Your Little Bit of Good May 13, 2023

Your Little Bit of Good May 13, 2023


An End to Waste

Let us pray for an end to the waste and desecration of God's creation, for access to the fruits of creation to be shared equally among all people, and for communities and nations to find sustenance in the fruits of the earth and the water God has given us.

Almighty God, you created the world and gave it into our care so that, in obedience to you, we might serve all people. Inspire us to use the riches of creation with wisdom, and to ensure that their blessings are shared by all; that, trusting in your bounty, all people may be empowered to seek freedom from poverty, famine, and oppression.

From Xavier University’s Environmental and Sustainability Prayers.



“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” No truer words… This YLBG is a response to one of the informational items on our Earth Day table: false solutions to the plastics problem. This is the last in this YLBG series! This week let’s talk about the so-called solution of downcycling.

Downcycling is the process of turning recycled plastic into other products. Because they are mixing types of plastic, this means these items are not recyclable. This is not really creating a solution, but simply delaying the inevitability of these items entering the waste stream. Recycled items are downcycled into building materials, fleece material, shredded “rubber tire” mulch for flower beds and playgrounds, insulation for sleeping bags, etc.

Downcycling plastic releases into the atmosphere the hazardous chemicals they contain. They also throw off microplastic bits during the shredding process. I fell into this myself and not too long ago. Recently we built a deck on our house. We decided to spend a little more and chose composite decking. I thought, “Well, this will give a little bit of recycled plastic a permanent home.” Then I saw all the small plastic bits that got everywhere each time we drilled a hole or cut a plank. In addition, while it will last through my lifetime, it still won’t last forever and will eventually end up in a landfill anyway. Full disclosure, I also have some rubber mulch in my yard. Honestly, is there no end to the ways we can be misled? And who among us doesn’t own at least one fleece jacket?


If this next comment surprises you, you have not been paying attention. I know I sound like a broken record! We must eliminate plastic wherever possible, and we can start with the items that we use for convenience. Less plastic means less plastic pollution. It is really that simple.

For more information on the realities of downcycling, you can read the Recycling Myth of the Month on Oceana’s website. The University of Colorado has interesting general information on upcycling and downcycling here. It really brings home the fact that we just need to stop making plastic!

With you, we change lives

With the support of generous friends like you, we are able to continue our mission of educating and taking a stand with those in poverty— especially women and children.

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.