Worldwide Clean Up - Saturday, April 28, 2018
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According to National Geographic, "There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean." (https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150109-oceans-plastic-sea-trash-science-marine-debris/). You see it on the side of the highway, caught at fence bases, floating in creeks and rivers and on the ocean's surface. It lies next to empty trash cans and is stepped on and walked past.
Animals eat our waste and inevitably get sick and die. Ocean creatures seem to have it the worst, and it's no wonder. According to the same NatGeo article from above, "Of that mass [5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris], 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea." Many have even contracted new diseases because of our irrepopnsibility (http://awesomeocean.com/trending-now/turtle-herpes/). Our trash is so engrained in animal life that they have even started using it in their day to day lives as food, building materials, and seemingly confused, companionship. Not long ago along a seahorse was photographed pulling a q tip in its tail (https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/15/16314928/justin-hofman-seahorse-plastic-pollution-photography). For crying out loud, we literally have the Great Pacific and North Atlantic Garbage Patches, clusters of congealed human waste and debris suspended by ocean currents and non-biodegradable refuse. It's shocking and unacceptable in an era of incredibly advanced information and technology. We are certainly connected, but not to the things that matter.
While there has been a dramatic shift in how we handle our waste and waste processing, it hasn't been enough. Cigarette butts can take up to 10 years to decompose, plastic straws up to 200 years! These two items alone make up a huge percentage of trash collected during clean ups, and they are some of the most preventable types of waste.
What I am asking is not just to be conscious about the waste we're producing (in America more than any other country), but to CLEAN IT UP. We are all guilty of finding excuses to not beautify and purify our cities, but no more! I am proposing a worldwide day of cleaning and beautifying of the only known inhabitable planet in our solar system that we ALL share. On Saturday, April 28, 2018, please join me in what will hopefully be a worldwide trash clean up. You don't have to go out all day, and you don't have to collect pounds. If everyone who lived on the planet collected simply a grocery bag's worth of trash, which can honestly be done in less than 30 minutes, we would be so much better off. Our neighborhoods and cities would look and feel cleaner because they actually are cleaner. Property values would go up, community pride would swell, and most importantly, there would be thousands, maybe even millions less pounds of trash floating around.
There's still a long way to go in terms of landfills and waste/water treatment plants and deep ocean clean ups, but this action plan is realistic. It's simple and local, and really isn't asking too much. EVERYONE can participate; all ages, physical abilities, and occupations. Go alone, take a friend, make it a family outing, and enjoy what will likely be great weather to go with the great deed you're doing to make this planet even greater. Even if there are other planets that could support life, we can't get there yet. We live in the here and now of air and water pollution and littering. We as a society have created and allowed this build up of trash, so it is our responsibility as humans to reverse and end it.
Please sign the petition, tell a friend, share the link; spread awareness any way you can, and I'll see you out there on April 28th! If all goes well, there will be another worldwide clean up planned for after the summer.
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