Ever since I was young, the environment has been an important part of my life. My mother was a conservationist and my father was a park ranger, so I grew up going on hundreds of hikes, nature explorations, and science trips. My mom loved to take me into the redwood forests along the California coast to walk and talk and write in our Nature Journals. One day in particular stood out to me however. I remember walking with her, my dad, and our dog named Banana Slug; just letting the true beauty surround us. We were walking along the Santa Cruz beach when I was about 8 when I felt something sharp on my foot. I looked down and saw a broken beer bottle. But then I looked around it, and there wasn’t just one; there were at least 20. All over the beach there was plastic and glass and trash from careless beach goers. From that day forth, I’ve dedicated my life to preserving our beautiful beaches.
Every day, I wake up at 5am to go for a run. Along my route, I make sure to pick up any sort of litter I see. After my run, I go home and cook myself an organic breakfast with ingredients I gathered from my backyard garden. Around 7am I get together with a group I founded called “Humble Helpers of the Earth”. It’s about 50 people from around my community who love the environment and want to protect it with all their hearts. From then until 5pm, I’m doing beach cleans, teaching school field trips about the importance of conservation, and working hard to save this earth.
In my life thus far, I have worked countless hours cleaning up the beautiful beaches around California. I have devoted my life to it, and I have no greater passion than protecting Mother Nature. However, after hundreds of beach cleans, volunteer projects, conservation efforts, off road explorations, and organizations working to preserve our beaches, I realize that this is not enough.
Neighborhoods, hiking trails, beaches, and streets are littered with trash and waste. The problem is, only half of the 220 million tons of waste produced each year in the United States ends up in a landfill (center.sustainability). Landfills are polluting the Earth, and are simply giant holding facilities for all the garbage and trash that wasteful people create. By having all of this trash on land, it’s honestly just foul. The smell and the appearance of it; it’s disgusting. So why do we even have this trash on land? The fact that I’ve spent 20 years cleaning the beaches and forests to the best of my ability, along with many hardworking people, and there are still thousands of pounds of trash all over the beaches is just absurd. People are too careless and wasteful for my small scale work to make an impact… which is why I have come up with a permanent and foolproof solution.
Send it to the ocean. If it goes out into the water, then it is no long people’s problem. Large quantities of garbage would be launched into the sea from the ends of docks or piers in order to help it catch the current. Once it is swept away by the water currents, it will be carried out into the middle of the ocean where no one needs to see it anymore. All the garbage and trash could then collect out there and build up over time. Sure, a few barges or transport ships may pass by once in awhile, but as long as the majority do not need to see it every day then it’s fine. Another benefit to this solution is the marine life. Studies have shown otters, sea lions, and dolphins to be extremely playful animals. This trash collection project would provide marine life with new things to explore, and toys to enjoy throughout their day.
Some people may say that trash in the oceans is unhealthy for marine life, and harmful for the ocean environment. Honestly though, how does that affect us other than when it comes into the waters we want to swim, surf, and snorkel in? This trash would be sent to the far depths of the sea; way beyond human reach.
People have had to look at all this garbage for way too long now; it’s time for a change.