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John Anderson's avatar

John Anderson

Zoo New England

Points Total

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  • 131 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    5
    minutes
    spent learning

John's Actions

Community

Invite participation on social media

I posted the following message on social media: Please join me in Plastics Free Ecochallenge during the month of July! Use the link to sign up. Do you want to learn about plastics and to explore the relationship we all have with systems that have been built to rely on plastics? This is about more than picking up litter. It's about appreciating the incredible abundance the Earth provides and about finding ways we can be responsible for safeguarding that abundance so it remains healthy. This is about recognizing how the same systems that hide harm done to marginalized people and to habitats are systems that shape our behavior. The systems make harmful choices easy for us, because their consequences are obscured and diffuse, and because we don't pay for the harm. Let's explore one example. When local and regional governments have made decisions not to invest in clean water supply infrastructure for their communities, those decisions lead to degradation in water quality, which leads more people to trust that bottled water is a healthier and safer choice for their families. But bottled water is more expensive than municipal water, so the decision acts like a regressive tax. It costs low-income people a larger portion of their hard-earned wages to purchase bottled water. Consider these figures. Assume a liter of water costs $1.29 at the grocery store. That's .26 gallons, so it's equivalent to $4.96/gallon. I'm currently paying $5.36/cubic foot of water at home. A cubic foot is 7.48 gallons. So, I'm paying about $0.71/gallon for water piped into my home. By the way, we have excellent water quality at home. Using the $1.29/liter assumption, the bottle of water costs nearly seven times as much as water from my tap. Imagine paying seven times as much for an $8 sandwich. Would you pay $56 for a sandwich? Most of us would not, yet we participate in a system that marks up the price of water by that amount and also requires manufacturing for billions of plastic water bottles each year. Water bottling companies do not pay for the disposal costs or the environmental harm from disposing of all those bottles, so they don't charge us for it. If those costs were incorporated into the price, the $1.29/liter would increase a lot. Keep in mind how unfair this is for low-income households. When they don't have clean water in their homes, they have to pay much more for water. That's just one of many things that makes it difficult to for families to break out of cycles of poverty. Again, I invite you to learn about this and more by spending some of your time this July, joining in the plastics free ecochallenge. https://plasticfree.ecochallenge.org/participants/join?referral_code=11881131-734f-4819-bf75-8aef5c2db0df&team_invitation=true

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Estimate My Plastic Consumption and Go #PlasticNeutral

I will visit rePurpose website, complete the 3-minute plastic consumption calculator, and explore how I can reBalance my annual plastic footprint.

Completed
One-Time Action

Community

Give Some Green Gratitude

I will give a shout-out on social media to a local company, coworker, friend or family member for their plastic free or green efforts.

Completed
One-Time Action

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  • John Anderson's avatar
    John Anderson 7/14/2020 10:24 AM
    I looked up the state order that allows reusable bags again, rescinding the order to stop allowing reusable bags that had been instituted in March as a precaution to prevent COVID-19.  This change means plastic bag bans are going back into effect at many stores across Massachusetts, and people need to know about it.

  • John Anderson's avatar
    John Anderson 7/01/2020 8:23 AM
    I invited people to join and learn, via social media.  In the process, I made some calculations that I find interesting, about the difference in pricing between municipal water and bottled water.  Here's what I shared:



    Please join me in Plastics Free Ecochallenge during the month of July!  Use the link to sign up.


    Do you want to learn about plastics and to explore the relationship we all have with systems that have been built to rely on plastics?


    This is about more than picking up litter. It's about appreciating the incredible abundance the Earth provides and about finding ways we can be responsible for safeguarding that abundance so it remains healthy.


    This is about recognizing how the same systems that hide harm done to marginalized people and to habitats are systems that shape our behavior. The systems make harmful choices easy for us, because their consequences are obscured and diffuse, and because we don't pay for the harm.


    Let's explore one example. When local and regional governments have made decisions not to invest in clean water supply infrastructure for their communities, those decisions lead to degradation in water quality, which leads more people to trust that bottled water is a healthier and safer choice for their families. But bottled water is more expensive than municipal water, so the decision acts like a regressive tax. It costs low-income people a larger portion of their hard-earned wages to purchase bottled water.  


    Consider these figures. Assume a liter of water costs $1.29 at the grocery store. That's .26 gallons, so it's equivalent to $4.96/gallon. I'm currently paying $5.36/cubic foot of water at home. A cubic foot is 7.48 gallons. So, I'm paying about $0.71/gallon for water piped into my home. By the way, we have excellent water quality at home. Using the $1.29/liter assumption, the bottle of water costs nearly seven times as much as water from my tap. Imagine paying seven times as much for an $8 sandwich. Would you pay $56 for a sandwich? Most of us would not, yet we participate in a system that marks up the price of water by that amount and also requires manufacturing for billions of plastic water bottles each year. Water bottling companies do not pay for the disposal costs or the environmental harm from disposing of all those bottles, so they don't charge us for it.  If those costs were incorporated into the price, the $1.29/liter would increase a lot.


    Keep in mind how unfair this is for low-income households.  When they don't have clean water in their homes, they have to pay much more for water.  That's just one of many things that makes it difficult to for families to break out of cycles of poverty.


    Again, I invite you to learn about this and more by spending some of your time this July, joining in the plastics free ecochallenge. 


    https://plasticfree.ecochallenge.org/participants/join?referral_code=11881131-734f-4819-bf75-8aef5c2db0df&team_invitation=true
  • Reflection Question
    Community Estimate My Plastic Consumption and Go #PlasticNeutral
    What did you find out about your plastic consumption by using the calculator? What did or didn't surprise you?

    John Anderson's avatar
    John Anderson 6/22/2020 2:35 PM
    There's more to do to reduce plastics in my life and my family's life.