Once upon a time there were three plastic bottles…

Image: Upcycling Plastic Bottles

Source: SUGRU

Today on EWC we share a mind-bending little tale that might put a spring in your step about your own efforts to get that recycling done every week. Or if you are not tapped into the sense of satisfaction that can bring, our video-share might be an extraordinarily fun way to take pride in doing your own part. I was a little “changed forever” (in a great way) by this one folks!

Here is a phenomenal video from TED-Ed that puts into perspective the wider impact of our seemingly minute decisions!

Via: TED-Ed 1

I grew up in Vermont and was raised on the values of recycling and composting. Yet even I am guilty, at times, of just throwing away my plastic bottles. After watching this video, though, my brain really got the impact of what those one-off decisions mean.

Image: Liesl as a kid with flowers

Source: Dr. Lynda

When we buy plastic bottles or consume things that are encased in plastic, and then decide to throw them away instead of recycling them, I am as guilty as anybody of thinking “it’s just one bottle, it won’t matter!”. But what if we all say that? And, speaking from personal experience, I know I have done this well more than once!

Suddenly, my one-off decision becomes thousands over my lifetime, and your one-off decision becomes thousands over your lifetime, and then our collective one-off decisions become billions of decisions over a generation. We can’t keep thinking and behaving like this.

There is a lot of hope on the horizon though! Have you seen our article about all the people who are taking up this challenge to reduce their annual garbage to an amount that can fit in a mason jar?! It’s fascinating! Or take a look at our article called Plastic Bottle Schools. There are places in the world that have learned how to use plastic bottles stuffed with garbage as building materials!

In any case, I think I’ll just start moving away from “single-use containers” by looking harder at my purchases. Maybe I don’t actually need all those things that bring so much plastic into my life. It might be great for my budget too!


“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge

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  1. Bryce, Emma. “What Really Happens to the Plastic You Throw Away – Emma Bryce.” YouTube. TED-Ed, 21 Apr. 2015. Web. 04 Nov. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6xlNyWPpB8>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV