#5 FiNAL – NO MORE PLASTIC BAGS

So my semester is now coming to the end, this is my final blog spot of the No Impact Man project. Today, I want to show you my 3D column chart for how many Co2 – carbon footprint and water footprint before and after my project.

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As you can see, before the project, my total carbon footprint is 780,000 grams a year and my water footprint is 6240 gallons a year. After the project, my carbon footprint is 109,200 grams a year and my water footprint is 1040 gallons a year. My total saving for carbon footprint is huge (about 670,800 CO2 grams/year) and my saving for water footprint is 5200 gallons a year. I was super surprised when these data pop-up.

670,800 Co2 grams/ year is almost equal 1 million times driving from my house to Mall of Georgia. Before learning about this project, I did not get attention for how much plastic bag I used every day, but after applying this saving method to my consumption, I counted every single plastic bag that I used. It now becomes my characteristic.

The effects of plastic bags on the environment are really quite devastating. While there are many objections to the banning of plastic bags based solely on their convenience, the damage to the environment needs to be controlled.

The Effects of Plastic Bags in Waterways

One of the greatest problems is that an estimated 300 million plastic bags end up in the Atlantic Ocean alone. These bags are very dangerous for sea life, especially those of the mammal variety. Any hunting mammal can easily mistake the size, shape, and texture of the plastic bag for a meal and find its airway is cut off. Needless deaths from plastic bags are increasing every year.

Porpoises are the most common victim. Because they eat sea nettles and jellyfish they are the most likely to mistake the plastic bag for food. If they survive the swallowing of the bag, it is unlikely that they are able to continue with normal digestion and thus eventually die a slow and painful death from toxicity or intestinal blockage.

The environmental balance of the waterways is being thrown off by the rate of plastic bags finding their way into the mouths and intestinal tracts of sea mammals. As one species begins to die off at an abnormal rate, every other living organism in the waterway is impacted. There are either too many or too few and changes within the environment continue to kill off yet more organisms.

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The Effects of Plastic Bags on Land

The indefinite period of time that it takes for the average plastic bag to break down can be literally hundreds of years. Every bag that ends up in the woodlands of the country threatens the natural progression of wildlife. Because the breakdown rate is so slow the chances that the bag will harmlessly go away are extremely slim. Throughout the world plastic bags are responsible for suffocation deaths of woodland animals as well as inhibiting soil nutrients.

The land litter that is made up of plastic bags has the potential to kill over and over again. It has been estimated that one bag has the potential to unintentionally kill one animal per every three months due to unintentional digestion or inhalation. If you consider the number of littered plastic bags ranges from 1.5 million to 3 million depending on location, this equals a lot of ecosystems sustaining lives lost.

Without the balance of the ecosystem food sources dry up and starvation occurs. With an increase in plastic bag use throughout the world, the eventual effects could be literally devastating even to the human population.

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In my opinion, this project is extremely significant and everybody should know about this. We might don’t have enough time and money to save the world, but doing this project and eliminate your consuming routine will contribute an important impact on saving the environment.  So now, when you are reading my blog, you should know about these methods I use to control my plastic bag consumption:

  1.  Put 3 to 5 reusable bags in your trunk
  2. Always use reusable bag for grocery shopping
  3. Do not take a plastic bag for your one milk container
  4. Count every single plastic bag you have or use
  5. Reuse plastic bag whenever you can
  6. Raising awareness to others about the harm of plastic bags to our environment
  7. Teach your children about this project (all ages applied)
  8. Grow your own veggies (lettuce, broccoli, carrot, bean, mint, and spinach)
  9. Spending more time with nature
  10. Grow a little plant on your working table/place

tree-hugging

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