“Walked out this morning, don’t believe what I saw. A hundred billion bottles, washed up on the shore.” Making my routine, daily tour of Assateague this morning, The Police’s Message In A Bottle came to mind. Though the song was likely written out of feelings of loneliness, a song’s meaning often varies among different listeners. The lyrics in Message In A Bottle have prompted this piece. Running through the words in the song, it is as if there is a conversation between Human and Earth. When I listen to a song, I see pictures. In an almost transcendental way, I can put myself into the song as if creating my own dream. Placing my soul and own feelings into the story of the song, I am in a state of shock after acknowledging the environmental catastrophe that I discover unfolding. Give the song a listen, and you just may, briefly, see things from my perspective.
Fortunately I didn’t witness a catastrophic number of bottles washed up on the shore of Assateague Island this morning, but I did, however, begin to think about the ways in which our Mother Earth speaks in her attempt to tell us something. She is sending out an S.O.S. As if screaming a plea to have mercy, our Planet is desperately conveying a desperate situation. A changing climate and its unpredictable weather patterns are warning us that our dependence on fossil fuel burning has reached an unsustainable level. A slew of health problems are surfacing as a result of genetically modified foods and the excessive use of chemicals. Widespread disease and illness are indicators that the habits of the majority are adversely affecting a minority. The plastic poisoning of our environment is a direct result of the many “conveniences” of modern day society. Connect the dots, and you’ll realize that the problems of today are a manifestation of the out of balance lifestyle practices that our race as a whole embraces. Take for instance that 17 million barrels of oil a year are used for water bottle production alone. If that still doesn’t phase you, how about acknowledging that 93% of American’s are walking around with bisphenol A in their system. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical produced in large quantities that serves as one of the primary structural binding ingredients in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Exhibiting estrogen-mimicking, hormone-like properties, BPA causes widespread damage throughout the entire body. Yet, our dependency on plastics seems to grow exponentially. That, folks, is out of balance.
Much of my writing discusses the disconnect that exists between people and the land. This disconnect has dulled our senses to the language of Nature and it prevents us from acknowledging the root of the problem. We have made our Planet sick. The symptoms are escalating, and if they continue, the problems we see today will seem meager compared to what is going to unfold.
If we continue to ignore her, I do believe that our race is in for a very uncomfortable future as Nature, the very source of our existence, contorts in ways we and much of the ecosystems of the world simply cannot bend to.
I do believe we can reverse the direction we’re heading. But doing so is going to require unity and participation among the World’s people on a scale that has never been seen. Massive efforts are already underway to educate us about the harm we’re causing to our Planet and ourselves. Organizations are forming everywhere we look. The Plastic Pollution Coalition is a large, promising organization that is working to ween our World off of plastics. But there needs to be more. We all need to be a part of the solution to get back and give back to our Land.
I’m sending an SOS to the World. For every 100 pounds of litter removed from our land, I am biking 10 miles to raise awareness to the predicament our human race is in. Let’s see where we end up…
“I hope that someone gets my message in a bottle.”
More on this words to action advocacy and the Ten4OneHundred will be available soon. Contact Billy Weiland at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
#TrashFreeAssateague #TheMarsh #Ten4OneHundred #assateaguenps #assateagueisland #assateague #assateaguestatepark
Trash Free Assateague. Go Green OC. Strawless Summer. Plastic Pollution Coalition. Organizations local, and around the globe are raising awareness to the excessive anthropogenic debris our human race has created. Of particular concern are the documented and scientific findings that have surfaced around plastics, and specifically one-time use plastics. We are only beginning to see the spell our plastic addiction has cast on the land, our waterways and oceans, and our own human race.
The plastic problem is real, and, personally, I believe it is a global crisis that is not being taken seriously simply because the majority of members contributing to the issue are either unaware or unwilling. The Climate Change crisis has had a front row seat for years, but plastic and climate change are, as the Plastic Pollution Coalition puts it, “parallel global emergencies.” Most of us, hopefully, are well aware of the influence fossil fuel burning has on our planets global climate. Just the production of plastic, derived from petroleum, directly contributes to Earth’s climate and influences its change.
So, how do you get an entire population that has become so dependent on a material to give up their reliance on it in exchange for an alternative? We all need to begin informing large audiences about the detrimental and irreversible damage plastic is having on our world. To do so, a compelling image needs to be created that both frightens and encourages a change.
This should demonstrate that change in behavior and social acceptance begins at the individual level. It is only at the individual level where any movement that is going to be successful must concentrate initial efforts. Businesses and corporations producing the pollutants that are deteriorating our only planet will continue to do so if the individual continues to ask for it. If we want to see change, a healthier environment, political ease, and international peace, it is the individual – you, me, us – that must be the change. As it is said, the time is now. The movement that will succeed is that which both fosters and practices a lifestyle change. If we are to prosper as a species, and live healthy, meaningful lives, it is essential that we adopt a more sustainable approach to living with our planet.
The obstacle is not political. It is not simply a class, race, poverty or wealth issue. Though these are arguably secondary. The root of the problems we are seeing and hearing today stem from the disconnect our society has created between man and Nature. It’s time to get back and give back to our Mother Earth. The future holds what we do today.
Each of us must strive to improve our relation to Earth by getting back and giving back to Nature. What we do has the power to encourage other individuals to follow our lead. Make the change now, and acknowledge your lifestyles footprint on the Earth. As more of us begin making that transition to more sustainable living practices, others will follow suit.