Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vacuuming for Plastic Awareness!

In an effort to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans, Electrolux created a concept line of vacuums, "Vacs from the Sea". This line was developed to raise awareness of the dangers of plastic debris in oceans, in hopes of encouraging more people to recycle their plastic products.

Check out the vacuums:  

Friday, April 1, 2011

Around the World.

Images of Plastic Pollution.

PLastic Pollution

Marine Life. 

plastic pollution marine animals recycle reduce

Dolphin gets stuck in plastic pollution


Fur seal caught in plastic


green turtle poops plastic



(CHINA OUT) Plastic bags left by pilgrims are seen at a temple on February 7, 2008 in Chongqing Municipality, China. The Chinese Government has announced a nationwide ban on stores distributing free ultra-thin plastic bags from June 1, 2008. The new rule says all retailers have to clearly indicate the price of their plastic bags and charge customers for the bags. Chinese people use up to three billion plastic bags a day, which caused about 5 million tonnes of crude oil used to make plastic bags for packaging every year, according to reports.

North Pacific Sub-Tropic Gyre. 
plastic pollution in the ocean

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Plastic Abuse.

Plastic is everywhere.  It comes in shiny packages (or makes up shiny packages), it holds hundreds of drinks, our groceries, and is a huge part of our lives.

Plastic consumption is a huge problem in today's society.  Hundreds of single use plastics are consumed every minute throughout the world.  These plastics promise to make life easier. A cool drink or a convenient lunch container can be irresistible. But right after they enter your life, into trash can (recycling bins just don't get used very often) they go.  Then they’re never thought about again.   

Here’s the problem: people forget about plastic after the trash can's cover closes. Very rarely is an extra second taken to consider what happens next.

Plastic doesn't break down.  Not in your lifetime, anyway. Or the lifetime of your children, or their children, or the hundreds of generations after them.

Every piece of plastic ever created still exists in the world, with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated, which is accompanied by its own set of problems (releasing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere is a big one).

But if it doesn’t breakdown, where does it go? Into landfills, woods, roadsides, and just about any other place you can imagine. Unfortunately, the oceans take a brunt of the damage. They’re slowly turning into plastic soup.  Every day tons of plastic water bottles, straws, shoes, spoons, computer parts, cups, and so on find their way into the oceans.  These plastic debris are swept up in oceans currents and collect into huge floating piles of trash.  Think of them as plastic icebergs, except more damage is down to living creatures than boats.

Even though plastic doesn’t completely disintegrate, it does break down into smaller debris that can absorb environmental toxins better than the original form.  With the increase of toxic plastic debris comes an increase of toxins in the world’s food supply as bits and pieces of toxic plastic are ingested by little fish. Then bigger fish eat those fish and even bigger fish eat those fish then the big fish ends up on our tables. You know what happens from there. (This whole process is known as biomagnification.)

How can we reduce the amount of plastic polluting our Earth? By becoming conscious of what we consume.  Reducing the use of plastic is the only way to decrease the amount of plastic pollution.  Plastic recycling is NOT a viable option for lowering plastic waste.  Recycling plastic bottles does not create plastic bottle that is identical to bottles recycled to make it.  Each time a bit of plastic is recycled it degrades, leaving its residues only God knows where.  Not only that, while downgrading is important to reducing immediate plastic waste, it still doesn't stop the production of virgin plastic products from petroleum. And petroleum use is a whole different topic.

So, what’s the best way to reduce plastic consumption and pollution?


For more information on plastic pollution, please visit

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Environmental Awareness.

As industrialized nations have developed, our world has changed drastically.  We've transitioned from surviving off of natural resources that were easily available to mass product availability from the increased ease of shipping.  In many of our homes, we have products that were made on the other side of the world and shipped to our houses.  Increased consumption over the last century has had a depleting effect on the Earth's natural resources.  While the past cannot be reversed, there are small practices that individuals can do to help reduce their consumption of natural resources.  I've compiled a list of websites that provide easy and helpful suggestions to reducing an individual's consumption.

  • Campaign Earth is an organization devoted to providing the public with easy ways to reduce their ecological footprint. 
  • The Natural Resources Defense Council is the nations most effective environmental council.  They work to solve the most pressing environmental issues facing the Earth today.  These issues include global warming, removal of toxic chemicals from the environment, America's oil demand, along with others.  The link post here is full of helpful ways to help reduce consumption, save energy, and save money. 
  • The Green Guide is National Geographics handbook to decreasing consumer waste and increase awareness of practices that will help to save energy, natural resources, and money.  

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I'm Mary and a junior at NDSU, majoring in Civil Engineering.  This blog is to increase awareness about the environment as part of an Earth Day Celebration.