward creating a better future. After all, they have the most to lose, and if it is going to get better, they’ll be the ones to make it so.  

Plastics are a challenge that they will find very difficult to deal with, and they’re becoming more difficult to deal with each year. I am an EPT: emergency planetary technician. This book is part of a series that examines each of the planetary crises we now face and offers a training course in emergency care. I believe that if many more people decide to join with me and become emergency planetary technicians, we have a decent chance of stabilizing the patient.

This book takes a look at the many problems of plastic, but it only sets the stage. Its main focus is on solutions—things you can do, things governments must do, and things smart business leaders will do to turn profits. I will take you on the journey I took as I looked at the world’s current predicament and the various solutions that have been explored so far.

Now is not the best time to be dealing with this. Fifty or one hundred years ago would have been better. Some of the problems caused by plastics can’t be fixed now—they will be with us forever. But now is the second-best time to start, so let’s go.

Here is an environmental action by a smart business leader to combat plastic pollution. "American Express is unveiling a number of commitments to combat marine plastic pollution, it says, including the introduction of the redesigned Green Card as the first credit card made primarily from reclaimed plastic. It is also promoting efforts to help clean up 1 million pounds of ocean plastic through work with nonprofit Parley for the Oceans ad a social-media campaign called #BackOurOceans.” --Market Watch



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