Wednesday, November 11, 2009

galaxies of garbage

yes, humans have purposely created islands in unexpected places - dubai, for example. but we've also accidentally made other islands, whose total size may add up to be TWICE THE SIZE OF TEXAS!

thats right: trash islands! off the pacific west coast of the US, 1000 miles northeast of hawaii, live several massive, synthetic, growing islands of our rubbish. our synthetic products and the whirling ocean currents have conspired together to create floating piles of plastic leftovers from our lives. we have multiple huge and expanding mountains of refuse living in the vortices of earth's oceans.


yuck!

what can we do? reuse items that dont break up: plastics! reuse plastic bags, or get cloth bags that you can use infinitely! increase the use of biodegradable materials wherever possible. buy a cup or more permanent water bottle to drink from , instead of opening several plastic water bottles a day.

of course, as a single individual my efforts wont decrease the rate at which the galaxies of garbage are growing, but i think as a society, we have to get better at reusing what we buy. we just plain dont need all this *stuff* in our lives!

10 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

A few years ago the NPR radio show 'This American Life' did a program about one of these island's in the Pacific.

The waste that we create mirrors the culmative disrespect mankind has for his environment. Man works against nature, rather than with it.

Wrote myself an idea for an entry in the future!

MikeS said...

If you have the stomach, you can find heart-breaking pictures of dead birds whose stomachs are filled with plastic bottlecaps and refuse.

Sojourner said...

I am always reminded of what Douglas Adams said: "The planet can take care of itself (natural selection? will take care of us)".

Action Wolfe said...

@Mark
Humans evolved beyond working with nature, we have to evolve back to working with it again if we are to exist forever.

@MikeS
I saw a documentary on that tonight - eye opening images. So painful to see. But you don't believe it until you see it.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the rent is on such a island paradise? I see a new correctional facility there myself..for polluters!

Anonymous said...

Outstanding!

Can anyone give the coordinates for Google Earth, so that we can view this "island" ourselves?

Trust, but VERIFY!

nikgee said...

Thank you so much for your write. Don't ever think that your solo effort don't count.one plus one equal two. Two plus two equal four....

It's swiftly becoming apparent, to recycle is no longer a choice, but a must do...

thanks again nikgee

astropixie said...

according to 'marine debris' branch of the office of response and restoration, the "garbage" patch is not visible from satellite images. most of the material consists of small plastics and a lot resides under the surface of the water, making it too difficult to see.

Anne M. Archibald said...

It's also worth remembering that the origin of this trash gyre is not household waste - landfills are really quite effective at not emptying their contents into the ocean. So recycling doesn't have the direct effect people may be picturing.

That said, while some of the trash is related to fishing and other coastal industries, a lot of it is junk produced while making and transporting things to consumers - remember that huge shipment of rubber ducks that got accidentally dumped into the ocean in a shipping accident? One of the ways the trash gyres has been studied is by finding where those ducks turned up. So while recycling may not be too helpful - particularly if the to-be-recycled material is shipped across an ocean - reducing the amount of stuff you buy, use and/or discard will make a difference.

Dredd said...

There is evidently even a larger garbage continent in the southern pacific gyre.