Islands' Sounder


A look at recycling | Letter

June 12, 2013 · Updated 10:19 AM

The Bite of Orcas was a success, yes indeed, but our community recycle efforts that same day were not!

I was disappointed to see no easy way to recycle all the paper plates, coffee cups, lemonade glasses, and plastic forks that we all consumed. This seems to happen often here on Orcas.

But the good news is that soon our chamber of commerce will have a partial solution to this situation. New combo recycle/trash bins will be placed around Eastsound! This is a well-needed, long-awaited step.  They are appreciated.

But, consider carrying your own reusable coffee cup and fork.  A new, easy habit to include in your daily life. This little act is a simple reminder: be aware of what you consume. Next, consider using less. Many community members already do a great job of reduce and reuse.

Trash and recycle issues on Orcas are complex, expensive, long standing but there is one easy solution: generate less at public events. Tread lighter on Earth.

The familiar mantra of reduce and reuse is important to sustaining life on Earth. Recycling is the least we can and should do.

Our beloved Orca whales will benefit!  This popular, beloved Salish Sea inhabitant is a very toxic mammal.  Our consumption habits are a huge contributor. More than ever, we must change our lifestyle patterns. All beings benefit with reduced consumption.

Governor Inslee declared June “Orca Awareness Month”.

“Orca whales can now be considered among the most contaminated marine mammals in the world,” said Dr. Peter Ross, research scientist, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, B.C., and lead author of new study: “High PCB Concentrations in Free-Ranging Pacific Killer Whales, Orcinus orca.”

Orca whales are contaminated, laden with toxic chemicals, and at risk for disease. They may be the very symbol of a world spoiled by human pollutants. Let’s give these wonderful creatures a gift, a healthier life!

Did you know the average American produces four pounds of trash each day? Do you know Americans produce more trash, per inhabitant, than any other country? Do you know that only 13 percent of all trash is recycled?

I recently re-learned these and other worrisome facts from a WSU course, Composting/Recycling,  which is a great class, offered every spring. Watch for it next season! And, REDUCE, REUSE!

Cathy Ellis



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