When you get a five-dollar plastic bottle of water at a music festival, do you ever think about a seagull eating the cap? The rest of your trash from that day has a good chance of ending up in the Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic or somewhere else in the water your food calls home.
So there’s this a roiling mass of plastic trash in our beautiful ocean. The OCEAN, the heating and cooling system of the planet. Two swirling masses, actually. Both the size of the continental United States.
Not kidding. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s fact. How deep do these swirling masses of plastic trash go?
Have you ever seen a tornado from the top?
Every time we grab a plastic fork to eat one meal with, or purchase tomatoes in a plastic don’t-squish-the-tomatoes box (not often), or throw away a broken Ziploc or ripped bubble-wrap envelope or literally indestructible body-bag of hippie dog food … every time we throw away both trash and our dog’s poop in a plastic bag … that’s what we think of now. Those swirling masses of trash.
We put them there.
How in the Sam Hill are we going to clean them up? That trash we make all goes somewhere.
Very certainly, some bottle or packaging of something we personally consumed has taken flight and gone swimming in the ocean — where it will degrade in the sunlight and break apart, to ultimately be digested by everything in the water, from the bottom of the food chain to the top. And the whole ocean will be sick, and the planet will get sick and die.
Strangled to death, like a seagull eating a water-bottle cap. Stricken with cancer; choked out the same way poison takes over a smoker’s lungs. Proof there are some things that should not be digested.
Just like smokers, the human race is in denial about the state of the planet’s health.
Not science-fiction. This is a very distinct possibility. Probability.
So … it might all be over sooner than we think.
After all, unexpected cataclysms are as common in nature as gradual change and slow demise.
If one is the conscious sort, it’s hard not to feel nearly psychotic with guilt every time one throws away a piece of trash. Washing the dishes in such a water-conserving way as to seem obsessive-compulsive to the viewers just tuning in…We have our reasons for washing dishes this way, even though there seems to be plenty of water. WE HAVE OUR REASONS.
Who wants to complain without offering some sort of solution, even if it’s only random and rambly?:
Keep utensils in the car when you’re out and about, and try to eat at places where there’s very little to grab and use and throw in the trash. In the old DPW days, where everything was burnable, even the forks and whatnot … we used to clang clang clang with our tin cups on carabiners next to custom-made “fork-spoons” — not sporks, mind you, but one on each end, welded to a piece of rebar attached to a keychain.
Try to buy glass bottles and jars rather than plastic tubs when grocery shopping. Keep a lot of bulk items in these jars, and display them on the shelves like candy, secretly pleased with yourself about how much harder it is for the human mice in your house to eat someone else’s food when they can’t identify it.
There will be more than one person who talks all kinds of jive about your newly caring lifestyle, but remember, jockos make fun of nerds. Maybe they’re juuust a leeetle beeet jealous of that touch o’ hoarding / money-saving instinct you may have picked up from Depression-era cottonpicking grandparents, which you knew would come in handy someday.
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