Welcome to the third post of my series! Today I will be sharing the impact people have on our environment, especially our oceans. Please read this through to the end, because I spent a lot of time researching this and this is information you need to know!
Most people aren’t aware of the consequences their actions have on the earth. You might think that you’re only one person, how can you make a difference? Here are the facts:
-The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.
-Over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean.
-Almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists.
-More than 300 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide each year.
-Currently, only 5% of plastic is recycled.
-Since 1970, CO2 effusions have increased by 90%, which causes global warming if you didn’t know.
-29% of the Great Barrier Reef died in 2016. The land equivalent of this would be most of the trees between Washington DC and Maine dying.
-Based on current conditions, it has been estimated that within the next 30 years annual bleaching will kill most of the world’s corals.
All right, do I have your attention now? This needs to stop!
Of course, you’re probably wondering what exactly it is that needs to stop, and how to stop it. Here’s the basics: we need to use alternatives to single-use plastics and fossil fuels, as well as find proper ways to dispose of the materials that we’ve already created. Ok, so what does that mean? Basically, single-use plastics are plastics only used once and then thrown away or recycled. Fossil fuels are natural fuels made of the remains of once-living organisms. Most single-use plastics are made of fossil fuels. As we all know, pretty much everything is made of plastic, so how do we avoid it? Start with the little daily things. Click here for a list of simple alternatives to everyday products that use fossil fuels.
Now how exactly do we get rid of it? I mean, I’m only one person so I can’t make a difference, right? First off, stop littering! An estimated 1.4 BILLION pounds of litter ends up in the ocean every year because of littering. Change starts with you. If you see a piece of trash on the ground, pick it up and put it in a trash bin. Come on people, it’s not that hard.
Ok, so you may be thinking that it’s fine to use these products if you throw them away. No harm done, right? Wrong! Fossil fuels create a lot of C02, which is a “greenhouse gas.” Greenhouse gasses trap heat in our atmosphere, which our oceans absorb for the most part. This causes the temperature in the oceans to rise, which causes coral bleaching that kills coral. Without corals, we don’t have coral reefs. Without coral reefs, we don’t get nearly as much food from the ocean. We also have less protection from the violence of waves and storms. I would highly recommend watching the movie Chasing Coral on Netflix, which is where I received much of my information on this subject. If you can’t bring yourself to watch the entire thing, please at least watch the last 15 minutes.
We don’t have much time to make change, so we have to start now! Please share this post with as many people as you can! You can’t care if you don’t know. Spread the message to schools, because if the next generation knows the impact they have they can change the future as well as the present. For more information on how to change the present and save the future, click here.