“Slumpy”, the Olive Ridley turtle lays back smiling by the shore after a sumptuous dinner of a smack of jellyfish(as he knows it) he had yesterday. They smelled so delicious, that he could not help but gobble them up. The smile would not last long on his face as the jellyfish had somehow choked his gut leaving him to die of starvation. Millions of sea turtles like slumpy, end up mistaking plastic trash for food leading to stunted growth and eventually death. Single use plastic bags often smell of food to turtles and to many other species; so when you next time grab a plastic bag, remember that it is nothing but a bait for those in the Ocean.
How does it all get there?
Many of us would claim of living in a landlocked city or town of never having dumped even a bit of paper into the ocean. So how does it all end up there? Just the way all the rains, the river, drains of the city make it right from top of mountains to the ocean, the trash also finds to navigate its way to the vast seas. In fact, not just the trash, the detergents, the fertilizers, pesticides and thousands of chemicals that’s we use in our life finally end up in the water bodies and hence in the ocean. We need to understand that the nature is always seeking equilibrium, It never differentiates. So when we use a chemical that kills life (germs) in your sink, when flushed it keeps killing life on its way in the entire water cycle. Our oceans are not the responsibility of those living at the shores, every one of us is equally responsible for the trashy beaches and dead marine life.
Taking the stand.
Our decisions, even if living thousands of miles away from the oceans leave a great impact on the health of the entire water cycle. So, when I decide switching from plastic to bamboo/coir/wood, I have done my bit. We as a species have collective responsibility towards the assets of nature and oceans are no exception to that. Polluting doesn’t mean pouring out or tossing the trash into the sea. Use of hazardous chemicals in our daily life finally makes its way into the sea. So when I go for a drive, I take up responsibility (a petite share of it) for oil spills as well. If I eat seafood, I take my share of responsibility towards. Taking stand for our deeds makes us aware of our actions and their consequences. It will not be a surprise if our kids are devoid of the beach paradises in future, and it will be on us to blame for.
The enormous presence of oceans
The ocean, although divided and named as five of them is one entity in whole. This vast 70% of the share of Earth’s area does a lot to maintain the balance of life. Almost a quarter of the CO2 produced by human emissions is absorbed by the ocean. This, however slows down the pace of global warming but has led to the problem of ocean acidification (to be discussed in a separate article), which finally has impacts on the marine life. Today, can we thank the ocean for keeping the air, water, thermal and chemical balance in our Planet in spite of the reckless exploitation by the human race. It is indeed important for us to imagine the extent of our deeds that a pool of water covering 70% of the entire planet and holding 90% of the planet’s life has went off its toleration limits and is soon to tip off.
By the time we wake up from the slumber, plastic would have outrun the number of fishes in the ocean and coral reefs would have vanished. #actfastactnow