Detail of "Day at the Beach" a SusieQ collaborative mixed media.

An Inconvenient Fact: Litter is Everywhere

Litter: Some floats and some sinks.

Overall Health: That means planetary health. Yes, we can break it down into categories like human health, or pollution of streams and waterways, or unsightly by-ways, or potentially hazardous… no matter how you look at it, since it’s all part of the big picture, at some point the litter becomes one with the water system, either by way of the land, or through the off-gassing into the air / becoming mixed into the clouds, to eventually drop either on land or directly into the sea. None of this should be news to you. Then there’s the litter (trash) in orbit, left behind with space exploration… it’s all one earthly system, third planet from the sun, EARTH. We’re not alone here; we co-exist on this planet with massive bio-diversity. As litter moves and changes it affects all aspects of our living. Breathing in fumes from plastic cannot, over time, be good for living organisms. Puncturing or scraping ourselves on a grounded object, may be cause to go to the doctor to get a tetanus shot.  Not only can it be a health hazard, it can be an eyesore.

When I travel about, whether it is from here to the corner store, or cross-country, I want to enjoy the sights, and that means sidewalks, alleyways, parking lots, roadways, highways, byways, creeks, deserts, mountains, bogs, marshes, slopes, mountaintops. Beyond what I can see from the ground, there are other viewpoints. Naturally we’re built for ground travel.

As a visitor in the water worlds we get to experience that space either by holding our breath, using SCUBA or other underwater breathing equipment.  We cannot stay for long, thus maintain visitor status.  The seas are where the litter is ending up… you know the deal, water seeks its lowest level, meaning that mountain streams flow into lower levels till it reaches sea level, joining with the massive, global water system of currents. We are seeing now from space the effects of the movement of litter in the water systems of the mountains on down, and are beginning to even give them names. The first one I became aware of was initially described as a floating island called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the size of Texas. Wow, that’s big. Research dissolved the notion that one could walk on it. Today the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is described as the size of Europe (known also as a gyre) and I’ve learned there are five more major gyres throughout the oceans of our world. It seems that the only laws that apply are those of nature. Currents rule.

Here’s a video you may find of interest from National Geographic describing the plastic issue and some steps you can take to help.

Are there any regulations or laws that address litter issues these international waters? Contemplate what it would be like to be personally responsible for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or others like it.

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