EPISODE TWO: THE OCEAN CLEANUP
I don’t intend to be political when I write about these topics. That’s not the point here. However, I do want to list a single fact that will make some roll their eyes and bring others to tears of frustration:
Our oceans, the ones we love to travel to, swim in, and spend all our time daydreaming about are filled and continuing to fill up with our own trash.
This isn’t new information, at least not to me. We throw things in our trash cans and our dumpsters. People come in trucks to take away our unused materials and *POOF* it’s gone. We never see it again. It shouldn’t be a surprise where it ends up. Nor should it be a surprise that it’s continuing to pile and pollute one of the most beautiful bodies of water in existence (not to mention harming and killing the stunning and important wildlife in it).
IN A NUTSHELL
I can’t count the number of times this year I’ve had the wind knocked out of me by reading the news, watching documentaries, or listening to a conversation where I learn something heartbreaking, disgusting, or utterly hopeless.
The most recent of these instances happened when I was scrolling through social media (oh, the irony).
Lush was featuring a quick 20-second video which cited sources on plastic pollution. The star of this mini feature film was first factoids and pictures of the garbage in the ocean and dead sea life. Then, it moves its focus to someone I had never heard of, Boyan Slat. Perhaps you’ve heard of Boyan. He’s been in the news previously for presenting a solution at 16 for removing the plastics from the oceans. Not only that but has also presented on a popular episode of Tedtalks and founded The Ocean Cleanup at 18.
WHAT IS THE OCEAN CLEANUP?
Simply put, it is an organization that’s goal is to rid the ocean of plastic.
After I had this single, basic bit of information, I did the next best thing I could do which was Google Ocean Cleanup and Boyan Slat. These are a few interesting facts I found from on their website:
- They are using the ocean’s current to clean up the plastic
- The organization estimates a 50% cleanup of the *Great Pacific Garbage Patch* in 5 years time using a full-scale deployment of their systems.
- They aim to make the system they have created financially self-sustainable by recycling, reusing, and reselling the products found in the ocean.
*In case you don’t know, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a large concentration of marine debris. Consisting of plastic, chemical sludge, and other trash-like items, the oceans currents pull it naturally toward this specific area.*
If you would like to know how it works and understand their plans, goals, milestones, and updates on their progress, I encourage you to start here on the Ocean Cleanup website that I have linked below. I don’t want to speak for them so I have also linked their video. It’s thirty minutes of your time but it’s worth it. It’s inspiring, hopeful, innovating, and encouraging. I’ve learned so much about the project from watching it and I think others should know about it too because I HAD NO IDEA this was happening, NONE.
WHAT I AM LEFT WITH
This isn’t quite like other learning experiences for me. Did I know this was happening? To some extent, yes. Ashamedly though, I didn’t know we were at a point of seeing more plastic than fish or that my personal trash is part of that.
With that being said, this plastic pollution is something I feel like I can actually be a force in changing. Not only could I do the standard donate money to a good cause (which is a great means of helping) but I can recycle. I can help prevent the problem from getting any worse.
So there you have it. Welcome to episode two of Things I Should Know.
*Reduce, Reuse, Recycle*