Thursday, May 21, 2015

Creative things to do with plastic bottles

It is no secret that our society has become somewhat dependent on using plastics. We use plastic continually in our everyday lives, from cell phones to car parts to dog toys to cooking utensils, plastics are a constant part of our lives. So since we can't seem to escape using it, and it's not a bad thing or a crime to use plastic, what should we do with it once we're done? There's plenty of helpful tips and tricks about how to recycle, the consequences of not recycling, and the great causes that recycling contributes to, but how about the most basic part of recycling, what can be recycled and how can it be recycled. Let's start with the basics, plastics. We can break it down even farther, different kinds of plastics. I believe that I might confuse you if I get too technical so here is a link that gives a really good breakdown of different types of plastics and how they are used.
Since it seems like the most common use of plastic, let's talk about water bottles and how to recycle them. There is the obvious way, placing them in the blue recycling bins as pictured above. These bins are becoming increasingly more popular as recycling becomes an issue being placed in the spotlight of society. However if you're feeling crafty, or particularly interested in DIY or reusing your bottles, I've found you a couple of links that offer you a few fun and creative suggestions as to what to do with your bottles when you're done with them. 

I've also found a YouTube Channel that focuses specifically on crafts that can be done with recycled bottles including a dress, recycled arts and crafts, and teapots all made from recycled plastic bottles. all of the ideas are exciting and creative, and can be done just by following the steps and directions on the videos! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mythbusters!

We've all heard stories of ways plastics are "good" or "bad" for us. It's time to get to the truth behind some of those myths we see all over the web!



Myth #1: Women should not drink water from water bottles left in hot cars because it increases the chance for breast cancer and those water bottles contain DEHA (diethylhexyl adipate) which is a carcinogen.  

Myth: BUSTED
According to the American Cancer Society, this myth comes from the thesis of a college student. The International Agency for Research on Cancer states that DEHA "is not classifiable as to it's carcinogenicity to humans"

http://www.cancer.org/aboutus/howwehelpyou/plasticwaterbottles



Myth #2: Only plastics marked 1 or 2 on the bottom (in the little triangle) are recyclable. 

Myth: BUSTED
While #1 plastics (PETE) and #2 (HDPE) are the most commonly accepted forms of plastics for programs like curbside recycling, it is because they provide the highest collection value. It doe snot mean that other plastics are not recyclable.

http://www.earth911.com/eco-tech/research/debunked-plastic-myths/



Myth #3: Heating plastic in the microwave or freezing water in plastic water bottles releases toxins.

Myth: PLAUSIBLE
The FDA does state that substances used in plastics can leach out into foods but they have found that those levels are well within the margin of safety based on the information available to the agency. 

http://www.cancer.org/aboutus/howwehelpyou/microwaving-plastic



It's easy to believe things we see and read online. Just remember to do your research and now the facts. Knowledge is power!





The Toxicity of Plastic


Yummy...



Here’s a quick look at a few not so fun facts about the negative health consequences of using plastic products. Read carefully: it may just save your life.
Ample studies have been conducted over the past twenty years on the physiological effects that plastics have on us, and the results all lead to the same conclusion: plastic is toxic. There is still so little we know about the real makeup of the particles which constitute various plastic products, it’s a mystery that it’s even legal. Just because something is approved by the FDA, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wholly OK to consume. After all, these are the same people who once said that DDT was harmless.
While you may not think you’re consuming plastic, if you use any kind of plastic dish or utensil or wrapper that touches your food, you are definitely putting plastic in your body. Even touching something plastic (a toy, for example) can transfer harmful particles through the skin. According to Science News, 92% of the random 2500 people they tested had more BPAs in their blood than the lab rats did who got diagnosed with a smorgasbord of side effects, including but not limited to: impotence, infertility, breast cancer, testicular cancer (many other cancers), etc. https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/food-thought/how-plastic-weve-become If you’re wondering what BPAs are and why they’re bad, click here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/221205.php To sum it up briefly, BPAs are a chemical found in plastics all over the world, ranging from baby bottles to CDs and tooth fillings. They are deadly. And while minor changes are slowly taking place, (most baby bottle manufacturers quit using them, for example) they are still in many of the products we use on a daily basis. There’s also the issue with phthalates, which are like BPAs, but unique in their own way. Some say better, some say worse. Click here for more info: http://www.chemicalbodyburden.org/cs_phthalate.htm

Ok, yes, of course there are some benefits to plastic (medical equipment, etc.) as has been mentioned in previous posts on this blog: http://www.ecomerge.blogspot.com/2015/05/lets-hear-it-for-plastics.html Here’s the main point: Avoid using plastics as best you can. Plastic silverware, plastic cups, dishes, food containers, etc. Avoid purchasing any foodstuffs that come wrapped in or are touching plastic in any way. Don’t let your children play with plastic toys. I know it sounds impossible, but it’s not. The first step is being aware, which you now are. The next step is making changes. For the benefit of your own health, and the health of all mankind, please SAY NO TO PLASTIC!!!




Sunday, May 17, 2015

New diet that has scientists outraged

Over the past four years I have been working towards my B.S. with a major in biology. In almost every single science class that I have taken we have talked about the destruction the high rate of consumption humans are having to the other life forms on this planet. Whether it's pollution, climate change or over hunting humans are causing what many scientists are calling the sixth great extinction event. With a rate of destruction similar to a super volcano or a mile wide meteor humans are killing life at an alarming rate. Though plastics have made many positive impacts the use of plastics for disposable products and the improper disposal of them as well is killing off species by being consumed and destroying ecosystems by changing the chemical make up of the water.

There are very few earthly materials that last as long as plastic, like stone, metal or glass. You would never use a glass cup once or a metal spoon for two seconds to stir your coffee and then throw it away. So why do we think it's okay to do this with plastic. The only argument for using virgin plastic for a few seconds is because it is sterile. When I took immunology the professor was constantly talking about the negative health effects of living a germ free life. We don't need everything to be sterile because we have an IMMUNE SYSTEM!

Here is an article about whales dying and when they are dissected their bellies are found to be filled with plastic. It's possible that your plastic killed a whale. There is also a video at the end of this article that inspired this post. You can actually make a difference stop looking at plastic as this disposable material and start looking at it for what it really is extremely not disposable.

Whales dying from plastic

 If you do use plastic make sure that it gets properly recycled. They can recycle the plastic bottle tops now so don't throw them away and don't ever litter no matter what.