Sunday, April 22, 2018

Science in Fiction (#39): Earth Day Edition (+ Giveaway!)

Welcome to this month's Science in Fiction feature! Science in Fiction is a meme I created to showcase the wonderful aspects of science in Young Adult fiction novels. For more information and previous feature, check out the "Science in Fiction" tag!

This month, I'm not featuring a specific book - I'm featuring Earth Day!

Today (April 22nd) is Earth Day. Earth Day was started in 1970, and it's April 22nd every year. It just so happens to fall on a Sunday this year, which is perfect for this month's Science in Fiction post.

This year's Earth Day has a special focus - ending plastic pollution by 2020. Plastic pollution is something I've talked about before, featuring different YA books. Last month, I featured Pacifica by Kristen Simmons, and I talked about trash islands in the ocean. Like the Great Garbage Patch:

And Roatan, Honduras.

Photographer Caroline Power said that a plastic waste island that she recently documented was "tiny compared to the ones in

Did you know that there is an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic in our oceans today? 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year. And think about this - it takes roughly 20 years for a plastic bag to decompose. It takes about 450 years for a plastic bottle (the kind you buy in cases at the grocery store) to decompose. So if I throw a disposable plastic bottle in the Chesapeake Bay right now, it'll decompose in the year 2468. And what it decomposes to (little tiny filaments of plastic) isn't great either. 

Check out this graphic from Ocean Conservancy:

Plastic Ocean
Source: Ocean Conservancy

People can say what they want about global climate change (is it real? is it a hoax made up by scientists to get more funding?), though you all know my stance on global climate change. But you can't deny the incredible pollution that is going on, in the oceans, in other bodies of water, in wastelands, underground. 

This Earth Day, we should pledge to make small changes in our lives that will have a lasting impact on our planet. Here are some things that you can do:

- Use reusable bags in the grocery and other stores. Use whatever reusable bags you want! They don't need to be ones that you buy at that store. Heck, I walk into Giant (our local grocery) with cloth bags that are from Giant, but also free cloth bags from other grocery stores.

- Use reusable bottles. Stop buying cases of water bottled in plastic. Think about where those bottles end up. Are you placing them for recycling? Are you throwing them in trash?

- Give up bottled drinks altogether. I'd argue that glass bottles are better to use/buy, but in general, bottled drinks are a good thing to stop consuming. It would be incredibly difficult for the average person (myself included). 

- STOP USING PLASTIC STRAWS. Plastic straws are terrible! Use reusable ones or just drink from the cup.

- Choose cardboard over plastic. Cardboard is usually easier to recycle than plastic bags and bottles are not.

- Stop using products with microbeads. Like hand soaps, example. We've all seen hand soaps with tiny little beads in them. Those beads do not break down and usually have a component of plastic in them.

- Stop chewing gum. Did you know that gum is made of plastic? Yeah. And then you spit that out, and a bird might get stuck in it. 

There are sooooo many other things that you can do, but these tend to be the easiest ones. If demand for certain products go down, then the companies producing them will have to limit supply. Which is fantastic! If we all did a few of the things on the list, we might see a huge difference, in the long run.

And now, the giveaway!

Win the above prize pack, plus some other books that will be a surprise! Open internationally, ends on May 11th. I'll try to announce the winner on my next Science in Fiction post. Giveaway rules apply. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. My daughter is now at the age where she's learning about Earth Day at school and concepts like Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, etc. At home we already do a lot of that stuff but I love that she can actually see it in action and learn by example :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  2. Glad you're bringing up Earth Day, we actually ended up celebrating it at school, to bring awareness to climate change. We agree, just taking the small steps (like using re-useable bottles) can actually have a huge impact on the planet.

    ~ Luna & Saturn @ Pendragons

  3. We recycle everything we can. We also donate things like toilet paper rolls to the Children’s Museum for some of their craft projects.

  4. For now I mostly use my own reusable bottle and box for lunch, but I hope I can do more in the next few months!

  5. I use my own refillable bottle for exercise class and band rehearsal, otherwise I just drink from a glass. I recycle as much as I can and compost yard waste.

  6. I take my cloth bags to the grocery store and use them. (

  7. I am trying to reduce my usage of plastics but I know I can do so much more. I do recycle as much as possible but reducing what I recycle is where I need to focus.

  8. "What are some things that you do, to reduce your plastic consumption?" If I have a choice between a glass jar and a plastic jar with comparable products, I will choose the glass jar, if only because of all the health harms that are caused by plastic! I wish there were supermarkets that simply wouldn't stock products in plastic!

  9. I think that H.A. SWAIN series is going to be ordered soon .....

    1. ah and now onto the rafflecopter question..its nice now, snows almost all gone so on my walks I am picking up trash .... so much right now

  10. We have eliminating using plastic bags, straws and water bottles and recycle all else.

  11. We recycle everything our town will collect.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  12. I never even thought about those microbeads before, but it makes so much sense that they might include plastic. Our family has wasted a lot of disposable cups/plates for convenience this year. I've invested in some reusable utensils and containers for the camper so we will generate less waste.

  13. the only things I do is use cloth tote bags for shopping and recycle

    tiramisu392 (at)

  14. I try to buy in bulk, use reusable bags, and consciously look for products that have minimal packaging.

  15. We have been using reusable shopping bags forever. I am big on not buying bottled water either at the supermarket we have like 800 plastic water bottles, but it works! I tried a glass water bottle and it exploded all over my desk one day so I went back to glass. Great post idea!

  16. My plan is to try and reduce my plastic consumption by always bringing a bag with my shopping. It's a simple thing, but hopefully it makes a difference. :)

  17. I use reusable lunch kits to take my lunch to work. Also when I do get the plastic containers from a restaurant I reuse them also until they break. Reusable bags are easier at the grocery store too.

  18. I always carry a bottle of water with me and I use metal straws at home, but there's certainly more I could do.

  19. I just discovered your Science in Fiction tag and I'm really enjoying reading through it! One of the scariest/most interesting things for me in post-apocalyptic fiction if when I look at how the world ended and go "yeah that checks out," so it's really cool to explore the science and real-world concepts behind what goes into fiction (especially when you can tell an author has really done their research).

  20. Ohh, amazing post Alyssa. <3 Thank you for sharing about this. I don't really know enough about earth day at all, gosh. But I do know some things about all of the trash, and it is so so sad, and I wish more people would change it all. You are awesome sweetie :) Hugs.

  21. I always loved your Science in Fiction posts! They are so informative and this one is just as informative as the others! I hope more people understand the consequences of using too much plastic.

  22. I really hate microbeads! Trying to be more green this year. The garbage patches in the ocean make me feel sick.

  23. We use reusable shopping bags and reusable straws, and recycle everything that we can. Great post - what fantastic looking books!

  24. I use a reusable glass water bottle. Every little bit helps :)

  25. I have one liter bottles I reuse so I don't have to go through plastic water bottles daily.

  26. I always bring my own bags to the store.

    Tracy Shafer

  27. We just planted a whole bunch of flowering plants for the bees here so my kids can learn about how important bees are to us and others.


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