This morning, the Starbucks barista noticed the writing on my reusable cup, it read, “Saving the turtles.” With the most adorable little turtle that my boyfriend drew. She goes, “I love this so much! Go you!” Naturally, we started talking about the environment and the uprising of reusable straws. I know that all of you have seen at least one Instagram ad, I know I’ve seen my fair share.
So, I felt compelled by the interaction this morning to share this, we are guests on this Earth. We are not made of her soil or leaves. We are not her water or oxygen. We are guests and we will forever continue to be guests.
This environmentalist controversy has been more apparent than usual. I see conflict, on all forms of social media. I’ve seen plenty of Twitter arguments and threads. We can continue arguing all we want but here’s the deal, we’re disgusting creatures that are financially hungry and always looking to get on top. We will disregard anything that stands in our path to fulfill our greedy desires.
For years and years, we’ve been ignoring the impact of our actions on our planet— I don’t feel that we’ve ever earned the right to call it ours. Yet, we walk mighty, as if we own it— as if it is something to be owned. We’ve cultivated it and slapped our names on titles. We sign papers and pay for the right to build or, own a fraction of our terrific little space rock. We proceed to produce products that can’t be disposed of in a healthy way. We manufacture plastics, glass, paper, cardboard, etc. without caution. We create and dispose of it… into the soils of the Earth. So, why wouldn’t we develop biodegradable materials…? Instead of creating it, realizing its harmful, building recycle plants AND THEN, having to filter trash through countless bins and plants. Why didn’t we just cut the bullshit in the beginning? Why weren’t we compassionate enough to design materials that were safe for the Earth?
Not impressed? Okay let’s hit you with some facts, 1.4 billion pounds of trash in ending up in our oceans. Out of 7 billion people, 75% of them admitted to littering in the last five years. So, 5.2 billion of you have spit your gum out the window, threw a fast food cup or bag out the window, let some napkins blow away on a picnic, left your water bottles among the trees while hiking. Nature doesn’t have the same abilities or resources to dispose of our waste in a healthy way. Plus, the way I see it, we produce the products as well as consume so, therefore it’s your responsibility to take care of it. Alright. Not impressed? More facts for ya. A person will only hold a piece of trash for 12 paces before they decide to litter. Are we really so careless? Would it really take that much more energy to walk it to a trash can? The impact of people who do this will affect the planet eternally. For your children’s sake and their children, and their children’s children, and long after them as well. We have to break the cycle. Although, the countries littering rate declined by 61% the trash is still out there. Whether it’s polluting waterways, hiking trails, beaches, highways it’s still out there.
We have and are causing irreversible damage. Hold on, let’s repeat that one more time— irreversible. We will never be able to undo all the destruction. We will reach a point where we have to live, closely, among it. We will have permanently smogged skies and begin building homes near or, even on, landfills. We will kill every single enchanting and innocent creature that was supposed to accompany us, on our journey through existence.
I will admit, I didn’t fully comprehend the gravity of the situation until very recent. I didn’t think too much when I threw away a plastic straw, glass container, tossed out old paperwork or, when I got rid of plastic grocery bags. I never gave it an ounce of my attention. Now, I realize that it needs all of my attention. Now, I’m extremely aware of what goes in the garbage can, that it makes it into the garbage can. I feel uneasy throwing anything away because I worry where it might end up. I’m making the switch to fabric grocery bags and use reusable cups anywhere that I can. I may be making immediate drastic changes but, I feel that I can make up for others “lack of” with my time and consideration.
The reason for the drawing on my Starbucks cup is because I stumbled across a video that vividly depicts the pollution we’re causing for our lil oceanic friends. It tore my heart to shreds. My boyfriend held me as I sobbed for the animals that suffer from our blatant ignorance. I advise you to watch just one video of the harm we’ve done to our planet and its creatures. Just one. It changed my entire stream of thought and reordered how I live my life.
I’m not saying go and break your heart on the ugly of the world but, I am saying get informed. Expose the compassion in your bones and get involved. There are hundreds of movements and organizations out there so, pick one and get started. To do anything of great measure, we have to push back against the careless and ignorant. We have to weigh heavier on our side of the scale. Please, for the sake of the Earth, creatures and humans, get involved. Even if it’s once. If you can’t offer up the time then, make someone aware. Inform others and try to help them understand what we can do. Save our little space rock. Save little turtles and their sea buddies.
I’ve done some research, for those of you that are interested in getting involved. Here are a few organizations:
4Ocean Cleanup – 4Ocean Cleanup sells adorable, completely recycled and handmade bracelets that support their cleanup. For every bracelet purchased, they promise a pound of trash will be removed from the sea and the coastlines!
Trash Free Earth– The Trash Free Earth community encourages you comprehend the extreme value of your participation. They believe in your ability to create monumental changes and they’d like your support in the clean up.
Keep It Wild– Originally, I found Keep It Wild on social media because of their amazing t-shirt designs. I don’t own any yet but their on my want list. You know when you follow someone and right after you stalk them all the way back to like 2013? Yeah, I stalked and LOVE what they’re about. They do cleanups all over the U.S. and they’ve garnered a wonderful community who all share a passion for regaining sustainability.
Coastal Living : Everything from Method soap bottles, to chic surfing bracelets, to yoga mats. They’ve found a variety of products that creatively recycle products. Plus, they’ve got a range of products we could replace in our day-to-day lives while, being environmentally conscious.