TRASHING OUR WORLD: THERE IS NO "AWAY" IN THROWAWAYS
By Frosty Wooldridge
August 13, 2012
[Disclaimer: The opinion expressed in this article are those of Frosty Wooldridge and not necessary those of NewsWithViews, Its staff and other contributing writers.]
Part 3: Single use plastic containers, source reduction, enormous cost of our throwaway society, Peter Coors Factor
Have you ever driven into a restaurant, motel or bar parking lot to see a six pack of empty beer bottles discarded on the asphalt? How about a rest stop where you saw a case of empty beer cans on the picnic table?
Didn’t you just want to grab the person or persons who did that and smack them upside the head for being so stupid, careless or just plain $#@%&*?
Have you wondered what set of parents brought up some guy or gal who parked their car in a parking lot and emptied their ashtray filled with used butts all over the cement? You shake your head when you see they could have walked ten feet to a trash can to throw their “cancerettes” into the trash. If I ever catch one dude doing that, I’m going to give him a plethora of four letter words in a lecture that he will remember for a lifetime…and end with mental midget, moron, wilderness idiot, simpleton and dufus to finish off my tirade against him.
How about when you visit the beach, but witness trash, paper and other peoples’ garbage left after they enjoyed their fun in the sun? Don’t you just want to scream at how stupid they prove themselves? How can someone visit the pristine ocean or a beautiful lake in the mountains, but leave their garbage in plastic bags?
Long Beach Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal said, “Long Beach, California spends $20 million annually picking up trash on the beach and in the city of only 500,000 people. Can you imagine if people picked up their own trash and deposited it in receptacles what we could do with that much money for education, fire and police protection and beautifying our city?” Multiply that $20 million by hundreds of cities that must contend with human irresponsibility.
Los Angeles spends millions upon millions of dollars to pick up trash the residents of that city toss in alleys, roads and just about anywhere you can imagine. If you look at the picture of the sofas and junk, I took a dozen pictures like that as I bicycled across California. What really makes me sick are the mothers and fathers who toss their soiled baby diapers by the thousands onto the shoulders of our roads across America. It’s pretty gross and really sickening. Not to mention the truck drivers who toss their gallon “pee” jugs at rest stops. Get a grip you mental morons! www.plasticparadisemovie.com
In Colorado last week, my wife Sandi and I camped out on a river, along with two other couples, at Keystone Ski Resort near 11,200 foot Loveland Pass. You cannot find a more beautiful place of woods, stream, trees and white water. You cannot get any closer to spiritual bliss.
But some wilderness idiots, who think the “Trash Fairy” will pick up their five bags of garbage and leave them a quarter as a reward for their thoughtlessness—caused me to wonder about the human race. Of course, I picked up the bags and other trash and carried it out with me the next day. My dad always told us kids, “Leave a place better than you found it to honor Mother Nature and the other animals because it’s their home, too.” Thanks dad!
all the bottles, cans and plastics in the wilderness? I call it the
Peter Coors Factor. In 1974 and again in 1988 in Colorado, we attempted
to pass a 10 cent deposit/return law like Michigan’s for all cans,
bottles and plastic containers. Pete Coors, who owns Coors Brewing,
spent nearly $5 million along with American Bottle and Can to defeat
the bill. They used incredibly supercilious ads to make it seem as if
consumers would be punished for being forced to bring
back their containers for the 10 cent return. Like sheep, Colorado voters
succumbed to money, greed and the power of advertising. I begged Pete
Coors, who is my age, to do something good at the end of his life, but
he prefers profits over integrity. He loves to give his holiday appeal
not to cut trees at Christmas in the High Country to preserve the wilderness,
but doesn’t care that his beer bottles and cans litter every square
mile of Colorado’s back country. I call him a “pretend environmentalist.”
In other words, he’s a fraud.
Average American generates 100 pounds of plastic waste annually
While we profess to be a responsible nation, a scant 30 percent of Americans recycle with any regularity. That means 70 percent don’t bother to recycle newspapers, cardboard, plastics, glass or cans. Some of the worst offenders I have discovered are wealthy people. On the other side, very poor people in the cities fail to pick up trash or recycle. It’s disheartening. www.plasticpollutioncoalition.com
“Americans produce 10 million tons of plastic annually, but recycle only 1 to 2 percent of it,” said Chris Jordan, author of Pollution Plastics.
So where does that leave us a society? First of all, it shows that those of us who care, around 30 percent, won’t speak up or push for recycling laws. It shows that the other 70 percent that don’t recycle—keep the upper hand. It means we continue with enormous waste of billions of plastic bags being used annually.
Because we refuse to manifest 10 cent deposit/return laws, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch grows, by some estimates, at 2.5 million pieces of plastic every hour. The “Patch” kills over 1 million seabirds annually and over 100,000 large marine animals every year. It’s probably much more.
Do we have the right as the planet’s only cognitive species to continue this death march on other species? Why don’t we do something to stop the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch?” What can you do? In part 4, you will find that you can do plenty to change the course of plastic from the incredible irresponsibility of today to a better tomorrow for all Earth’s creatures—which includes humans!
Part 4: what you can do to turn this monster around
Listen to Frosty Wooldridge on Wednesdays as he interviews top national leaders on his radio show "Connecting the Dots" at www.themicroeffect.com at 6:00 PM Mountain Time. Adjust tuning in to your time zone.
© 2012 Frosty Wooldridge - All Rights Reserved
Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His published books include: "HANDBOOK FOR TOURING BICYCLISTS"; “STRIKE THREE! TAKE YOUR BASE”; “IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES”; “MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE TO ALASKA: INTO THE WIND—A TEEN NOVEL”; “BICYCLING AROUND THE WORLD: TIRE TRACKS FOR YOUR IMAGINATION”; “AN EXTREME ENCOUNTER: ANTARCTICA.” His next book: “TILTING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY INTO A SWAMP.” He lives in Denver, Colorado.
His latest book. ‘IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION—DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.’