Decades from now
When the birds are all gone
When their bodies have decayed
The waste of this generation
Is this for posterity?
Is this our legacy?
It is a touching documentary about the Midway island that is home to 1.5 million albatrosses and many other species of wildlife. However, the island is covered in 20 tons of plastic waste. The plastics are from the Pacific Garbage Patch, estimated to be twice the size of the United States. The plastic waste, discarded from our daily lives and washed into the ocean, are now found in the stomach of many dead animals. One in three baby albatrosses living on Midway Island dies from plastic ingestion. 5 tons of plastic find their way into these baby birds ever year.
While watching the film, all I could think of was how the plastics will still be there when the corpses of the dead baby birds are long gone, and how the future generations won't look up to see a sky full of birds, but look down to see a land filled with waste. I hope we have more that just trash as our legacy to the future.
There are simple things you can do to help reduce this problem:
- Recycle. Sounds simple but means so much. By recycling, you are not only preventing the plastic trash from being put into a landfill or dumped into the ocean, you are also reducing the need to create new plastic from petroleum and all of the damages that comes with mining for oil.
- Don't litter. It's really not hard to walk a few extra steps to make sure the trash goes into the can instead of just throwing it on the ground where it will be washed into the drains and rivers, which eventually lead to the ocean. Such simple action can save countless tons of plastic from ending up in the stomachs of baby birds.
- Go for biodegradable products. It's not a widely available option yet, but more and more products are made with biodegradable material. When given the option, choose the right one, and avoid products that have a lot of unnecessary packaging. Instead of buying 40 bottles of water, buy one long lasting water bottle and reuse it 100 times over. This way you'll save time and money as well as the environment.