The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province has responded to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Action Platform by creating the Dorothy Stang Initiative for Laudato Si’ Action. While in the process of gathering data from sisters, associates, staff, donors and others in our circle, we were reminded that all steps we take are important - both big and small. We therefore introduce Your Little Bit of Good, a short weekly one-pager that focuses on some aspect of the environment. It is an attempt to bring forward small things we can do.
Director of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation
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.
- Author Unknown
A few weeks ago, I asked for suggested topics for YLBG. One suggestion was to do a series to explain the differences in plastics and what is and is not recycled. For the second in the series, we’ll look at #2 plastics. These are high-density polyethylene, or HDPE. This plastic is a bit stronger than #1 and can withstand heating and freezing. They are durable and can be used in various weather conditions. They are used for cosmetics and household cleaners, milk and juice jugs, outdoor furniture and toys, playground equipment, flexible pipes, crates, and rope.
As you can see from the list above, recycling these plastics can be tricky, even though they are the same material. Some, like bottles and jugs can be recycled in your curbside bin. But what to do with outdoor furniture, toys, pipes, and rope when they wear out? For these items, consumers have to go the extra mile. Often, they need to be delivered to a collection point. Many people consider this just too much trouble and these items end up in the landfill or floating in our rivers, lakes and oceans.
As always, it is best to avoid plastic use whenever possible. If you do purchase items that are not recyclable curbside, make the commitment to go the extra mile and find a place to drop them for recycling. Locally, in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Recycle and Reuse Hub is a great place to start. They take so many different items you would not think could be recycled. Some items you can drop of for free. For some, there is a fee. If there is something they don’t accept, they may be able to direct you to someplace that will.
The best way to deal with plastic is to reduce or eliminate your use of it whenever possible. Carry your own reusable water bottle and buy products in cans or glass jars when available.
What about things that cannot be reused or recycled? This is where advocacy comes in. Contact the corporate offices of your favorite companies and tell them you want an option to by items without plastic packaging. You can have a big impact on this by advocating with Amazon to stop using plastic shipping items.
Remember: “We will have the future that consumers demand.”