Trash Talk…

How many of you are aware of your carbon footprint?

HERE is a handy-dandy calculator for those of you who don’t know but would like to.

Bizarro comics "The Evolution of Trash" image borrowed from earthisland.org

Bizarro comics “The Evolution of Trash” image borrowed from earthisland.org

How many of you consciously try to make less of an impact on the amount of things you consume and the subsequent amount of trash you generate?

HERE is an easy sheet to fill out to get a general idea. Of course, it takes a bit of work to sort the things you throw out in one day.

Being aware of it is enough to give anyone pause in this day and age. The amount is staggering. Truly. Unfortunately, there is just no getting away from trash. Every person creates some, and those of us fortunate enough to live in non third-world countries (hell-bent on rampant consumerism) produce more of it than others. A LOT more of it.ย  Recycling is great and I encourage anyone and everyone to do what you can! But it’s not enough; there is SO much more that needs to be done!

Do you know about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? How about the North Atlantic Garbage Patch? Well, guess what? These aren’t the only ones. There are FIVE of these “islands” between the U.S. and Japan! These are basically gigantic islands of plastic and man-made debris waste that have collected over the years from both land-based and sea-based human pollution. The one in the Pacific alone is estimated as twice the size of Texas with a mass of roughly 100 million tons. Think about that number for a minute: 100 million TONS. And it gets larger every year.

Captain Moore’s Description of the
North Pacific Garbage Patch:

“It was and is a thin plastic soup, a soup lightly seasoned with plastic flakes, bulked out here and there with ‘dumplings’: buoys, net clumps, floats, crates, and other macro debris.”
– A quote from the book,
Plastic Ocean, by Captain Charles Moore

“Remember, plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it only gets broken down into smaller and smaller bits of plastic, and if you’re in the Pacific it all ends up getting pushed into this massive floating garbage pile. ” – Planetgreen.discovery.com

Photograph from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Obviously, this happened when the turtle was young and it grew this way. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Are you upset yet? Angry? Are you more aware now?

In June, I will be joining with the Ocean Conservancy to do my best to be “trash free” for 30 days. It won’t be easy and I probably won’t succeed 100%. But I’m going to try. I invite all of you to join with me and take the Trash-Free Challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are some things you can start doing NOW to help keep your trash out of the ocean(s). For those of you already doing your part, THANK YOU!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ I believe in the power of 1+1 into infinity = anything is possible. Together, we can all make a difference. It’s the only planet we’ve got…there is no “Plan”-et B. It starts with you and me.

From Squidoo.com:

What Can Be Done?

Plastics are so integrated into so many people’s daily lives that this is clearly a global problem. Change needs to happen through awareness and education. Start with yourself. Evaluate your daily routine and assess exactly what you use plastic for, and more critically, what plastics are you throwing out every day? Systematically try to minimize the amount of plastic that you use and throw out. Here are some ideas to help.
  • Buy in bulk, and bring your own cloth or recycled grocery gags to the store.
  • Keep litter, leaves, and debris out of the street gutters and storm drains.
  • Stop drinking plastic bottled water! If you live in an area with safe tap water, drink it! Tap water in the United States is much more strictly regulated than bottled water. If you need bottled water, get a reusable bottle that can be refilled
  • Reuse whenever possible.
  • Choose products which have been packaged in recycled materials.
  • Buy local products whenever possible because this reduces the amount of fuel and plastic packaging used to ship materials to you.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Refuse!

From the Ocean Conservancy site:

Number 1 Reduce your carbon “finprint.” Our ocean is on the front lines of climate change โ€” absorbing half the carbon dioxide we’ve pumped into the atmosphere. Use mass transit, carpool, and find other ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Number 2 Take only pictures. Choose vacation spots working to protect endangered sea animals. When snorkeling or diving, take pictures and tell stories but never stand on coral reefs or touch the marine life.
Number 3 Be a green boater. Protect the boating experience along with the ocean. A little spill makes a big difference; be especially careful with oil, gasoline, solvents, and sewage. Bring your trash back to shore. Join Ocean Conservancy’s green boating program Good Mate.
Number 4 Ask for sustainable seafood. Let chefs, wait-staff, and the folks behind your fish counter know that sustainable seafood is important to you.
Number 5 Sign up for Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Volunteers remove trash from beaches and shorelines, and data collected by these citizen-scientists help inform solutions that keep trash out of our ocean in the first place.
Number 6 Reduce. Since packaging materials account for much of the trash we generate, they provide a good opportunity for reducing waste. Consider items with less, reusable, or recyclable packaging.
Number 7 Reuse. More than 60 percent of the litter collected during the 2009 International Coastal Cleanup consisted of disposable items. Choose reusable shopping bags, coffee mugs, and food containers.
Number 8 Recycle. If you can’t reuse it, recycle it. Check online with your local government to see what you can and can’t give back, and recycle everything possible.
Number 9 Prevent contaminated runoff. No matter where you live, the ocean is downstream. Don’t use chemical fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn. On the driveway, avoid harmful cleaning products, and take proper care of spilled oil.
Number 10 Vote Blue. Urge your elected representatives to support ocean-friendly policies that protect our ocean. Stay informed through e-alerts from Ocean Conservancy and share your passion at facebook.com/oceanconservancy and twitter.com/OurOcean
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About dragonkatet

Regarding the blog name, Dragonโ€™s Dreams ~ The name comes from my love-affairs with both Dragons and Dreams (capital Ds). Itโ€™s another extension of who I am, a facet for expression; a place and way to reach other like-minded, creative individuals. I post poetry and images that fascinate or move me, because thatโ€™s my favorite way to view the world. I post about things important to me and the world in which we live, try to champion extra important political, societal and environmental issues, etc. Sometimes I wax philosophical, because itโ€™s also a place where I always seem to learn about myself, too, by interacting with some of the brightest minds, souls and hearts out there. Itโ€™s all about โ€˜connection(s)โ€™ and I donโ€™t mean โ€œnet-workingโ€ with people for personal gain, but rather, the expansion of the 4 Lโ€™s: Light, Love, Laughter, Learning.
This entry was posted in Animals, Disasters, Ecology, Environment, Fishing, Food For Thought, Frustration, Future, Inspiration, Life, Nature, Politics, Trash and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Trash Talk…

  1. Thanks for sharing Corina, wonderful post. The wonderful thing about living on a Pirate ship is, you have to conserve and recycle. As large as my boat is, if I bring something new onboard, something else has to come off. I recycle and reuse everything I can, but I can always try to be better. Thanks for the incentive! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. dragonkatet says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Captain. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also recycle and reuse as much as possible, but I agree, there is always room for improvement (with ANYone) – at least we are trying to make a difference. You have a good philosophy for keeping the “balance” – anything new, get rid of something to make room for it. Now, if only more people would join us…:)

  3. eva626 says:

    great post!!! i love the way you laid out this post to spread awareness… i will make sure to follow the list you displayed here…i do most of them but its good to check back and be firm on it. so many things like this are effecting us and the environment everyday.

    • dragonkatet says:

      ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks, eva. I try to follow the stuff on the lists, too, but it can be a real challenge sometimes and I don’t always succeed. But to me, the “trying” is the important part, and sharing the message to get others to try too is part of the mission. Thanks for stopping by! It’s good to see that others care about the planet too.

  4. Bodhirose says:

    What an amazing post filled with useful information, Corina. Yes, I do know about those islands of floating debris out there in the ocean and now we have them (to a lesser degree) floating out in space. We humans are pigs! My boyfriend and I routinely note how much less trash we put out than our neighbors…but like you said there’s always more that we can do to lessen our impact on the planet. It takes being conscientious and committed…like you. Good job! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • dragonkatet says:

      ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks, Gayle. You know, I almost mentioned the floating space trash but thought I better stick to one topic at a time. We humans ARE pigs…actually, pigs are much cleaner animals…I think Agent Smith was right and we are a virus. That’s awesome that you and your boyfriend are conscientious about your trash. ๐Ÿ™‚ The way I see it, the more people we can make aware of just how bad it is, the more people we can perhaps get to join us!

  5. Luke Prater says:

    So glad you posted this. I’m with you 110%. The madness has to stop

    • dragonkatet says:

      ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks, Luke. It IS madness and yes, it should have stopped LONG before now, but it’s good to know there are other like-minded people out there.

  6. eebrinker says:

    You know what lowers trash amounts is less snacks and more whole foods and meals…so much packaging now for crackers, cookies, etc. They want to keep them on shelf forever and get the higher price. I should start making homemade catfood…that’s a lot of packaging. True that we need to be thinking about this….everybody doing a lot of nothing has made it worse, but everybody doing a little bit of their part will make it better.

  7. Jo Bryant says:

    Great post Corina. I try to do many of these thing. I recycle. I keep an eye on which fish types are in trouble. Always try to buy local and organic. I may be just one…but if enough ones get together it can make a difference. That turtle had me in tears !!! And i did know abou those plastic islands. I makes me weep to think of them

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thanks for coming by, Jo. I’m glad to hear that more people are trying. You mentioned “Always try to buy local and organic.” and that is one important thing I forgot to mention, so thanks for pointing that out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Totally agree with what you said about “enough ones getting together”! Yes, that turtle picture made me cry, too. It makes me sad and angry when I see what humans have done to our planet. Which is why it’s so important to do what we can to counter-balance the damage. Thanks for the encouraging thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I have to introduce you to a friend of mine who is very much into the same mind with you, I’ll pass on your post to her, I’m sure she will be delighted to read it. I do most of the things that you say, I stopped using plastic bottles long time ago, simply because I don’t like the smell of plastic. I have very nice glass bottles for water and for tea. I replaced my plastic tapper-wear with glass, because I heard that the combination of food and plastic leads to cancer. As for the trash around here in Athens, people are messy and sometimes I get upset how they throw something on the ground when 100 meters away there is a garbage bin. Well, as my friend say, soon the Earth will be covered with garbage and only when it’s too late people will realize what they’ve done, just because they’re not educated well enough. Let’s hope that won’t happen. I don’t know if in your educational systems there are lessons included about recycling and being green, but here kids lack this important part of life.

    • Btw, in the letter I sent you yesterday, there is a postcard that I got for you, the money for which goes to saving dolphins. I like to buy things like this, whenever I stumble upon them …

      • dragonkatet says:

        Oh, I LOVE postcards and letters whose proceeds help animals and the environment! Thank goodness for companies who are trying to be earth friendly. I look forward to getting your letter. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • dragonkatet says:

      ๐Ÿ™‚ It makes me happy that so many others are trying to help save the planet, too! I know that some of the schools here teach about recycling, but not enough, in my opinion. Many kids here lack that, too. It will be up to the future generations to take it seriously enough to make a difference…we can only do so much before we’re gone. I hope they have a planet left by the time they reach adulthood. Thanks for coming by, Blaga. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. siggiofmaine says:

    Thank you for this post…very interesting…I do wish you had a way to post to my facebook wall…there are so many people that should read this and…the Wolves We Feed, among others.

    I just noticed I was not a subscriber to your blog…am now…thank you for subscribing to mine.

    Peace,
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thanks for reading, Siggi, and for subscribing, too. I DO have a Facebook page, but I don’t use it very much…mostly just for posting petitions I sign and environmental links, etc. – sometimes political links. But in case you’d like to friend me on there, here is the url:

      ๐Ÿ™‚

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