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  • Writer's pictureCarol Ann Guarino

Polymers "Return" in Spring

It was a sunny day in Wassenaar (the town in The Netherlands I lived in) and I rode my bike to the edge of a wooded area and commenced to climbing trees. I was doing a project for my Environmental Science class and placing plastic bags among the tree branches for photos. project was on the environmental impact of plastic pollution and no....I didn't expect the reaction I would get from the curious Dutch passersby.

Every single person that passed stopped and asked what I was doing and wanted my reassurance that I would not be leaving the bags in the trees. That's collective concern for the environment. I explained my purpose and assured each and every person that I would never leave litter behind. You see, The Netherlands had a free plastic bag ban in place, sound environmental policies and a national tendency toward frugality and less consumption.

Returning back to the States, I have adopted many Dutch frugal behaviors and consumption habits. As an organizer I think I have an obligation to live a life of less consumption which is also environmentally friendly. Reducing your plastic use and packaging with your purchases is one step we can all take and it is easier than ever. Here are some companies to try: Plastic-free toothpaste and toothbrushes Reusable mesh produce grocery bags, Glass water bottles, Reusable shopping bags and new mother essentials. Plastic-free laundry strips Silicone storage bags (to reduce single use plastics)

Small steps can make a big difference and hopefully one day soon we will see only Robins in trees!

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