October 20, 2008


Whenever I’m at the beach, I try to pick up a few pieces of trash on my way out of the water. It harms wildlife, pollutes the water, and looks nasty.   

But what about the trash we don’t see? I recently had a chance to hear Ximena Waissbluth from Surfrider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastics campaign and learn a bit about the North Pacific Gyre. A gyre is sort of a vortex produced by circulating ocean currents. The problem is that more plastic trash than ever is being dumped in our oceans and these currents have created a giant garbage patch (twice the size of Texas!) in the middle of the Pacific. This story has been around for a while, but considering the speed that the patch is growing, I wanted to bring it up again.

What can we do? The main thing is: reduce your consumption of single use plastics. That means using stainless steel water bottles, reusable grocery bags, etc. The more disposable plastic you reduce from your life, the less there is to end up polluting our beaches and seas. But be forewarned: you’ll be surprised how much single-use plastics are in your daily routine once you consciously make a decision to get rid of them.

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