Evaluating one's own carbon footprint may not be an important priority for some. A little cardboard pizza box in the trash here and an aluminum soup can there never hurt anyone, right? And how much harm can an accumulation of plastic bags from the grocery store cause, anyway?
When that thought process flows through the average American's mind, the answer is a lot. People in the U.S. consume 3,171 plastic bags every second. Out of those bags, only 1 percent gets recycled annually because it costs more to recycle one that to simply make a new one.
The ceiling of the Green Revolution at MOSH
If it's still difficult to put those facts into perspective, then a visit to the Green Revolution at MOSH can help. A chain of plastic bags covers the exhibit's entire ceiling, yet only represents one second of the yearly consumption in America. The trail of bags lead to recycling facts -- including the amount of energy it takes to break down plastic, green pioneers in Jacksonville, and how to help the environment.
Just a few of the facts surrounding the Green Revolution at MOSH
By getting informed and utilizing suggestions the exhibit offers, people in Jacksonville can make a huge contribution. Floridians consume approximately 1 billion bags a year, and Jacksonville, being the largest city in the nation, likely contributes to that number a great deal.
Thankfully, the tips to reduce that are easy. Reusable bags (cloth, mesh, etc.) save a person approximately six bags per week, which averages out to 312 a year and escalates to 22,176 in an average lifetime. If an entire family jumps on the eco-friendly bag kick, they can save 60 plastic bags in just four trips to the grocery store. Reusable bags can either be purchased at most grocery stores, or even through some stores such as Urban Outfitters, who supply mesh bags with every purchase. Plastic bags are accepted for reuse at Jacksonville Beach's curbside recycling program, as well as Publix and Walmart bag recycling drop-offs.
It's easy to overlook the detrimental effects such a light-weight, accessible carrier has on the world, but something as simple as keeping the usage of plastic bags to a minimum can take the environment to a better, greener place.
For more information on plastic bag recycling and what you can do to help, visit the Green Revolution at MOSH.
article and photos by Melanie Pagan