Our nation consumes about 25% of the planet’s resources, yet makes up only 5% of the world’s population. This is largely due to the U.S. ‘throw away’ mindset. According to Clean Water Action, one of the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organizations, Americans produced an average of 4.4lbs of household garbage a day in 2011, double the amount from 1960. This is largely due to the plastics and chemical industries who promoted single-use disposable items.
Plastics accounts for 60-80% of the pollutants compromising our waterways and has impacted at the very least 267 marine species. Plastics cause injuries and death to fish, marine mammals and seabirds. Recycling can only take us so far; our culture needs to focus more on the Reduce and Reuse part of the 3R ( Reduce, Reuse and Recycle).
Last March (2014), Governor Markell announced a ‘Clean Water for Delaware’s Future’ plan that would accelerate the cleanup efforts of Delaware’s streams, bays and rivers. Most of Delaware’s waters fail to meet water quality standards for drinking, swimming and supporting marine life. At that time 377 bodies of water contained excess nutrients of nitrogen and phosphorus, low levels of dissolved oxygen, toxics and/or bacteria.
On March 4, 2015 Delaware Nature Society, in partnership with the Delaware Estuary and Center for the inland Bays, launched a clean water campaign statewide. A ‘Clean Water Rally’ will be held at Dover Green on June 2, 2105 from 10:30am to 12:30pm. The goal is ‘to build an alliance of Delaware stakeholders to support sustainable funding for clean water.’ – DelawareNatureSociety.org
Find out how to help support ‘Clean Water for Delaware’s Future’ and by signing the
Some Alarming Facts:
- 67% of street litter is food and beverage packaging
- $11.5 billion worth of recyclables are tossed every year.
- The average household’s trash is made up of 30% of packaging waste (mostly plastic)
Things You Can Do to Reduce the Amount of Disposables:
- Eliminate single use disposables, bring your own coffee mug and reusable water bottle to work, use reusable tote bag for shopping, pack a waste-free lunch
- Straws end up in our waterways harming marine life. Of you really need one, buy a reusable one.
- Avoid purchasing over-package foods – they are bad for the environment and usually unhealthy for you
- Avoid unnecessary use of plastic bags on rolls in the fruit and vegetable department.