With each passing day more marine mammals choke on our pollution, a recent report states “American Manufacturers admit to releasing more than 4 billion pounds of pollutants into our environment, Annually !!!”
Who said this is OK ? and how did we get from zero to 4 Billion in less than 150 years ?
In 2006 I traveled to Bali, I was mesmerized by the beauty, the countryside, people, tradition and temples. We did go to and thru larger cities, and preferred the smaller towns, the culture felt more intact. Very friendly people, great food amazing lush jungles and of course SCUBA diving and snorkeling adventures. There was a wreck dive, I haven’t had many opportunities and was very excited about the possibility. What fun, exploring and old freighter that is now home to hundreds of species. As we went through the ship following schools of fish, finding an occasional ray or eel we found it hard to leave, but when your low on air, it’s time to go.
On the surface swim back to shore I had a very disturbing event, I watched a fish poop out a piece of plastic. About the size of a postage stamp, blue-ish translucent. I thought, did I really see that ? I didn’t know it was even possible, I really hadn’t ever considered it, until I saw it.
Looking back I can see that there was something happening deep inside of me, an environmental awakening. A shift in my perspective of the world, a larger view of what we humans are doing here.
A week later we decided to venture over to the Island of Lombok and hike the volcano of Rinjani. A spectacular 3 day hike, we hired a guide and porter ( they had equipment ), knew the terrain and had a lot of experience I would recommend it. As we came down into the crater we could see a pristine lake, and little shelters the local fishermen have build, very picturesque. My legs and feet where feeling the 2 days of hiking, it had been a while since I’d done something like this. I was looking forward to soaking my feet in the cool water, as I stepped in, ahhh, yes. As I looked down I saw what looked like a double A battery, I reached in picked it up, then another and another, in five minutes both of my hands where full. I couldn’t believe this, in what looked very pristine place was decaying batteries everywhere. As I tried to explain to the porter and guide how these decomposing batteries where poison, all they kept saying was that they didn’t do it, and that they couldn’t stop others from doing it. Watching the men fish from the lake, watching the stream run from the mountain top through villages to the sea, again I thought is this really happening ?. How can this be ?. Nowhere could we find a safe place to dispose of the batteries, we brought them back to the US, I just couldn’t leave them there.
Over all a spectacular trip, and one that changed my life, in so many ways. I saw other cultures and traditions that are thousands of years old. And environmental degradation that made me swallow hard, and a view of American made products and packaging that have no places to go.
And I will end for today with;
Everyone ” Can Do” something about Plastic Pollution. 1. Pick it up when you see it, 2. Refuse single use plastic at every opportunity, 3. Share with others this Noble Cause, 4. Tithe to the ocean organization of your choice, it will make you feel good.