Plastic pollution is a huge problem, we know this. A collective example of ocean pollution is plastic island patches; basically tons of plastic debris packed together that cover our seas, polluting them with hurtful plastic pieces. A trait that makes plastic a product that is very difficult to fight against (other than the fact that everyone uses it way to much), is that it does NOT biodegrade. In other words, plastic cannot be decomposed or completely broken down by bacteria or other living organisms. A well-known and very large trash patch is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, however since it is so far from any country’s coastline, no nation will take responsibility or provide funding to clean it up. The man who discovered the intense garbage island in 1977 claims that any country who decided to finally clean up the island would be left bankrupt, because of it’s enormous size. However, we can put in an effort to prevent them from growing, or at least slow down the rate they’re growing at. A study conducted in 2014 by a group of scientist left conclusions that around 8 million metric tons of plastic trash enters the sea every year, but maybe we can change that number.
There are some simple efforts we can do to conserve our oceans and protect them from the monstrous plastic patches, but it’s vital that we start doing them now, or we will be in big trouble. The cycle of “reduce-reuse-recycle” is an awesome rule to follow, and will greatly help our suffering seas.
Something I’ve talked about in my other posts, ditch the plastic bottles. Minimize your use of them and instead buy reusable bottles, it would improve our pollution statistics by a whole lot! The same idea applies to other products, such as grocery bags and Ziploc (or other container bags) bags. When heading to the grocery store, bring a reusable bag with you, many times stores will sell them at the store, these bags are great because they are more durable and strong and they also keep your food cold! When you pack a lunch, instead of packing strawberries into a Ziploc bag, buy a set of Tupperware (containers) and reuse them for any snack you like! That way, you aren’t throwing away a plastic bag every time you finish a snack. On a similar topic, try to avoid buying individually packed snacks, although it may seem a lot more convenient and easy to pack, they are absolutely horrible for our environment! Buy a pack of fresh fruit and put them into a reusable lunch container, instead of buying fruit cups, buy yogurt in a big jar and scoop it into a container instead of buying yogurt cups, buy a box of crackers instead of packing little bags of Doritos. Although these steps may seem to contradict what you usually do, it takes hardly any time to adapt and really helps your future life as well as the lives of your friends and families.
A couple ideas that may seem random to you but can make a big difference:
- Stop using straws
- Stop chewing gum
- Use matches
- Minimize purchase of frozen foods
- Use cloth diapers
It’s also very important that you spread the word to friends and fmaily and they do the same! we cannot win this battle alone and we MUST come together to conserve the oceans we all love, and when it’s this easy, why not?
I promise you these steps will make a very large difference if we all do them, they do not take that much effort and it’s totally okay to start with a few and then adapt and add more to your routine. It’s not impossible, I would know, my family has done it for years!
My ideas are built upon knowledge I have learned from these awesome sites, check them out for other information on how you can help keep our oceans blue.
National Geographic (nationalgeographic.org)
Mother Nature Network (MNN) (www.mnn.com)