Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 18, 2013

SCC to hold Earth Day celebration

Eighth-annual event will be Sunday at college; focus on sustainability

(Continued)

Somerset —

A sister college to SCC in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System will demonstrate something called “plarn” — yarn made out of plastic bags. Plarn is made by cutting plastic grocery bags into strips. Those strips can then be strung together into one strand, and crocheted into a myriad of objects. Purses and other bags, and even shoes, are just a few items that can result from used grocery bags. 
Sherman said plarn is an example of reusing and repurposing.
“That is even better than recycling,” said Sherman. “There’s so much less impact on the environment.”
While recycling is an important tool for sustainability, machines must still be used to make used items, such as paper, plastic and glass, into items appropriate for reuse. That means that a carbon footprint still exists. Still, that impact is no doubt significantly smaller than if those items are simply disposed of and left to degrade into the environment, releasing toxic chemicals and endangering fragile ecosystems. 
Another new organization ready to show its support of sustainability is the Pulaski County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) Board. The non-profit organization has been leading an ongoing effort called the “Prescription Drug Take-Back Program” that features safe drop-off points for unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
“Their perspective is safety,” said Sherman, “but the reason why it’s important to Earth Day is people think the best thing to do with these medicines is flush them.
“That isn’t the best thing,” continued Sherman. “Our water treatment plants aren’t designed to eliminate those molecules.”
Flushing medicines can introduce a significant number of chemicals into the water supply, and even into other parts of the environment (such as the soil). The manufactured substances are not only consumed by humans through the water supply, but consumed by wildlife as well. 

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