Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Garbage and all that washes up on the beach

I have yet to go fishing since I have moved. Suburbia does not allow me to keep my boat in the water in front of my house. Just one of many draw backs. That being said I have spent a fair bit of time on the beach with my dog, she still needs the exercise and I get a break.
One thing I have noticed is the huge increase of garbage on the shore line. Maybe it is because at my old place I picked up every bit of rubbish every day so it did not seem so much. This new beach that I run my dog on is absolutely littered with garbage. I am talking plastic bottles, cans, bags, VHS tapes, tires, you name it, and it is there.

I have always had an idea that the garbage on the beach is the oceans way of puking up what we humans discard into it. Unfortunately it all does not come back up. Some stays out there and collects into a giant raft. A floating waste land if you will. Some ends up killing birds and turtles. Still more ends up killing fish.

Why? Why do we as humans feel the need to completely destroy or environment? Do we not think about our actions? Or is it we just don’t give a damn? Have we as humans lost touch completely with our environment? Oh so many questions and still no answers. There are attempts at reducing and even eliminating plastic from our lives but the reality is we will just find something else to through away. I think the answer lies in education. I do not think we will ever get rid of our use and need of plastic and disposables, but we can learn to deal with it without making the environment pay for our excessive use of these byproducts.

Recycling is probably one of our best hopes at doing some good. A massive effort is needed to make a dent. Not just in the developed world but everywhere. All peoples in all countries need to conscientiously make the effort and really do something on a large, make that massive scale.
I live in Fiji and have found it very hard to recycle. The facilities just aren’t here. I am not sure why but am looking into it. Here on these beautiful tropical islands I can spend all day every day picking up trash from the beach and never make a dent. I find this very sad. People, no matter their ethnicity through their garbage in the ocean, it is almost as if they see it as their right.

If you have read this far then I ask a favor of you. If you see garbage on the ground pick it up and if you see someone throwing garbage on the ground say something. If you can recycle then do it and if the facilities are not available then find out why and try to get them available
If we all take these few steps it might actually put a dent in the excessive amount of garbage that is polluting our lives and the environment.


H said...

It always boils down to money. It's unbelievable what it costs to build a little ole' building to recycle a few bottles. Getting started is half the battle!

Did you know that at least forty years ago we humans knew that the planet was headed for trouble but chose not to pursue a solution? We knew for some time the price of putting hamburgers in styro foam boxes but choose to ignore it for some time before changes were made. "We" also had a selfish outlook on it, "Let someone else take care of it." Like their children and their childrens' children. It's VERY sad where we have come.
Good for you for making a change, together we can move mountains!

mizlan said...

thank for visiting my blog..i also added your blog to my bloglist..hope we can be friend..keep up your good fishing

Neal Reardon said...

Where in Fiji do you live? While historically there hasn't been much support or infrastructure, FIJI Water and Coke started a recycling program in the Suva area. Aside from this, there are smaller recycling programs close to the FIJI Water plant in Yaqara. I had a similar problem to you when I visited last month and drove around with all my plastics until I could stop by the plant and unload them.

thebigandyt said...

Any idea where the rubbish came from, sometimes they can drift for amazing distances

Craver Vii said...

I have never considered myself to be an environmentalist, but I don't understand how a person can litter and not feel guilty. I pick things up because I want to see beauty, not garbage. My philosophy is that any place that I have been should be better because of me... not worse. It just drives me crazy when I see someone dump trash out of a moving vehicle and onto the street.

Tootie said...

I understand perfectly! I have been volunteering to help with the sea turtle monitoring here on Sanibel Island, FL. We pick up bag after bag of trash on our beach walks. It is very sad that people are so thoughtless.


onangelwings said...

This post totally made me think about that commercial back in the day of the Indian crying as he walked along the beach or forest spotting litter.


fishing guy said...

FW: A hearty AMEN to your post. I had this experience early in the year when my truck was broke down. It was truly a shame. I always pick up the dock area every time I take the boat out and I have my hip boots on.

Norm said...

oh my gosh! thats so sad, lots of garbage. Why people throw their garbage in the beach? I think people living in that place needs proper education on how to put their garbage in a garbage can, hehehe. They should cooperate and work together to maintain cleanliness not only in the beach but all around the place.

Anonymous said...

Garbage is actually encouraged by villages, towns and cities who all encourage residents contribute to the garbage pickup routines.

When I was growing up there was no garbage trucks. People didn't have much garbage. Dogs, chickens and cats ate table scraps--there was not store bought dog food.

What little was left was consigned to a 50 gallon drum out by the alley.

Once a week or so, sometimes longer, a match would be tossed in the can and ignite some coal oil and that burned off the paper labels on tin cans, cardboard cereal boxes and all that was left would be the glass jars that had store-bought jelly in them that mom didn't want because she had enough already. And there would be the tin cans left.

When the drum got full of this kind of trash, and it was all rusty from frequent rains, the homeowner would have his biggest kids dig a hole out back and this accumulation was dumped in the hole and covered up with dirt.

There was no garbage or trash along the beach that I know of back then.

But there is now.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting there.

Steve Dobson said...

This is a thought provoking article and a great blog.
Thank-you for the link. I hope you will allow me to put a link to Xstreem Fishing Fiji from my site. I'll suggest that my readers visit here just to get a little taste of fishing in paradise.

Thanks again,

Robyn said...

WOW! What a great post! It is very sad and I see it all the time I visit our beaches here in California. We still believe some of the neatest beaches but still I see trash! I am glad to see you back blogging!

Julie said...

Wow and I thought an occasional cigarette butt was annoying!

I also didn't realize that there was an actual name (and Wikipedia article) for a garbage raft. Great Pacific Garbage Patch...

Klasu said...

Totally agree! In fact - I posted the same concern a couple of months back and made it a permanent institution on my site!
The action is called "Pick it up".
You might want to join and pick up a badge!

Cheers, Klaus

wblmom said...

I know it makes me sick. I am not some holy roller about recycling or anything,I need work on that myself. I definitely hate when people leave their crap like this, because they are to friggin lazy to pick it up or hold onto it until they can throw it away!!
Like you said it kills the animals, harmful to our planet and not to mention children that may fall on or step on things.

SandyCarlson said...

That stuff makes me nuts. I've been known to be a real kill joy and take the trash bag up and down the beach and clean up. Does it help? I hope so. What do people think when they unload their rubbish just anywhere?

CT Fishing Reports said...

It is really sad that this kind of thing happens in Fiji... I thought it only happened here in the states! Unfortunately the human reach is boundless.

stephen said...

It is the same in Japan unfortunately and my recent posts look just like yours.
During summer, the beaches near the city are often treated like designated rubbish dumps.
People dump old car batteries and Tvs instead of paying for collection, and crows pick through the mountains of garbage bags.
I'm used to white sandy beaches that make squeaky noises when I walk on them, here I need to wear industrial boots and my surfboard hasn't left the house in 3 years.

My Fishing Conquests said...

I can't even explain how much I hate seeing shit like this. There should get in serious trouble for littering in the ocean.