Plastic Pollution – It’s a Killer and Makes Us Sad.
Plastic pollution is not only unsightly and disgusting, it is also pretty dangerous to wildlife, aquatic wildlife especially! If you haven’t seen the iconic photographs of the plastic-filled albatrosses by Chris Jordan, you should check them out. This is not cool. This is sad. Really sad.
The saddest part is, that people say that the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean in “only 0.25%” and that it is nothing. Take a look at the film by Chris Jordan and tell me that is nothing. Never mind that we have only mentioned the ocean so far. What about the vast amounts of garbage (plastics included!) that make it into our streams, lakes and rivers?
The good news is that you can be the solution.
How does the plastic get there?
Plastic bags, bottles, and other innumerable bits of plastic, find their way into our water ways through the carelessness and ignorance of us humans. Uncovered landfills, litter-strewn parks, highways. Heck, I know for a fact that people use “vacant land” as unauthorized dumps all the time! Whether you dumped a bag of garbage somewhere when no one was looking, or you unintentionally let a plastic bag fly out of your window as you drove down the freeway, you have probably contributed to plastic pollution.
Why does this matter?
I found a comprehensive list about plastic bags and the ocean. Just think about how those numbers would change if we added the plastics found in streams, rivers, and lakes.
Plastics are terrible! Hundreds of thousands of animals become entangled in the unforgiving substance. Once entangled, they can choke, suffocate, or become unable to hunt, or escape from predators.
Most plastics don’t “break down” they break apart into smaller bits and pieces (check out our article on micro plastics, and the ones that do “break down,” do so into harmful chemicals. Plastics also act as toxin magnets. Animals that ingest these plastic bits, including humans, are at risk of being exposed to these deadly chemicals.
I’ve already mentioned this before, but HAVE YOU SEEN THE PHOTOS OF THE ALBATROSSES! – See point #4 Here if you missed it.
How Can I Help?
Like I mentioned before, you can be a part of the solution. Here are a few ways that you can be the solution to pollution! I know you’ve heard it before, but we need to “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!”
1.) Reduce:Take part in an environmental clean up action, like the ones on Creeklife.com. Pick up after yourself at the park and pick up after others. I once heard a wise person say that you should always leave a place better than you found it. Some people advocate that we should stop using plastic altogether. I am all for that, but I also recognize that change takes time. Take baby steps my friends.
2.) Reuse: Reusable grocery bags are a great way to start, just don’t forget them at home or in your car! Also, you CAN reuse the plastic grocery bags. I recently saw someone crochet a purse from plastic bags!
3.) Recycle: Though it has been argued that recycling is ineffective and costly, it is still a better option than just sending your plastics to a landfill. Perhaps we can work on coming up with a way to make recycling a more viable solution to our pollution problem.
I would like to challenge you to find at least one way to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastics in your life. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below telling me what you’ve done. We all need to share the inspiration!
Posted By Mark Contorno