Over the years, we have watched plastic take a terrible toll on our fauna and flora. We’ve seen it kill our camels, pollute our waterways, and fill the belly of a very sick turtle. The plastic issue is so serious, in fact, that David de Rothschild built an entire boat out of the stuff and sailed it across the Pacific as a way of generating awareness.
Enlightened municipalities and private organizations throughout the Middle East are working on ways to either ban or recycle the non-biodegradable plastics and front so-called biodegradable alternatives, but we need to do more. If you need a little more convincing, step on in for a glimpse of Chris Jordan’s high definition clip of Midway filmed 2,000 miles from the nearest continent.
Thousands of baby Albatrosses are dying every year because their mothers feed them plastic sourced from the Pacific ocean. They mistake the bottle caps, lighters, and other bits and pieces for food. Renowned photographer Chris Jordan has been documenting this twisted phenomenon on the Midway Atoll – a cluster of islands in the Pacific ocean – since 2009.
This is what he says of his journey thus far:
For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.
We don’t want you to feel hopeless despair after watching this clip. We want you to feel emboldened to action. Instead of pulling out another plastic bottle of water or coke from your fridge, resigning yourself to the way we humans have destroyed the planet, make the decision to be part of the momentum that culminates in positive change.
Here’s how to rid yourself of plastic:
- Make the decision that you don’t want to be a part of this travesty any longer. That’s the first step. Every now and I am tempted by a plastic bottle of coke but then I recall images of these birds and camels and remind myself why I don’t want it. It’s not easy, but it is possible.
- Avoid beverages that are sold in plastic bottles. Most soft drinks are so full of sugar and phosphorous and other nasty ingredients that you don’t need to be drinking them anyway. If you can’t live without a sugary drink and don’t have time to make your own at home, at least try to find a health food store that distributes healthier alternatives in more eco-friendly materials.
- We know, everything comes in plastic, but depending on where you live, it’s possible to cut back. And if you have no choice, definitely reuse and recycle!
- Just say no to plastic bags! Carry a cloth alternative or two or three, which can be washed and re-used, and don’t let the cashier at the store convince you otherwise.
- Get involved! Find a green organization in your neighborhood or write to your government representatives. Tell them you’ve had enough of plastic, put the pressure on them to regulate change.
- And then, share this post with your friends.