Plastic not so fantastic!
Howdy Jammers! It’s summertime, at least up here in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means more longer days and more time to go to the beach. Yippee!
Something I really hope you don’t bring to the beach this summer and leave behind though is plastic trash. Every month I walk a long stretch of beach for the Monterey National Marine Sanctuary and I make a record of every dead animal I find that has washed up. We find all sorts of animals from sea otters, salmon sharks to harbor seals to cormorants and once even a rhinoceros auklet—an adorable little sea bird! Along the way, I also pick up trash. I’ve been walking the same stretch of beach for more than 10 years doing these animals surveys and each year I find more and more plastic.
Our poor ocean is filling up with plastic trash that unfortunately breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics. Even though these pieces are small,theycause a problem. They aren’t digestible and they give all sorts of sea creatures terrible stomach aches. They can also hold some nasty secrets. Plastics can attract other types of chemical pollutants in the water and those chemicals can act as poisons—disrupting an animal’s ability to reproduce effectively.
The best solution is to try to reduce your use of plastic—especially single serving plastics. Bring your reusable cups, utensils, bowls and straws with you when you travel. And definitely use your own bag when grocery shopping. When other kids see you using your own cool reusable tools, they’ll want to do the same and before you know it—you’ll be making ripples that will spread well beyond your own circle of friends.You could start a whole movement. So give it a try. Just try removing one piece of plastic from your day and then two and then three and see if you can make it through a whole day without making a single piece of plastic trash. Make it into a game. Compete with your friends or your classmate and devise prizes. The biggest prize of all will be going to the beach and finding it beautiful and trash free. We can all make a huge difference.