I find it humorous how Americans try to appear as eco-friendly as they possibly can, but refuse to put forth an effort to stay clean when called into action. I don’t just mean recycling, but picking up garbage, reusing products, limiting plastic use, etc. What’s even worse is that individuals in society will shame each other for littering or not recycling, but won’t reciprocate and continue to litter when no one is looking. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the sides of the streets around campus. Notice little bits of trash scattered around the curbs of the road? See all those bottles? There’s no way that trash didn’t come out of thin air.
We learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in class recently. I figured that this couldn’t be a more perfect example of what happens when we refuse to take action against safe waste disposal. The video we watched in class stated that a great amount of the trash came from residents near the Pacific. So much trash has built up in the patch throughout the years, and it’s really starting to take a toll on the aquatic life. What we don’t realize is that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is just an even bigger representation of how we tend to stray away from carrying out our environmental responsibilities.
A National Geographic Article (link below) states that, “Because the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is so far from any country’s coastline, no nation will take responsibility or provide the funding to clean it up.” More information states that Charles Moore, the man who discovered the patch, says that cleaning the patch could even lead to a single country into going bankrupt. The only way to resolve any problem related to this huge patch of garbage is to just keep it from growing. It is currently near impossible to try and clean it on our own as a nation.
Now obviously the trash and litter are the main contributors to creating this monstrosity of oceanic garbage, but those aren’t the only contributors. The fact is that nobody seems to be doing anything to clean it up, playing the “blame game” against other contributions. This sounds very similar to the concept I mentioned at the beginning of this very blog. We need to stop blaming others and start acting ourselves, because a big change leads to even bigger affects. Maybe if we all stopped littering, the garbage patch would stop growing, but first everyone needs to make a significant environmental change.