Earth Day is April 22nd and this year the focus is ending plastics pollution.  I have heard stories of the huge islands of plastics in the middle of the ocean.  I've seen tv shows where they have to rescue marine life from the plastic litter that is tangled around them.  I see plastics and other trash along side roads and in parking lots after being casually discarded from cars.  Recently I have heard of bits of plastics being in the bottled water products.  This Earth Day it's time for each of us to make a difference and minimize or eliminate the problems plastics cause.  In it's entirety it seems like an impossible task but if we break it down into small, manageable things each of us can do, it can have a huge impact.

One way to help eliminate our plastic trash is to stop buying things that come in plastic bottles or containers.  I realize that is nearly impossible to do in today's world but give it a second thought next time you make a purchase.  If you do end up buying a plastic container, make it a point to recycle or reuse it.  Minimize how much you put in the trash but of course, in the trash is better than tossing it out the car window.  Never do that!

Currently Summit County only recycles plastics marked #1 or #2.  Those are mostly bottles.  There is not currently an option locally that I am aware of to recycle other plastics.  For more information about what can be recycled in Summit County visit High Country Conservation Center's website.

Use fabric grocery bags.  Many stores no longer provide plastic bags or they do for a charge to motivate us to bring our own reusable bags.  It's a great idea just remember to wash them frequently.  

Donate or re-purpose items.  Regardless if they are made of plastic or not, finding a way to re-purpose an old item is good for the earth, and generally your pocketbook.  If you can't come up with a new use for your old item, if it still has some life in it, consider donating it.  There are a lot of non-profits that count on our donations to survive.  It's a win-win.  In our area, a lot of our seasonal workers can use stuff.  They came here for the lifestyle and because of the cost to live here, they often sacrifice some of the basic items most of us take for granted.  If you are local and belong to Facebook, post your unwanted item on One Man's Junk and see if anyone is in need.  Freecycle is another great option.

Visit www.EarthDay.org for more ways you can help end plastic pollution or a number of other earth friendly ideas.  Do your part and commit to creating a great habit this Earth Day.