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"At the current rate, we are really heading toward a plastic planet."
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Ordering your drinks without straws is a small sacrifice but a big step to reducing the amount of plastic we produce and waste.
Researchers are just starting to learn about the two-metre, scale-free ragfish with cartilage skeleton and flabby flesh found in Alaskan waters, and the faceless fish found in Australian waters, whose eyes, gills and mouth are hidden. That we're still discovering new wonders in the oceans is even more reason to protect them. We have a long way to go, though.
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There's no denying that oil, coal and gas are tremendously useful. The problems aren't the resources but our profligate use of them. Using them more wisely is a start. In many cases, we also have alternatives. Most plastics are also made from oil -- which presents another set of problems.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has now acknowledged that there's an issue with water takings by bottled water companies, and she's vowed to fix the problem. Change couldn't come soon enough. If she's serious about fixing the water bottling system, here's what Ontario needs to do.
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Plastic wrap, plastic storage containers and plastic baggies of every shape and size line the shelves in our grocery stores -- in some cases, plastic food storage can take up half an aisle! I swear, plastic food containers are a scourge to our society. We can do better than plastic. Much better.
Zero waste? Okay, maybe that's a stretch. But being the worst waste generators on the planet? Surely, fellow Canadians, that's a title we need to shake -- so let's get started.
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How much are whiter teeth and smoother skin worth to you? Are they worth the water and fish in the Great Lakes? If you use the myriad other creatures the seas support? If you use personal care products such as exfoliators, body scrubs and toothpastes containing microbeads, those are the costs you could be paying.
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Eight million tonnes. That's how much plastic we're tossing into the oceans every year! University of Georgia environmental engineer Jenna Jambeck says it's enough to line up five grocery bags of trash on every foot of coastline in the world.
From pollution to poverty, social enterprises like the Plastic Bank are discovering new solutions to old problems. And Canadian entrepreneur David Katz shows us the key to successful social enterprises lies in changing the way we think, finding the value in people and things everyone else tosses aside.
We've all felt like a mushroom at one point; kept in the dark and fed on s--t. But the humble fungus has taken on a noble role in the fight against the burgeoning global waste crisis. Oyster mushrooms...
Filling up at the gas station is certainly one of the ways to use oil that is most familiar to us. But guess what: of all the oil we use, only 43 per cent goes to fueling our cars. Given this, can we seriously consider ending our "dependence on oil", as some would suggest? Someone who wants to stop using oil will have to say goodbye to smart phones, ballpoint pens, candlelight, clothing made of synthetic fibers, glasses, toothpaste, tires (including those on bicycles), and thousands of other products made from plastic, a petroleum derivative.
Good luck with that program.
The failure of world leaders to act on the critical issue of global warming is often blamed on economic considerations. But let's take a look at the economic reality. A new scientific report concludes that climate change is already costing the world $1.2 trillion a year. It's also killing at least 400,000 people every year.