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Eco-Justice Team - February, 2022

Are there any budding or accomplished photographers in your household? The

Pennsylvania Resource Council sponsors an annual Lens on Litter Photo Contest. There

are two categories, Student and Adult, and the prizes range from $100-$500. This

year’s student winners range from 4th to 12th grade, so there are clearly some talented

young people out there! The contest runs from January 1 to October 31 every year. The

photos must be taken in Pennsylvania, and a catchy title is one of the criteria. Find all

While we are not about to promote specific businesses, we can give you some

information to check out on your own. There are two new small businesses in the local

sustainability/zero-waste community. Both are “refilleries,” places where you can find

refills for household cleaning and personal care products. You bring your own clean

containers, although both have containers for sale. As reported in the Post-Gazette, The Refillery x The Local Instead is located on Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill, and Peach + Park is located in Bridgewater, Beaver County. Your can check out their offerings at their websites:

Some other thoughts as we approach the 2nd anniversary of the pandemic’s descent upon us:

In the spring of 2020, we were only learning how the virus spreads. Some regulators and plastic bag manufacturers prevailed upon stores to refuse customers’ use of reusable bags. Although it has taken a while, most stores are beginning to accept them again, especially if you are willing to bag items yourself. So it’s definitely time to bring out those bags you’ve been storing. And don’t forget the places, like Aldi and Costco, that never did provide plastic bags!

We’ve just been through another Christmas season in which on-line shopping became the default for many. According to a business report on NPR, Americans returned over half a trillion dollars of purchases last year. That’s a lot of zeroes, and a lot of stuff! Much of it ended up in landfills or was burned. High-end clothing is likely to be cleaned and re-sold, as well as unopened packages. Brick and mortar stores may have a sale table for returned items. Electronics may be resold in open boxes. But some things are not worth the retailer’s time or money (same thing, I suppose), and may be simply abandoned. It

behooves us all to order carefully and return mindfully.


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