Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Leaving the Bat Cave

This weekend I'm going out to do a little awareness raising. It's kind of new for me to do this in real life, instead of online. I've come to realize though that with things like facebook friends, blog hops, Google reader feeds, you can become insulated. By educating online, often you end up preaching to the choir. You only read the sides of topics you search for, and you're only read by those who are already looking for what you're saying.

In order to effect true change, you have to take the message outside of the bubble. You have to step out into the world and encounter those who have no idea that the problems exist, and you have to open dialog with those who disagee with you.

My kids' school is having their Holiday Bazaar. Crafters bring their wares and sell them as Christmas presents and whatnot. My mom and I have been sewing like crazy, making sandwich wraps, reusable produce bags, Uttts (Upcycled Tank Top Totes), and snack bags. We are going to have a table at the bazaar.

My hope is to make a little money selling items that have the potential to make a real difference in the world. I want to educate the kids and shoppers who will attend the bazaar on the dangers of plastics, and show them how easy and fun it can be to change.

Some of the facts on our table:
  • Every year, around 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide.
  • Every day more than 20,000,000 sandwich bags go into U.S. landfills.  
  • Ten percent of the plastic produced every year worldwide winds up in the ocean. 70% of which finds its way to the ocean floor, where it will likely never degrade.
This is a serious problem because plastic:
  • Doesn't recycle, it downcycles. It loses integrity in the recycling process.
  • Releases toxins into the ground water from landfill sites
  • Gets into the food chain through animals that ingest small particles of plastic--you're eating and drinking plastic chemicals every single day.
  • Stays in the environment for hundreds of years while they break down
  • Wastes energy during the manufacturing process
  • Kills an estimated 100,000 marine animals each year
  • Turns our oceans into "plastic soup"
I hope to educate people, I hope to persuade them to stop using boring, deadly, toxic, lame plastic. I hope they like our wraps and bags, and I really hope I don't look foolish.

What do you do, in the real world, to make a difference?

Here's an awesome video from Green Sangha:

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