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Infoshop News / From Microaggressions to Legalized Lynching: Weaponizing Police Against Black People
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on July 15, 2018, 06:00:57 PM »
From Microaggressions to Legalized Lynching: Weaponizing Police Against Black People

Thanks to social media's ability to help news headlines (and those stories that don't even make it out through mainstream media) go viral, Black people and other people of color are beginning to receive some vindication.
Source: From Microaggressions to Legalized Lynching: Weaponizing Police Against Black People
32
AlterNet / White Woman Calls Cops on Black Man for Listening to Yoga CD in His Car
« Last post by AlterNet on July 15, 2018, 06:00:55 PM »
White Woman Calls Cops on Black Man for Listening to Yoga CD in His Car


Now yoga can be added to the list of normal activities black people might engage in that get the cops called on them.


Ezekiel Phillips claims that he was sitting in his car, resting before his yoga class and listening to a Bikram Yoga CD, when a white woman confronted him, telling him that he didn't belong in the area.

?You?re not supposed to be here. This is a good neighborhood," he recalled to FOX 11.

"At that moment I?m like, ?wait hold up?. Have a good day ma?am. Namaste. And I rolled my window up,? he said.

She started taking video, and so did he. Then the woman called Long Beach police.

In the 911 call, obtained by FOX 11, the woman can be heard grousing that the man was unfamiliar.

?I noticed him two houses up from my parents? house and I?m like, you know and he?s waving to me. I don?t know who he is.?

She added, ?I go ?why are you sitting in your car in our neighborhood? And he goes ?I?m resting? and I?m like you weren?t two blocks back??.?

Phillips decided to stick it out. ?I thought about it. ?If I leave, it?s looking like I?m guilty of whatever she?s talking about.?

Police arrived and Phillips wasn't charged with anything.

 


Source: White Woman Calls Cops on Black Man for Listening to Yoga CD in His Car
33
Richard Mellor / The Thai Rescue: The Hollywood Movie is Next
« Last post by Richard Mellor on July 15, 2018, 01:08:19 AM »
The Thai Rescue: The Hollywood Movie is Next

Richard Mellor
Afcme Local 444, retired

Let's not lose track of what's happening here. The goals of the global mass media is to praise capitalism and the so-called free market and win the battle for the consciousness of the working classes throughout the world, particularly in the US and other advanced capitalist countries. 

There are all sorts of stories and coverage that obscures the misery and death that the free market delivers on a day to day basis. The recent daily reports of the Thai children trapped in the cave was an excellent chance to get people's minds off the horrors of daily life.

Thousands have died trying to escape the consequences of capitalism/imperialism's forays in to the so-called "underdeveloped" world. Thousands have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, many of them children,  attempting to escape failed nation states created from without by colonial powers or to escape the endless imperialist wars that have devastated their homelands.

Millions more have been displaced in the Middle East with US imperialism's more than 20 year savagery in Iraq. 500,000 thousand Iraqi's, mostly women and children died due to US imposed sanctions in that country. Madeline Albright, busy trying to sell her latest book, referred to that tragedy as "worth it".  The tragedy is that these developments are not even "worth it" from US capitalism's point of view as its influence on the global stage declines and it faces severe economic, political and growing social crisis at home.

The US mass media which is the planet's dominant news source, made a lot of hay out of the trapped children and of course it is good they were rescued. But the attention the US and British media is giving it is pure propaganda as the US government steals children from their parents here and locks them away in cages and detention centers.

As Hollywood prepares the blockbuster movie about the Thai rescue let's not forget that some 50,000 children died in Yemen last year from starvation bombing and disease due to US weapons, bombs and money. The US has its flunkies the Saudi thugs do most of the dirty work in Yemen.  As the US government praises the Thai rescue it blames Palestinian children for their own deaths as they are mowed down by Zionist snipers funded by the US taxpayer.

Millions of children die each year due to hunger and malnutrition. Mothers literally watch them waste away before their eyes. The UN's World Food Program reckoned in 2015 that $3.2 billion was needed to feed the 66 million school age children who suffer from hunger about Trum's net worth.

The UN, a capitalist club, and the liberal non-profits and NGO's always tell us that food deprivation or hunger is difficult to eradicate of that politicians can't "find the will".  Just as there is plenty of money in the world that would solve so many social problems, there's plenty of food.  The world produces enough food to feed everyone. Food availability per  capita has increased from approximately 2220 kcal per person per day in  the 1960s to 2790 kcals per person per day in 2006 according to the Borgen Project.

But like capital, it's not that we don't have it. In the case of capital, it is privately owned. Capital is accumulated by capitalists that's why they are called that and they can do with it what they will. To provide food for hungry people capital has to be invested in this area. To provide the social infrastructure to produce, distribute and provide food requires capital. To provide the roads, sewage, water systems and health care in society capital has to be laid out for that purpose and along with this, labor power has to be bought and paid a wage in order to purchase the necessities, or some of the necessities of life. This is a major project and not a profitable one, ties up too much cash. Capitalism is incapable of developing the so called "developing world". If they're going to invest in food production, soy for cattle feed is more profitable. In the US the average American consumes about 250 pounds of beef (or meat but I thin k it's beef) a year.

Capitalists do none of this as it is not profitable. So it's not that we don't have enough food or the ability to produce it, the starving people don't have the money to buy it. If you can't pay, you starve.

And as the capitalist mass media brings us the trailer for the upcoming movie on the now famous Thai rescue, we should think about all those images of starving children, of Yemeni kids children burned to death by US missiles, we should remind ourselves of Iraq and particularly Falujah. The US assault on a country and people that never threatened the US and on a city that will forever be remembered in the minds of the Iraqi workers as a shrine of resistance to an imperialist invasion caused immense suffering and death. In he brutal assault on Falujah and throughout Iraq, the US used white phosphorous and depleted uranium on people and children. In Falujah and throughout the country children are still being born deformed today due to the US invasion, there are "catastrophic" levels of deformed births in Iraq. US imperialism left a similar gift for the people of Laos and Vietnam as it dropped dropped chemicals on the civilian populations there.


So let's recognize the intent behind the massive attention paid to the Thai rescue by the mainstream media dominated by US and western capitalism. It's a publicity stunt as it is painfully clear that the investors that own that media do not care about children dying.
Source: The Thai Rescue: The Hollywood Movie is Next
34
Infoshop News / Who?s Sober in Narcotics Anonymous?
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on July 15, 2018, 01:08:14 AM »
Who?s Sober in Narcotics Anonymous?

Abstinence-only ideology in twelve-step treatment programs is making it harder for addicts to stay clean.
Source: Who?s Sober in Narcotics Anonymous?
35
Infoshop News / Border Abolition: The Common Sense Position
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on July 15, 2018, 01:08:13 AM »
Border Abolition: The Common Sense Position

One big problem with border abolitionists and open borders advocates is a lack of focus on how unradical it actually is.
Source: Border Abolition: The Common Sense Position
36
Infoshop News / Britain: Can anarchists give Trump the welcome he deserves?
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on July 15, 2018, 01:08:13 AM »
Britain: Can anarchists give Trump the welcome he deserves?

Ever since Trump became President of the USA there's been the prospect of him visiting the UK and the chance for direct action. Anarchist organising is not what it was in London just a few short years ago. I seriously doubt the capacity for bursting the official bubble and suspect that the main leftist counter demo will be the only alternative narrative on offer
Source: Britain: Can anarchists give Trump the welcome he deserves?
37
12 Russian Intelligence Officers Indicted by Mueller Probe for Hacking DNC and Infiltrating State Election Databases



 
 
 



The deputy attorney general held a press conference to discuss the latest developments.


Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election, according to a briefing by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Rosenstein noted that the people named in the indictments hacked the DNC and the chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta. Some in the indictments also hacked into state election board databases.

He also said that the intelligence officers used the data obtained in the hack to influence the election by funneling it through another party. Though that party is unnamed in the indictment, it has been widely reported that WikiLeaks was used to disseminate the hacked info.

No American is indicted in the new court documents. Rosenstein also insisted that there's no evidence that the election results were tampered with, though voter data was accessed.

The announcement came as President Donald Trump is in Great Britain preparing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. They plan to hold a one-on-one meeting in Helsinki.

Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a "hoax" and a "witch hunt." despite multiple indictments and guilty pleas.

Rosenstein said he has already briefed the president on the content of the indictment.

He warned against jumping to conclusions about an ongoing federal investigation and urged that the probe be free from political squabbling.

Asked by a reporter about the president's claims that the investigation is a witch hunt, Rosenstein said, "I only comment on the evidence."

This story is being updated.






 

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Source: 12 Russian Intelligence Officers Indicted by Mueller Probe for Hacking DNC and Infiltrating State Election Databases
38
AlterNet / Here's Why Emmett Till's Life Remains Relevant Today
« Last post by AlterNet on July 14, 2018, 08:48:55 AM »
Here's Why Emmett Till's Life Remains Relevant Today


The Till case continues to resonate with audiences around the world because the case represents an egregious case of justice denied.


 

The U.S. federal government is again investigating the case of Emmett Till?s murder, the Department of Justice has announced, bringing optimism that some measure of justice might ultimately prevail.

Nearly 63 years after he was kidnapped, brutally tortured, murdered and then dumped into the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi, the Till case continues to resonate with audiences around the world because the case represents an egregious case of justice denied.

As an historian of the Mississippi civil rights movements, I quickly learned that most Mississippi civil rights history leads back to the widespread outrage over the Till case in the summer of 1955.

Emmett in Money

Fourteen-year-old Emmett arrived in Mississippi on Aug. 20, 1955 from Chicago to visit his mother?s family, who sharecropped cotton in the tiny Delta community of Money.

On the evening of Aug. 24, Emmett and several cousins and neighbors drove the 2.8 miles into Money to buy candy at the Bryant Grocery and Meat Market.

Emmett entered the store alone. He bought two cents worth of bubble gum and left. At the door Emmett let out a loud, two-note wolf whistle directed at white 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant. His cousins were terrified: Emmett had just hit the trip wire of Southern racial fears by flirting with a white woman.

Early on Aug. 28, several men ? white and black ? took Emmett from his family?s house. Emmett?s badly decomposed and battered body was discovered three days later in the Tallahatchie River. Emmett?s uncle could only identify Emmett by a ring he was wearing that once belonged to Emmett?s father, Louis Till.

Two white men, Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam, were quickly arrested and later charged with murder. During a five-day trial in September, the two men were found not guilty after a 67-minute deliberation by an all-white, all-male jury.

Several years later, members of the jury confessed to a Florida State University graduate student, Hugh Stephen Whitaker, that they knew the men were guilty but simply wouldn?t convict a white man of crimes against a black child.

In 1956, Milam and Bryant sold their ?shocking true story? of what happened to Till for US$3,150 to Look Magazine. For nearly 50 years, Celebrity journalist William Bradford Huie?s ?confession? story in Look functioned as the final word on the case.

Till then and now

Southern newspapers wanted immediately to forget the Till story, ashamed of the backlash caused by Milam and Bryant?s ?confession.? Many northern and western newspapers editorialized on the case long after its conclusion. America?s black press never quit writing about the case; it was their work, after all, helping to track down black eyewitnesses in September 1955 that helped us understand the truth of what actually happened to Emmett Till on Aug. 28, 1955.

Thanks to investigative work by documentary filmmaker Keith Beauchamp and others, the public has since learned that Milam and Bryant were part of a much larger lynching party, none of whom were ever punished.

Today, all of the people directly involved in Till?s murder are dead ? save for one: Carolyn Bryant Donham. Eighty-four years old and living with family in Raleigh, North Carolina, FBI investigators and federal prosecutors have had their eyes on Bryant-Donham for several years. Whether she was a willing participant in Till?s kidnap and murder or, as her family claims, she tried to protect Emmett from harm, she remains the focus of the announcement from the Department of Justice.

The ConversationThe Till case continues to resonate, especially for a nation which still experiences the all-too-frequent and seemingly unprovoked deaths of young black men. Whether it?s the Bay County, Florida murder of Martin Lee Anderson or the Sanford, Florida killing of Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till?s murder powerfully represents myriad acts of white-on-black killing that have gone unpunished. The Black Lives Matter movement might have received a jolt from the shooting death of Michael Brown, but long before Ferguson there was Money, Emmett and a whistle.

Davis W. Houck, Professor, Florida State University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 

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Source: Here's Why Emmett Till's Life Remains Relevant Today
39
Richard Mellor / Honeywell, Teachers, All struggles are "Our" Struggles
« Last post by Richard Mellor on July 13, 2018, 06:00:48 PM »
Honeywell, Teachers, All struggles are "Our" Struggles

An Injury to All Must Become More Than Just a Slogan
We Must Act on it if it is to Have Any Real Meaning



Honeywell Workers locked out in 2016
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Any gains working class people have made over the years including the right to form unions were won through a ferocious struggle and by relying on our own strength, our ability to shut production and hit the bosses where it hurts them most----profits.

The social legislation won in the 1930?s simply codified what had already been taken in the streets through mass strikes, including three General Strikes, occupations and confronting the employers and private strikebreakers and their state security forces. Despite being a huge victory, progressive legislation excluded large sections of the US working class, the poor, agricultural and service workers often women, immigrants and people of color.

The UAW, the industrial union that was formed in this period opened a new era for workers in auto, steel rubber and other industrial behemoths. But in the past decades we have seen the decline of union power as the heads of organized labor have joined the employers openly through the Team Concept philosophy, and have made concession after concession in order to keep US capitalism afloat and competitive.

Honeywell Corp, based in South Bend Indiana is another employer taking advantage of the passive, pro-business national leadership of organized labor, and has proposed healthcare cuts, increasing the cost of health care and is planning on sending jobs to Turkey where labor power is cheaper. Many of the victims of the move have worked for Honeywell for decades.

Honeywell locked out workers at its South Bend and Green Island NY sites back in 2016 and hired strikebreakers even before negotiations started according to reports.
?My grandfather was there when the union first started in 1936. My dad has been there for twenty years,? says 20-year-old Honeywell worker Brandon Bullerman. ?Then I get there and the company just eliminated 60 years of my family?s progress.? Payday Report May 2016

The era of winning minor gains from the bosses' through friendly cooperation has long passed. Cooperating with them as so-called equals has never worked. These attacks come after attempts to accommodate the company and offer concessions, as all unionized workers are expected to accept. These policies handed down from those at the top of organized labor and given intellectual legitimacy by their mentors in academia, have led to one catastrophic defeat after another. Attempts to take a more aggressive class struggle approach from individuals or leaders of individual unions have been halted or driven back by the labor hierarchy. Sometimes it?s been the passive approach, leaving locals isolated, cut off, forced to confront global corporations, the state, the police and the media alone. At other times more aggressive by taking over entire locals and even cooperating with the bosses in firing militant local leaders (Freightliner and the Cleveland Five in SC)

We must not be deterred by the accusations of ?class war? from the bosses?, their politicians and media, when workers fight back. Class war exists. Denying a worker an income, cutting wages, removing workplace safety protections, denying or increasing costs of health care is class war and are acts of violence against working class people, it is economic terrorism.

In the case of Honeywell, protests were held outside the South Bend plant last month and we can win these battles, but cannot win them with the same approach. Honeywell supplies the defense industry with important needs like tires for fighter jets. The workers in this industry have tremendous potential power. The problem is Honeywell and its investors know they can defeat one local.
Frank Hammer former UAW to Honeywell workers.

At the recent and other protests, political figures and candidates turned out in support of the UAW workers, members of Local 9. They always turn up at these things proclaiming their support.

Experience teaches us that this support amounts to nothing. We cannot rely on capitalist politicians or lawyers and the courts or capitalist parties to halt this assault on workers even individuals that are well intentioned. Politicians were at the recent rally claiming they, ??stood in solidarity with the workers and would take measures to oppose retiree health care cuts and outsourcing.?

Sisters and brothers; what does this ?take measures? mean?  We know what it means, standing up in the sate legislature and saying they support the workers and making that statement on TV. And we can?t rely on the courts. The courts have ?paved the way? for Honeywell to ?scrap?retirement benefits according to local media reports. The capitalist courts will not oppose a corporation?s right to control the workplace; the justice system does not work for workers or the middle class as it does for the rich, any worker knows this. .If the courts were fair, most of the people in jail would be out and most of the people that put them in jail would be in.

Thanks to Frank Hammer (sees his letter of support above) for bringing the Honeywell issue to our attention.

Despite the weakening of organized labor due to the heads of our national organization refusing to unhinge themselves and their policies from the Team Concept on the job and in the political arena through the Democratic Party, the potential power we have is formidable. More importantly, when we add to our power in the workplace, the unorganized workers, the poor and our communities in which we live and work, there is no limit to what we can accomplish. And international solidarity is a crucial part of our struggle against the capitalist offensive at home as capital is international, capital does not respect borders.

We have pointed out many times the potential power we have. There are 14 million members in the unions nationally. California?s Labor Federation has 2 million workers affiliated, Los Angeles Labor Council alone over 800,000. And that?s in the sixth largest economy in the world. The bosses fear us which is why they use all sorts of different divide and rule tactics to ensure we do not unite, racism, sexism, fear of immigrants , blue collar against white, etc. It is why they cultivate relationships with the leaders of organized labor at the highest levels. And to appeal to the sexual predator Trump for help is pointless. He has harmed the US working class in many many ways. The reader can check out: Don't Panic Over Janus: The Supreme Court is Not Ours.

The teachers? struggles have shown the way. Teachers in West Virginia struck against the wishes of their own leadership and in a state where it is illegal to strike.; in most of the recent cases it was illegal to strike. This terrifies the bosses and the established hierarchy of the labor movement both. There is a raging class war in Puerto Rico as the US had abandoned its exploited island possession. In all these struggles we must recognize the role of women. This is another aspect of the new era, the rise of women and their leading roles in all the struggles against exploitation, sexual oppression and violence. From the US to the factories of Bangladesh, the war against rape in India and the fields and factories of Latin America women are in the forefront. They will not be driven back.

In these teachers? struggles what stands out is that they drew in and welcomed teachers whether they were union or not. They welcomed Charter School teachers and other workers in education as the teacher from Arizona in the video below points out. In West Virginia their efforts won a 5% increase not only for themselves but every state worker. What better advertisement for joining a union than that? The struggle is not over, and capital will try to pass the cost of the raises on to other sections of the working class blaming ?greedy?education workers. This is the next battle; ensuring this does not happen as well as combating the top union officialdom from undermining the movement, weakening rank and file control and using the Democratic Party as a means to temper the movement, render it ineffective.

Another important aspect of the rising battles on the job is that labor issues are community issues. As the reader will see in the video below on the Kentucky events, black teachers there faced some obstacles trying to get the movement around teachers and their conditions to also include in their demand to the legislature that the school district not be taken over and pensions be saved, to also demand the legislature oppose a gang ordinance. One predominantly black district in Louisville is one of the most economically depressed in the country. These gang ordinances are repressive measures against the black youth in particular who can be stopped and frisked and generally harassed by the security forces that amount to an occupation force in these areas.  There is a racist element to this but also in my experience it is common for many workers to consider social issues outside of the realm of trade union activity. We combated this with great success in my local in Oakland CA. What happens in these communities affects all of us. 

Poverty, lack of opportunity, racial barriers to a decent life creates conditions which threaten the material well being of all workers and it is in our interest to use our economic power as workers to join with our communities in their efforts for jobs, housing, health care and against racism and police abuse.
The capitalist mass media, that insidiously demonizes the poor and especially black youth, would not hesitate to appeal to them for help in crushing a labor dispute if they needed to. There is an excellent article here on this issue:  Why The Teachers Revolt Must Confront Racism Head On.

It is inevitable that these struggles that are taking place on different fronts must eventually be drawn together in to one larger movement.  As this process develops, independent political candidates can be put forward, rooted in the movement, our organizations and communities.  In this way an independent workers political party can arise that can provide a political alternative to the parties of capitalism and the corporations.

Here are three short videos of leaders of the West Virginia, Kentuckyand Arizonastruggles, they are inspiring and worth watching.

Source: Honeywell, Teachers, All struggles are "Our" Struggles
40
AlterNet / Want to Leave the World Less Cluttered? Stop Relying on Recycling and Do This Instead
« Last post by AlterNet on July 13, 2018, 06:00:43 PM »
Want to Leave the World Less Cluttered? Stop Relying on Recycling and Do This Instead


We can no longer rely on simple solutions like recycling to solve our plastic waste problem.


 

The following article, part of a content partnership between Stone Pier Press and Earth | Food | Life (EFL), a project of the Independent Media Institute, is the first installment of ?Plastic Pollution ? Plastic Solutions,? an exclusive five-part EFL series. Check the EFL site for new weekly installments.

Many Americans who diligently recycle know little about where their plastic ends up, but we could count on China to take it in and process it for us?until recently. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we recycle roughly 66 million tons of material each year, and our waste systems aren?t equipped to handle such large quantities, which is why close to one-third of those materials got exported. That changed this year, however, when the Chinese government said it would ?ban imports of various types of plastics and papers? and reject shipments that were more than 0.5 percent impure.

As China and other buyers continue to ratchet up their quality standards, the amount of plastic occupying landfills has grown to worrying heights. What doesn?t land there quickly finds its way into the world?s oceans. It?s estimated that more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic are floating on the ocean?s surface and that virtually every seabird will be eating plastic by 2050. Seabirds are just some of the thousands of marine species affected; if fish are eating plastic, that plastic moves up the food chain.

Graphical abstract from Science Direct.

Once in the water, plastic breaks down into microplastics, tiny particles less than five millimeters in size. ?These microplastics can act like sponges, attracting persistent pollutants like chemical fertilizers and pesticides,? explains Rachel Sarnoff, executive director of 5 Gyres, one of several organizations working to combat the problem of plastic pollution, and highlighting what can be done about it. ?Tiny organisms eat these toxic microplastics, then are eaten by small fish, and then by larger animals,? she says.

Even among those of us trying to pick food that?s healthy for our bodies and our planet, little thought is given to where or how we?ll dispose of packaging once we?ve finished with it. Few of us actually understand the damage a plastic bag can do. Made cheaply with petroleum and built to last, most plastics take hundreds of years to biodegrade. In fact, much of the plastic ever produced still exists in our environment today. And yet we continue to increase the production and use of these materials at alarming rates.

Since its invention in the early 1950s, global plastic production has grown exponentially. Between 1993 and 2015, it rose from 162 million tons to 448 million.

5 Gyres, based in southern California, also points out what we?re getting wrong. ?Awareness around the issue of plastic pollution is growing,? says Carolynn Box, the group?s science programs director. ?But the solutions are often complicated and confusing to the general public.?

Take recycling: We?d like to think of it as the solution to our heavy use of plastics, but it is not. Processing recycled materials requires an enormous amount of energy and resources, even more when odd items find their way into the mix.

However much you may hope they?re recyclable, those disposable coffee cups and greasy pizza boxes aren?t going to make the cut. Neither are plastic bags. Not only are they notorious for killing wildlife, but they also constantly gum up multimillion-dollar machinery at recycling plants. In fact, materials of this sort can contaminate a whole load, making it challenging, if not impossible, to find buyers interested in repurposing what?s been broken down.

?More than 300 million tons of new plastic is produced annually, and less than 10 percent is recycled,? Box says. ?This is a fact, and recycling is misleading.?

Underwater during one of 5 Gyres? expeditions to Bermuda, where the researchers collected data to better understand the distribution of plastic pollution in the North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre. (image: 5 Gyres)

If recycling isn?t the answer, what is?

We can no longer rely on simple solutions like recycling to solve our plastic waste problem, say experts like Box from 5 Gyres. We must look instead to be more thoughtful about how much of it we buy. If we all take steps to identify where we use plastic and actively look for alternatives, we?re guaranteed to see drastic reductions in the amount of plastic entering our oceans.

?People can feel overwhelmed as they learn more about the issue,? Box says. ?That?s why it?s important to provide information and tools for people to take action.?

This summer, 5 Gyres will take its 19th expedition to Indonesia?s Coral Triangle to sample microplastics and explore direct solutions to the problem plaguing our oceans. ?There are more and more organizations getting involved,? Box says, ?and that gives us hope.?

Handfuls of microplastics litter found during a 5 Gyres cleanup. (image: 5 Gyres)

7 ways you can help leave the world less cluttered

1. Carry reusable bags wherever you go

Plastic bags are everyone?s worst nightmare. If you?re wondering what to do with the ones you?ve already stuffed under your sink, don?t go dumping them in the recycling. Check first to see if there?s a plastic bag drop-off near you, or use the bag over and over until you can?t use it anymore.

Here are some great reusable bags:

2. Buy non-perishables in bulk whenever possible

Consider spending a little extra cash on containers for storing leftovers, homemade goods, or bulk items like rice and quinoa.

Some excellent jars and containers:

Litterless has created a database of stores throughout the country that will allow you to buy unpackaged staples in your own containers. Some are devoted to making everything in their stores zero-waste, while others, backed by the nonprofit A Plastic Planet, have decided to open aisles containing nothing but plastic-free goods. Note: If you?re using a container to buy an item in bulk, make sure to weigh the container first so it doesn?t get factored into the price.

3. When shopping at farmers markets, try to take little to no packaging home with you

In general, if you politely ask to purchase products package-free, the farmers will accommodate you. Be sure to come with your own reusable bag and any containers you?d like to use. If they happen to hand you produce wrapped in a rubber band, simply return the rubber band so it can be reused.

4. When shopping at a grocery store, think first in terms of necessities

If you can make a product at home (e.g., granola bars, hummus, popcorn) and create less waste by doing so, don?t buy it. This recipe index offers some great ideas to get started. If you need items such as flour and sugar, and for some reason cannot buy them in bulk, look for versions with compostable packaging. If you have to purchase an item that comes in a container, spend a little extra on those that come in 100 percent recyclable glass.

5. Order less takeout, foodandbeverages on the go

We?ve all seen how much excess plastic restaurants use when packaging takeout. Coffee shops are not much better. The majority of single-use cups are lined with a fine film of polyethylene, which makes the cups difficult and expensive to process. Whether you recycle them or not, they?re likely to end up in a landfill. Carry a reusable coffee cup with you, pack your own lunches in steel containers and reusable bags, and avoid the use of plastic straws and utensils as often as possible.

Great products for eating on the go:

6. Love straws? Ditch your plastic ones for one of these.

7. Get involved in awareness raising campaigns

The Ambassador Program at 5 Gyres helps people get involved as educators in their own communities. Head to #BreakFreeFromPlastic to learn more about the other organizations looking for more support.

Need more inspiration? Check out this article written by one of Stone Pier Press?s fellows about her transition to a low-waste lifestyle.

 

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Source: Want to Leave the World Less Cluttered? Stop Relying on Recycling and Do This Instead
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