Maynooth Newsletter – April 2019

“So , why all this fuss over a plastic bottle??”
It’s a question I have asked myself, and seen in the faces of others, since I started down the Zero Waste path. Sometimes it seems that when there are so many big and complicated problems in the world, why should we put our energy and focus in this seemingly less urgent problem?
After lots of pondering these are the answers I have to the above question:

  1. A plastic bottle might look innocent – especially now with the emphasis on recycling. But that plastic bottle is made of oil. Oil, a finite fossil fuel, is used to make something that will be used for approx. 20mins and then put in the bin. Oil is used to make the plastic and oil is used to power the manufacture and transportation of that bottle. Something precious like
    oil is used to produce something that is 100% disponsible – it seems crazy to take natural resources and just throw them away.
  2. Once you start thinking about the logic (or lack of it) behind the plastic bottle, a new world is opened up to you. From the starting point of the plastic bottle, you begin to question other everyday items and behaviours. You begin to realise that when you throw something
    “away”, there is no magic land of “Away” – that bottle could be downcycled eventually ending up in the landfill, or in a stream, or breaking down in the ocean, or in a whale’s stomach. Realising that our lifestyle and our choices are having a detriment effect on Nature is the first step in improving the natural world.
  3. That first step can lead you to see how all our problems are linked – for example climate change is causing drought and famine which is resulting in people fleeing their lands and/or
    conflicts to flare up over resources. Most importantly it is not just the problems that are linked but the solutions to climate change will result in a better, cleaner world for everyone. For example education for girls was found to be a powerful tool to reduce climate change – and it is also a proven way to reduce poverty and infant mortality. “Drawdown” lists the top solutions to climate change and shows a fair, peaceful world is achievable.
    So the role of the plastic bottle is very important – it is only when our eyes are opened that we can begin to act to protect our beautiful world.

If you are looking for a way to start off your Zero Waste journey please come along to our next event. Nu wardrobe will be holding a clothes swap so you can “shop” guilt and cash free! Bare necessities will have dried, loose goods available – so reuse those jam jars and bags. Reuzi will have zero waste essentials for sale also.
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