Trashing our Oceans

Stuck in a rut trying to motivate yourself toward a greener life? Here’s an animation that you should see. Greenpeace – The Journey of Trash . Just click on the link above to view it.

Plastic Beach, Hawaii

If you want to help the world out in some tangible way TODAY, just take a look in your trash can. See a lot of plastic? Remember that these days, recycling companies are able to take many more types of plastics than even a few years ago. According to one site I visited recently, there is enough dissolved plastic in our oceans to place a saran wrap thickness of it over the surface of every ocean on earth. And most of that is in little tiny bits, which sea animals easily mistake for plankton and other small prey. If, as recent studies have shown, you absorb plastic chemicals into your body when drinking from plastic containers (see this USA Today article for starters), then imagine what eating a fish who’s spent his life dining on plastics might do. Scary thought. Every piece of trash that you recycle is one less that can find its way out to sea. As it stands now, there are areas of the ocean so think with floating trash that shipping boats can’t even pass through them, so they route their ships around them, using more fuel.

When I first heard about the “North Pacific Gyre” as the largest water landfill on earth is called, it seemed impossible. Why not just load it up on ships and haul it back to port for proper(ish) burial? But the problem is, we put so much INTO the ocean every year, even with dredging, we’d hardly be able to keep up. So do yourself, and the planet, a favor today. Make a commitment to put ONE LESS PIECE of non-biodegradable trash into your trash can, whether you find another use for it, you buy a product with less packaging, or you take another look at what might be recyclable in your can. One. How hard is that? Do that every day for a month (okay baby steppers, start with a week), imagine how happy the fish (and the people in Alaska, Russia and Japan!) will be. That’s reason enough for me!

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