It is estimated that by the year 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean could outweigh the amount of fish. And the mass of garbage is growing quickly.
Such large collections of garbage, first talked about in the 1970s, have tremendous effects on the environment. The debris, made up primarily of plastics, is mistaken as food by fish. Though these plastics often kill the fish that consume them, this is not the only outcome.
Some species, for example, have their hormonal systems affected; other species change their migration patterns and disrupt food chains. Other species will consume the plastic and process portions of the chemicals into their bodies before being captured and eaten by humans. That is, when we fill the ocean with plastic, we are often filling our bodies with plastic.
That is, when we fill the ocean with plastic,
we are often filling our bodies with plastic.
This is clearly a massive problem. How do we go about a solution?
Of course there are the three ‘R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This mnemonic device is excellent, especially for teaching our kids some basic steps to preserve the planet. It is also worth saying that the three ‘R’s are not treated equally, they are actually listed in their importance.
We must first reduce our waste. If, for whatever reason, we cannot reduce the usage of something then we should aim to reduce our usage of it. And if we cannot reduce our waste? Then at least recycle what you’ve used!
These steps will ensure that we limit the increase of waste going into our oceans, but what about the plastic that is already there? Or about the limited, but still substantial, portion of waste that we do make, even after we follow the three ‘R’s?
There are some amazing initiatives that have been started in recent years to address these issues. We have popularized the idea of cleaning the planet. We have made events out of picking up trash. We have come together as a community to address these environmental problems together.
Today, in fact, is National Cleanup Day! It is a holiday that focuses on, well, cleaning up. The event is massive and growing. Last year there were over two million volunteers working to clean the planet. That is an impressive number, but they are anticipating much higher numbers this year. Why not join in?
Here at Shark OFF, we truly care about the wildlife of the ocean. This is why we opted for a safe technology to deter sharks rather than harmful alternatives. We did not want to use any aerosol or harsh chemicals, for instance, out of fear that it would hurt the ocean and its inhabitants.
It’s for this same reason that we donate 10% of our profits to the Ocean Voyages Institute. This outstanding nonprofit organization is committed to cleaning the ocean. Their reach is expanding every year, due in part to the rise of importance in action. We believe in their mission and hope to see an ocean that is safe for both our children and our wildlife.
Let’s make this Saturday’s cleanup be about more than just the kitchen or the living room -- let’s make this cleanup day count.