Message in the Bottle: 5 Ways to Stop Marine Garbage Dumping
By Kym Gordon Moore
Did you ever experience that awesome feeling of walking along a pristine coastal shoreline and imagine you were in a piece of paradise? On the flipside, have you experienced walking along the sands of the beach and see atrocious debris polluting our shoreline and waterways, that made you sad or disgusted?
Once upon a time when a bottle washed up on the shore and contained a message in it, it was an exciting experience to open that bottle and see if the message revealed where it came from. Today when a bottle washes on shore, it may get lost in the mass pollution of plastic, abandoned fishing nets, old discarded tires, micro-pellets, household items and other types of trash and debris.
Floating plastic debris and marine pollution is accumulating in patches throughout the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Called the Great Pacific Garbage Dump and the North Atlantic Garbage Patch, debris from marine dumping is choking birds and other marine animals, as well as entering our food chain. Decomposing remains of sea birds and other marine life found along the sands of beaches reveal an accumulation of plastics and other pollutants in their stomachs that could have contributed to their deaths.
To eradicate the vicious cycle of turning human consumption into reckless dumping waste, here are 5 things we must do:
1. Respect the importance of our environment. We must be cognizant that we depend on the land and our oceans as sources for our food supply. If we continue to abuse the environment, the environment can turn against us.
2. Be accountable for your actions on how you properly dispose of your garbage. Just because the few pieces of litter you throw along the waterways and roadways may seem harmless, they are not. Imagine that mindset times the billions of people inhabiting the planet. Those using the waterways as a source of livelihood and recreation must be responsible for what they discard haphazardly.
3. Stop wastefulness when disposing of your trash. Society can be too disposable and the need for recycling and repurposing is a must, not an option.
4. Advocate for raising awareness and developing a consciousness that our environment is a living and breathing part of the creation. We must protect our eco-system and teach others the importance of a sustainable environment.
5. Look to the future. If we are not proactive now by making the necessary changes to repair much of the damage already done or change our behavior and mindset of maintaining a sustainable planet, we will destroy it from within.
Waste that floats into the sea is eaten by marine life mistaking the debris for food. Fish, crustaceans and other fruits of the sea end up on our dinner tables. Contamination occurs when marine life that we consume, eats this debris and can create long-term toxic issues or diseases in our bodies. Currents can shift this plastic ocean from one side of the world to the other. We are caretakers of this planet. If anyone thinks this is not a problem of ours now, then one day it will become deadly, if not for us, then for our next generation.
Kym Gordon Moore, author of “Diversities of Gifts: Same Spirit,” is an award winning poet, author, speaker, philanthropist, certified email marketing specialist and an authority in strategic marketing. http://www.kymgmoore.com She is co-founder of Favorite Things for a CAUSE. http://www.favoritethingsforacause.com and was selected as one of the 2012 U.S. World Book Night Volunteer Book Givers.