It’s Earth Day! I really wanted to do something to commemorate this day, either with my organization or personally but I couldn’t really think of anything. So the next option was to simply spread awareness of the celebrations. Earth Day is an annual celebration used to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The importance of this is great, as earth is our home; however, there are a number of environmental issues we continue to face which in the end poses a threat to our survival. The theme for this year is END PLASTIC POLLUTION.
One of the major damaging effects of plastic pollution is the threat it poses to our oceans and marine life. Thus throughout this post I’ve decided to showcase underwater images of life in the Caribbean Sea. I don’t know about you, but many of us only see life on the surface and often forget that there’s a whole other world underneath us. This world is home to many species of marine life which contribute to a country’s economy and food production.
Plastics are some of the most commonly littered items in the world and they are drowning our planet – Earth Day Network
Damaging Effects of Plastic:
One of the main reasons plastics are so damaging to our health or environment is because of its non-biodegradable nature. The most important step we can take in managing plastic pollution is to reduce the amount of plastic materials we use. Yes, recycling is an option as well, but it isn’t one we can all manage effectively. If first starts with what we purchase or use.
Photo of an Octopus captured while diving in Antigua
1/ Human health
The type of chemicals in which plastics are formed from have been shown to negatively affect our health. Do you remember when you’re younger your parents used to tell you not to reheat food in plastic containers? If any part of the plastic melts or gets into our food it could cause a problem, maybe not right away but eventually.
Tip: Reheat food using glassware or a stove top/oven
2/ Climate Change
Not sure how many of you believe in this phenomenon, however the main driver to climate change are our use of fossil fuels. Did you know plastic is a product of petroleum, aka oil aka fossil fuels? The production of plastic releases carbon dioxide, one of the major greenhouse gases affecting our planet.
Tip: Limit your use of plastic materials (see below)
3/ Marine Life
As mentioned previously, plastic can pose a threat to our marine life. A stray plastic bag in the ocean can look like food to a bird flying above, it can also entrap other animals below. Smaller pieces of plastic including straw can also be confusing to animals; they can choke on these materials or also travel up the food chain and into our digestive systems.
Tip: Don’t Litter!
How to Reduce your Plastic Use:
- Participate in organize cleanups: the beach is a good example in order to protect our marine life from consuming plastic
- Don’t purchase products which contain microbeads
- Use canvas reusable bags when shopping
- Use glassware to store food
- Consume what you need – do you really need that straw for your drink?
- Purchase a reusable water bottle
What other ways can you think of?
What are your thoughts on Earth Day?
P.S Remember we each have the choice of what kind of difference we’re going to make in the world.
For more information visit:Earth Day Network