Saving The Sea

This world’s focus is on trying to find efficiency around the world and we managed to do that with plastic. But now without a growing population, it has become a world problem and we need to find a way to make it safer for our future generation. The Washington Post talked a lot about how plastic pollution has taken over our ocean and is hurting marine life more and more each day. These single-use disposable plastic items are being used more and more each day due to the pandemic and people need to get off their butts and start doing something to make a solution for the problems we are causing.

26,000 tons of which is now in the world’s oceans, where it threatens to disrupt marine life and further pollute beaches”. We are the ones that have made this a problem and we need to be the ones to fix it. The amount of plastic that has ended up in the ocean is insane. I know that there have been a lot of people volunteering to clean up around them but it’s still not enough. We need to get the word out and spread more awareness so that our world doesn’t end up trashed and destroyed. These findings were found this month and are now linked to the health crisis of the environment and humankind. Wildlife is also another problem. People throw their plastic and their trash out their windows and don’t think about the animals or marine life that it is going to end up hurting. Especially with the pandemic going on, there has been way more plastic disposable used in the last year, and “As of July, there were 61 recorded instances of animals being killed or disrupted by pandemic-linked plastic waste”. We need to start finding alternatives for all the single-use plastic we have been using. I know it’s hard right now with all the health risks due to Covid but finding an alternative or starting to care about the environment around you will help even a little bit.

Another thing that happened due to Covid was “the suspension or relaxation of restrictions on single-use plastic products globally”. Many people are thinking about their health during Covid right now so single-use plastic bands aren’t too much in effect as of right now because people are being selfish and not caring about their environment around them and trying to find a better alternative. Another thing is hospitals have been using single-use plastic much more now for safety reasons and it now accounts for over 70% of the pollution that is discharged into oceans. again I know people are thinking about their safety and health because of the pandemic but we need to be more interactive about finding solutions for these problems because it’s only getting worse by the minute.

This news article was posted just last week on November 10, 2021, which means we haven’t been doing much about it for the past almost 2 years we’ve been in this pandemic. We need to start being selfless and thinking about our environment or else it’s going to be too late and we won’t have much to save.


Time to Ban the Bags

 In my opinion plastic pollution is 100% not talked about enough. All over the world we are using tons of plastic and it’s just a waste and we are worsening our environment by the second.There aren’t enough news articles that are making the front page and spreading awareness today and we need to start to spread the word before it’s too late. Since Covid hit so many people have had time to sit at home and realize a bit more about what’s going on around them but that still isn’t enough. Now here’s one thing that is happening across the water I just read about that is going to benefit our environment over the next year and I’m really happy to read about it. Over in France starting in January they are planning to ban plastic packaging from fruits and vegetables. Below is a picture of the unnecessary plastics that are used to help keep fruit fresh. But we need to start finding better alternatives for this. 

Even though this isn’t happening in our country this may boost other countries to start to do the same. The government says that it “ expects to prevent the use of more than 1 billion plastic packages a year” Which our environment is excited to hear about. They have about 30 fruits and vegetables that have been administered to have a plastic packaging band for them. leeks, courgettes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes and carrots, large tomatoes, onions and turnips, cabbage, cauliflower, squash, parsnips, radishes, and root vegetables, the ministry said in a statement. And that it’s just the start. Hopefully over the next coming years they will start to add more items from sale in plastic. I love that France has started to make their mark on plastic pollution and try to limit plastic waste as much as they can. I hope other countries see this big step that they took and start to take action from this as well. We need to start focusing more on how we treat our earth and stop being so lazy. When you were first introduced to plastic we thought it would help benefit us because we didn’t always have to clean the dishes and it makes carrying things from the grocery store easier. But now we have gotten too lazy with it and we are using plastic in dumb ways where we dont need it. We see it everywhere. We sit in the grocery store and restaurants in our homes. We even basically put it into our systems by digesting micro plastics. None of this is hoping for us in a healthy way and it’s not helping my environment either. People need to start making their small changes and deleting plastic in their life could help to make their environment healthier in so many ways. And for that fact governors and ministers need to start taking action so that the plastic that builds up in our grocery stores and restaurants doesn’t keep hurting the consumers and the planet around us. I hope this change in France starts a movement so that the next generation doesn’t have to worry about the damages we made and just left for them to clean up.

Riding The Wave

I have always loved the ocean and have surfed almost my whole life. So keeping it clean is my main focus. The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit that does just that. I have been a part of this foundation for a while now. My dad was the first one to show it to me because we have surfed together forever so he thought it would get my attention seeing how I am into a greener healthier earth. Their website has many different categories. When first going onto their website they give you their daily news update. Todays news is about a major oil spill thats had been cast off Orange County and then it gives you the option to read more or donate to help clean it up. This off the bat shoes how much they want people to get involved which really interests me. I love to be apart of something that you know is actually trying their hardest to make an impact on our generation. This foundation fights for plastic pollution, which I will get into soon enough, ocean protection, beach access, coastal preservation, and lastly clean water. These all are of the same importance of course but I think that focusing on plastic pollution can help al lot of their problems.

I know This foundation focuses on many qualities of life, but plastic pollution is their big portion of it. They give you many facts to inform you on how much plastic goes to waste, big contributors, and how others can get involved to help clean up. Their website is full of details on anything you would want to know about plastic waste especially in the ocean.

Over 11 million tons of plastic fill the ocean to this day. But this foundation has done a lot to help work for a better cause. They have been taking on plastic waste for over a decade and have 2k beach cleanups to this date. Out of those cleanups, they have cleaned up 650,000 pounds of trash. This also couldn’t have been possible without all their volunteers. They have had about 100,000 volunteers getting involved to help clean these beaches so none of this could have been possible without them. They have put in tons of effort and encourage people to donate or volunteer whenever possible. Their website makes this easy too. If you need to donate there is a button on their page that gives you easy access and if wanting to volunteer, you can find any place close to you and do a beach cleanup for the day. Their website also does offer clothes and accessories that show your support and spread awareness to others. And another plus to buying these promotional shirts and things is that all their money from this goes to help protect the oceans and beaches. They have reached to very broad audiences, so it is a very popular nonprofit foundation. If you ever want to get involved just check out their website and start to help keep our earth clean and healthy.

Small Change, Big Impact

Plastic surrounds us. We eat, sleep, and breathe plastic. But now we have an excessive amount of it, and it keeps getting put to waste.  If people think that when they recycle their plastic today that they are doing something good for the economy, they are mostly wrong. The plastic that is getting ‘recycled’ isn’t going to get recycled. Only 9 percent of the plastic that people recycle is getting recycled. But this also does not mean it is getting recycled efficiently. Only 2 percent out of the 9 is getting used effectively to where people will be able to use it again. So where does all this plastic end up? Across the ocean after we ship it over the low-income countries that apparently deserve all our trash just because they don’t have as much stability snd money to rid of it as we do. Seeing the impact, we have on these countries is just horrific and we need to make personal changes to benefit ourselves but also others around us.

I made a list of all the most common things I might buy at a grocery store and my durable goods that I use or used a lot. Below is a picture of all these things and then alternatives that could be used instead to help create a plastic free environment.

For grocery shopping I do use my own bags and have been doing that since forever. With my mom, we would always take our own recyclable bags that we would just reuse each time so we wouldn’t have to waste the useless plastic bags they give away at the stores. Now living down in Charleston on my own, I take my own backpacks to the store if I ever wanted to buy things for my dorm room. Water bottles are a huge problem too. People go out to the store to buy those big 20 packs of water when that Is just a complete waste. There are so many alternatives like getting a Brita filter if you think your sink water in unhealthy so that you can just keep reusing that at home. Going out you can use a reusable water bottle and not grab a quick and disposable water bottle that you’re going to toss right after finishing it.

Over the past week I have been able to use all the alternatives to good use. I don’t have a car down here, but I have been able to walk everywhere I have needed to go which is good for the environment. I use my phone instead of buying the disposable cameras that people have begun to start buying again. I think they are a cute idea, but I think the cameras that are disposable are a big waste of plastic. For mac and cheese, I have not bought the pastic cups in a while and have bought the bozes. I do know that still isn’t the best, but it is a better alternative and I think the small changes can start to make a big difference if everyone starts to act.

There are things that I am not able to replace which are the electronics like my phone and my computer. I use these both every day for social and education purposes. My computer isn’t really a wasteful piece of plastic a I will be using this for many years to come. I think moving forward, these bigger things that we need in our life right now aren’t the problem. We don’t need to focus on how we are going to be able to rid of all pastic. We should focus on the small waste we throw away daily. Making those small changes in each and everyone’s like will make a bigger difference then most people might expect. People might be surprised to see that they could help make an impact on our future world.

Wasting Away

When we first started to write down each plastic item we have touched throughout the day, I was amazed the see how much it turned out to be. We never really put much thought into it, but plastic is all around us. I learned in class that our world has 32 million tons in landfill and still counting. I’m even typing on something made with plastic right now. Plastic has become the easiest and cheapest thing to create nowadays. But that doesn’t mean it’s not harmful to us in other ways. The way we use plastic now is crazy and since it is everywhere and not biodegradable, the plastic trash has filled up the landfills to their point where we need to do something about it sooner rather than later.

Comparing my Bag of disposable trash to my day of things I’ve touched really taught me a lot. I buy or have lots of food or drinks that just end up going into the trash when I am finished. Especially in college, I have a lot of snacks during the day because sometimes I just don’t have time to stop and have a full meal. So, bringing a bag around with me and filling it with all the disposable plastic has shown me how much just one person throws away like its nothing. But it is something. I learned through this process that we need to find better alternatives to plastic. The videos that we have watched in class really showed me that some people are trying to make an effort in finding alternatives better fit for our environment. For example, we package all of our mail away in plastic and for what. That trash gets thrown away right when it gets delivered. But one company found that there is a way to make packaging from a type of fungi that is biodegradable and is better fit to slow down the plastic pollution. In another video there was man who made a type of plastic like material out of Chitosan and Silk. That’s shrimp shells! It’s crazy to think of all the things we could use that’s better for the environment. Instead, our world goes for the easy option. The cheap option. We need to be able to start thinking more about the future and how much we are damaging our earth with not even a thought about it.

Our college does have recycle options in the dining hall, and we do use biodegradable cups. But most people don’t think and just throw it away in the landfill. This just proves my point that people are not putting effort into saving the planet. Plus, in our dorms if we want a recycle bin in our rooms we have to walk to another building and personally ask for it. Most people think of that as too much of a hassle, so they don’t end up getting one and throwing their recycling away into their trash. Personally, I think that people need to stop being lazy about recycling because in the next generation people are going to be suffering from a lot of our mistakes including our plastic footprint.