Kids and plastic

I know that Global Climate Change gets a lot of attention. And while climate has been changing for several million years and will continue to do so for the next several, I have a problem with telling children that we only have 12 years before “the end”. It’s not true and it’s a huge disservice to our kids. Plus it scares them.

More importantly, I believe we should be teaching our kids how to not pollute the earth with plastic. Climate changes – plastic doesn’t. This is truly something that kids can get involved in AND know that they’re making a difference.

Why keep buying more plastic crap (I mean toys) when kids already have too much. Most kids have closets full of stuff – and toys that they don’t even play with because every holiday, every birthday, every get-together someone is giving them more stuff!

How many toys did they HAVE to have and then they played with it for a day and into the trash it goes? But Mom and Dad feel okay because they RECYCLE! There’s such a satisfaction when you toss that toy into the big blue bin. You’ve done the right thing and are helping the environment.

Except you’re not. Those toys in the big blue bin – they get weeded out and go into landfills. Partly because they are made of multiple parts (different plastics, metal, electronics etc.) and the owner didn’t take it apart so each piece could be recycled properly. I mean, who does that? Who even knows how? Or there are plastics in the toy that don’t qualify for recycling. It might be made up of different types of plastic and again – into the landfill it goes. And that’s if we’re lucky. Because too much plastic is in our rivers and lakes and oceans.

Why not give a child an “experience” as a present instead? A trip to a museum or zoo or amusement park. Or give them a learning gift – piano, art, gardening. Maybe if they’re old enough they could join a “clean the beach” day and really feel involved in helping the planet.

I think a lot of kids would like to spend more time with their parents or grandparents and that’s a much better gift that will last a lifetime.

Finally – can’t we demand that companies label their products with recycling information? Those numbers on the bottom of your milk bottle don’t mean anything other than what kind of plastic was used. Maybe if we could SEE if something is truly recyclable, we’d make better choices. Hey, they put warning labels on everything else, right?

And all of this goes for us adults too. But we have to set the example for our kids. Because they are the future.

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