Friday, February 14, 2014

Proper Handling of Gifts

What is the proper way to treat a lovely gift that you have been given? Would it depend on the value of the gift, who the giver is, or whether or not you plan to pass it on to others? What if your health, your life - and that of others - depended on it?

Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year, which is about a million bags every minute across the globe, or 150 bags a year for every person on earth.  If you joined the bags end to end they would circle the globe 4,200 times.
Plastics do not decompose, but merely break up into smaller pieces, although some do break down into polymers and toxic chemicals. It can take anywhere between 20-1000 years for a plastic bag to break up. The #1 man made thing that sailors see in our oceans are plastic bags.
More than a billion people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water, but most countries that buy bottled water do have the luxury of quality tap water.
Each year, 53 billion gallons of bottled water are consumed globally - Americans drink 8.6 billion gallons of those.  17 million barrels (340 million gallons) of oil are used yearly to produce bottled water.
Plastic water bottles take 450 years to break down; only 1 in 5 bottles is recycled. - the other 4 contribute to the 3 million pounds of plastic water bottles added to landfills each year. Some of those end up in the ocean.
Across the world, 13-15,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the oceans every day and there are believed to now be 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean.
There are 5 ocean gyres in the world where plastic gathers due to current circulation. These gyres contain millions of pieces of plastic and our wildlife feed in these grounds.
At least two thirds of the world’s fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion,  
approximately 1 million sea birds die from ingesting plastic,
and 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement - these are the ones that are found.
Scientists have identified 200 areas in our oceans declared as ‘dead zones’ where no life organisms can now grow.
Is this how we treat gifts given in love?  
The heavens are the LORD's heavens,
but the earth he has given to human beings. 
Psalm 115:16
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established,
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion
over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! 
Psalm 8: 3-9

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