Welcome to Allergy Free & Cheap Like Me!

gluten, dairy, egg & soy free

I’m so happy you are here! I hope to create a place for you to find lots of information about food allergies, as well as, lots of goodies to help you not only eat better, but more affordably! Please feel free to share all of your own tips, tricks, and recipes too! Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again very soon! You can read more about my allergy story here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

A swirling sea of plastic bags, bottles and other debris is growing in the North Pacific, and now another one has been found in the Atlantic.  How does it get there?

Not all garbage ends up at the dump. A river, sewer or beach can't catch everything the rain washes away, either. In fact, Earth's largest landfill isn't on land at all.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch stretches for hundreds of miles across the North Pacific Ocean, forming a nebulous, floating junk yard at sea. It's the poster child for a worldwide problem: plastic that begins in human hands yet ends up in the ocean, often inside animals' stomachs or around their necks. This marine debris has sloshed into the public spotlight recently, thanks to growing media coverage as well as scientists and explorers who are increasingly visiting the North Pacific to see plastic pollution in action.

The garbage patch is said to be twice the size of Texas, other reports say it’s the size of France.  Whatever the size, what we do know for sure is it is mostly made up of plastic. Unlike most other trash, plastic isn't biodegradable — i.e., the microbes that break down other substances don't recognize plastic as food, leaving it to float there forever. Sunlight does eventually "photodegrade" the bonds in plastic polymers, reducing it to smaller and smaller pieces, but that just makes matters worse. The plastic still never goes away; it just becomes microscopic and may be eaten by tiny marine organisms, entering the food chain.

What’s one thing YOU can do to prevent this giant garbage patch from getting any bigger? Use reusable grocery bags instead of plastic ones! All stores have them now or you can even get your own designer style ones. You only need a few and you can use them over and over again! It’s something that is so easy but really makes a HUGE difference. Another thing, take one day and note every time you use something made out of plastic, whether it is your shampoo bottle in the morning or the plastic container your food came in at lunch…note everything throughout your day. The amount of plastic you use in a day might just surprise you and the first step to reducing that amount is really being aware of just how much you use! 

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