By now, we all know about the major waste problem that our planet and our environment is facing today. We know about the great pacific garbage patch, also known as “Garbage Island” and we may have seen a documentary or two showcasing just how detrimental our consumerism has been.
Another Garbage Island?
Recently, another huge patch of garbage and plastic was found floating in the Caribbean off the coast of an island near Honduras, Roatan. It is devastating to see so much garbage off the coast of such a beautiful place, however, it serves as a powerful reminder that there are direct consequences to our actions.
Caroline Power recently posted pictures to her Facebook account to help raise awareness about this growing epidemic to actually show people what they are contributing to.
In her Facebook post, Caroline wrote, “Think about your daily lives,” she wrote. “How did you take your food to go last time you ate out? How was your last street food served? Chances are it was styrofoam and served with a plastic fork and then put in a plastic bag.”
“Do you still use plastic garbage bags? Plastic soda bottles? Zip lock bags? Plastic wrap on your food? Do you buy toilet paper that comes wrapped in plastic instead of paper? Do you put your fruit and vegetables in produce bags at the grocery?”
She also challenged people to hold onto the garbage they produce for 1 week just to actually see all of the plastic that they are producing. What a great way to actually get a visualization so we can actually see what we are contributing to. Even though many of us consider ourselves to be mindful consumers, likely, there is still much more we could be doing to lower our consumption.
Who’s To Blame?
Sure we could blame the manufacturers for creating the plastic products, but the fact of the matter is that if there were no demand for the product and we weren’t buying it, they would not be producing it.
But is all of this really enough to get us to rethink our ways? Many of us, myself included, tend to have an out of site, out of mind attitude and because it is not directly affecting our lives, it can be easy to just forget that it is happening. It is up to each and every one of us, however, to take responsibility for our actions and realize that we can make a difference in the world and the time to do so is now.
If you don’t bother to be mindful of your life and your actions because you don’t believe that you alone can make a difference — think again. We are so much more powerful than we know, and if everyone had this attitude of, “why should I bother?” Then nothing would ever change. We cannot lose hope; we are capable of creating the type of world we want to live in. In fact, everything that is happening on the planet is because we have contributed to it or allowed it to happen. I know this can be a hard truth to accept, and it is so much easier to blame others, but taking full responsibility for our actions can be very powerful — more powerful than we know. Yes, indeed many aspects of our lives have been corrupted by the need for power and greed, and we’ve been misled, but by having this awareness, then we can make the decisions that will support our lives and our environment. Without having awareness, how could we ever change? The first step to change is to have awareness. This is why it’s so important to speak the truth.
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What Can We Do?
Think about your current lifestyle. Is there anything you can do RIGHT NOW to reduce your impact? Something as simple as rejecting a plastic straw at a restaurant, multiplied by millions can and will have a significant impact. Every little things you can do helps, keep that in mind. If you are out with your friend and you tell the server, “Please hold the straw,” then maybe your friend will be curious and you can fill them in and then they will begin to do the same. The server might start asking their other customers if they want a straw in the first place, and this creates a ripple or a snowball effect just from one small action.
You may think, it’s too late. But — it’s not! If we were to stop using plastic now, we could actually clean up our oceans. Some companies are choosing to use this plastic from the ocean and turn it into something, it’s up to us!! We can do it, never lose hope.
“If not now, when? If not you, then who?”
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