I try hard not to spew depressing thoughts on this blog, feeling most of us get plenty enough during the course of the average day. This morning I just can't help myself.
Since I've been here on the coast, I've been able to get out and take walks along the coast highway, over looking the ocean, and around the little old neighborhoods near the beach. It's really been bugging me to see so much trash on these walks, and I've been wanting to talk about it with someone. Empty plastic bottles, straws, and wrappers, mostly...have caused me to make a commitment with myself to pick up things as I see them and deposit them in the next trash bin (which are frequent along the beach and downtown area). I was thinking if each of us would even just pick up one single piece of trash each time we saw one, it could really add up in the long run. (Caveat: I've also seen some disposable diapers out there, which is gross, but I don't advocate handling those unless you're prepared.)
Then last night, on the evening news, I watched a man talk about having collected a bucket of oil from the sand on the beach and when presented to cleanup workers to dispose of, he claimed he was told it wasn't their job...at which time he dumped the bucket's worth of oil back on the sand in front of them. Whether this is true or not, it really got me going on the trash thing again. If you think it's not yours and you shouldn't bother, trust me...ultimately it is yours. We're all in this together. Think about the masses of plastic and trash bobbing around out in the Pacific Ocean*, one of which is estimated to be approximately twice the size of Texas.
Not yours? You're right...it's ours.
P.S. For those of you who are suffering the direct results of this heinous oil spill, my heart goes out to you, and my anger at all involved, as well. I cannot imagine what you are going through. Seeing the oil coated wildlife on the news each evening is hard enough; knowing generations of folks are losing their livelihood and traditional ways of life is beyond horrible.
*Silverman, Jacob. "Why is the world's biggest landfill in the Pacific Ocean?." 19 September 2007. HowStuffWorks.com.