Mother Earth Day: End Plastic Pollution
Last year I wrote an article dealing with Mother Earth, who is the third planet from the sun and the fifth-largest planet in the Milky Way Galaxy. She provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Many of her children have come and gone during the 4.5 billion, or so, years of her life. And on April 22 we celebrate Mother Earth by reminding ourselves, her children, how important it is to keep her healthy. Last year I talked about the history, and what we can do to help Mother Earth, this year we are learning about the destruction plastic has on her for Earth Day.
“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” – Evo Morales
Whales are found washed up on the shores of Spain, Scotland, and Norway with fishing nets, mechanical parts, plastic bags, and other forms of plastic and trash in their stomachs. Anchovies and other marine life are eating tiny pieces of plastic. This is startling, to say the least. Out of all the animals and other life forms who call Mother Earth home, it is us, the humans who are destructive towards her. It is us who polluted the oceans, causing the premature deaths of ocean life. It is us causing the premature death of many other species of life that call Mother Earth home. That is why this Earth Day is so important.
Think about it for a minute. Those of you who eat fish and other ocean life, you are consuming the ‘food’ they consumed. The toxins they get from the plastic, we get via eating the ocean life. This is hurting them and, in turn, hurts us.
According to Earth Day, 9.1 billion U.S. tons of non-recycled plastic are produced, which generates 6.9 billion U.S. tons of plastic waste, with nine percent being recycled. The production of plastic is predicted to increase in the next 25 years.
“The strongest governments on earth cannot clean up pollution by themselves. They must rely on each ordinary person, like you and me, on our choices, and on our will.” – Chai Jing
It is not just the ocean life. Birds and other animals who search for food in our landfills or ocean fall ill or die prematurely due to our trash. In the Arctic, reindeer, and seals are not safe from our waste. This causes a decline in their populations.
It is not just wildlife, but our pets, which we call our children, can eat the plastic and get sick or die. We go out of our way for them, why not for wildlife? After all, it is our, the humans’, fault. Shouldn’t we take responsibility for our actions?
If protecting your pets doesn’t get you. What about you, the human? The micro-plastics can pollute our drinking water, causing us to become sick. The ocean life we eat may have become ill due to the micro-plastics, in turn, will cause us, the humans eating it, to become sick. If we want to be healthy, then the food we eat needs to be healthy.
Earth Day’s strategy: End Plastic Pollution
- Lead and support the adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution
- Educate and mobilize citizens across the globe to demand action from governments and corporations to control and diminish plastic pollution
- Inform and activate citizens to take personal responsibility for the plastic pollution that each one of us generates by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics
- Work with universities, school teachers, and students to End Plastic Pollution
- Work with other organizations and networks and make Earth Day 2018 a platform to End Plastic Pollution by developing resources that others can use and build partnerships
- Promote the work that cities and local governments are doing to tackle plastic pollution
- Empower journalists across the globe to report on the problem and its emerging solutions
“I became interested in ocean issues in the 1980s when I couldn’t take my daughters swimming because of pollution at our local beach. Twenty-five years later, I’m a board member of Oceana, the world’s largest international organization dedicated to ocean conservation.” – Ted Danson
- Download the Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit.
- Download the Earth Day Action Toolkit
- Download the End Plastic Pollution Teach-In Toolkit
- Calculate Your Plastic Consumption
How will you help ease or stop the destruction of Mother Earth? By saving her, we will save ourselves.