PORTLAND, Maine — Before you’ve even gotten around to eating breakfast each morning, chances are excellent you’ve touched something made of plastic many times. The day began when you turned off the alarm on your plastic cell phone, which is plugged into a plastic wall outlet. Then you flipped a plastic switch to turn on a light, brushed your teeth with a plastic toothbrush, pushed aside a plastic shower curtain, squeezed some shampoo from a plastic container…you get the idea.
Michael SanClements gets the credit for coming up with that list. A scientist who earned his doctorate at the University of Maine, he is the author of “Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles.” When we talked at Bates College in Lewiston, he offered some suggestions for how we can all reduce the plastic we use in our everyday lives, plastic that in too many cases ends up harming people, animals and the planet.
Here’s one tip that’s good for your world and your wallet: Drink tap water. The environmental benefits of not using a plastic bottle once and then tossing it aside are obvious. What you may not have stopped to think about is that bottled water, according to SanClements, costs 1,000 to 2,000 times as much as tap water.
Would you like to learn more about reducing your use of plastic? Watch our interview.