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.