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Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.


Our Plastic Nightmare, Now on Video

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: Keith Goetzman, environment, plastic, pollution, oceans, wildlife, Fake Plastic Fish, Plastic Manners,

As we enter the season of plastic-intensive picnicking—would you like some plastic-bottled water to accompany your meal eaten off a plastic plate with a plastic fork?—it’s worth remembering that our convenience comes at nature’s cost. This video that dramatizes plastic’s toll on the environment, and on wildlife, is shocking and powerful, despite—or because of?—a soundtrack consisting solely of Queen’s bombastic power ballad “Who Wants to Live Forever”:

Take this as a reminder: It’s not impolite to bring your environmental ethic to a cookout. The next time you head out for summer fun that includes eating outside, bring a few extra things—washable and reusable plates, cups, and utensils—and leave your guilt behind.

(Thanks, Fake Plastic Fish and Plastic Manners.)