OK, so sometimes, I read trashy magazines. I try not to wear trashy clothes. But I always pick up my trash. And recycle. Etc.
You know this. We all know this. It’s like, who doesn’t know this? My mama taught me better than that. But all up in the papers lately it’s been trash this, trash that.
Like, the other day in the LA Times, I saw this beach I totally recognized. Turns out, it was Majahual, QR, Mexico. And I definitely remember the feelings I had when I was next door at Xcalak. I wanted to pick up all the trash that I saw there, but there just wasn’t enough time in the day. According to The Times, “Sea currents act like a conveyor belt, depositing trash on a remote stretch of sand in an ecologically rich region of coral, reef and mangrove forests. Locals can only pick up the pieces, bit by bit.”
Um. That totally sucks. The article goes on to say that there may be “46,000 pieces of plastic trash in every square mile of ocean. Massive quantities of the waste, often tinier than salt grains, have created huge “garbage patches” in ocean gyres, giant dead spots formed by currents and winds that push trash toward the becalmed centers.”
And you guys, we have one here in the Pacific. It’s called The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (some people call it a vortex). Some people estimate that this vortex is the size of Texas (some people say, like the size of a continent…). And I’m like, if it’s the size of Texas, why don’t we have my family reunion out there, because I’m guessing the hotels are like, way cheaper.
OK, but seriously. It’s not literally an island. If only it were that easy. This article describes it as “Instead, it’s like a galaxy of garbage, populated by billions of smaller trash islands that may be hidden underwater or spread out over many miles.” THis shit is real, and seriously serious. What do we do?
Here’s what we know. 80% of the trash in the ocean is plastic. And Capt Charles Moore says, a clean up effort “would bankrupt any country and kill wildlife in the nets as it went.” Hm. Encouraging.
I guess that means, while people are out there trying to figure out how to diminish the size of what’s already there, we have to focus our attention on not adding to it. The first thing that comes to mind is,
Stop using plastic water bottles. I see them so much in the gym, and I’m like, YOU GUYS, why?? Use a Nalgene!
Which I guess brings me to my next (related) idea, if something can only be used ONCE (condoms excluded) it’s not sustainable, so don’t use them. Plastic forks, knives, paper plates, you shouldn’t be using something to throw it away 10 minutes later. This is the thought process that has allowed all this trash to accrue! We have to change the way we think and the way we live in order to improve the condition of our ocean and our environment.
What are some ideas that you guys have?
Seahorse photo credit to Mario Chow Photography
8 thoughts on “Trashy News”
I can’t tell you how much the sustainability thing drives me nuts. Everyone in my office uses something once and than throws it away. Styrofoam cups, plastic cups, plastic ware, paper plates and the dumbest part about it is that we have a full kitchen with plates and glasses but nobody wants to use them because they don’t want to clean the dishes. Grow up! You use a styro foam cup today and tomorrow that is one more glacier the world is without. It’s insanely upsetting and I don’t know how to get the point across to people.
I agree with you Meech, it’s like, cmon you guys! It kills me at the gym, and the styrofoam cup thing? Coffee even TASTES better in a mug! One of the big things any of us can do is lead by example. Maybe you could talk to your bosses or whatever about incentives for being more green? 80% of the trash in the oceans is plastic, but I was reading about landfills…more than half of what is in landfills is PAPER. Maybe we could make awesome tshirts and mugs that share our message.
I would love to do that but it’s so difficult the whole infrastructure is not green friendly. I have authority over the office supplies so I subtly switched us to using all green products without telling anyone. And of course I do what I can but our building doesn’t even recycle so if I told everyone to start recycling I would be responsible for taking the recycling to the proper place. Plus nobody in my office cares, they think the whole green movement is a joke. In fact there is one trash can that says No Recycling on it. It’s really sad. Oh and I’ve tried turning the lights off at night but I’ve been instructed to leave them on. All night. When no one is even there!
It really bothers me that plastic can’t even be recycled here. I’ve pulled garbage bags off of corals a lot here and find the bleached out coral underneath. Kills me inside every time I see it. I read this article and it gave me a little hope that someday nature might take care of it’s self. Very very very little hope though.
I remember going to the caribbean for the first time and having my heart skip a beat every time I had to throw plastic away, and it got bad when I started scuba and seeing all the shit in the water. Nature will, of course, taking care of itself one day, let’s just hope its’ not in the form of that mark wahlberg movie where the trees kill all the people for polluting too much. I mean, it makes sense. but in the mean time, let’s not add to it and be partially responsible for mankind’s downfall by trees.
a very good post about a very serious problem…hope you don’t mind if i put this on twitter.
wow jungle, thanks for sharing for me. I appreciate your support gettin the word out. You are awesome!
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