Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Of Plastic and Sea Turtles

If you have read my blog for any length of time you may know that I really hate plastic. I've written about it (click here) quite a bit.

The most disturbing aspect of plastic is that it isn't biodegradable, it simply breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. That may not seem like such a bad thing until you realize that smallness only makes it easier for it to get into the food chain. And plastic having no nutritional value, will and does kill those creatures that ingest it. Think of krill eating plastic, then think of whales or seals or penguins or squid or fish eating krill. That is, if the krill survive eating the plastic. When the krill die off (as I fear they might) so will whales and all the other sea creatures that depend on them for food.

Or think of sea turtles eating plastic.

Stomach contents of a juvenile sea turtle. (Credit and article here.)

The remains of an albatross chick
Albatross chick plastic

A mute swan's nest

Most troubling are the garbage patches in the oceans, particularly the one in the Pacific.

Research just a little and you can get really depressed. I don't believe climate change is nearly has terrible as the accumulation of plastic in our environment. The earth has gone through many, many climate changes and has survived. She is quite capable of evolving whole new ecosystems and new species. But the earth has no way to battle against plastic, a man-made substance that will kill us all. Unless, of course, the earth is able to evolve species that can eat and survive on plastic.

And then there are those who think of a way to recycle a plastic bottle that is really en-LIGHT-ning and, for a brief moment, I have hope. But even this does not take care of the problem of plastic.

If you want to help save our planet, save it from plastic. Reduce, reuse and recycle, recycle, recycle. Stop using plastic bags and drinking bottled water and, dare I say it? stop drinking sodas.

In addition I'm calling on all of you to sign a petition to stop the legal harvesting of sea turtles in the British Virgin Islands. It seems pretty ridiculous in this day age to be killing an endangered species. 

Below is the plea and the link to the petition.

"The British Virgin Islands has a Sea Turtle Hunting season December 1st through March 31st.
They are legally allowed to harvest Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles, both endangered animals.
Hawksbill turtles (must be 15+inches carapace length) and Green turtles (24 +inches carapace length) but these sizes still put them in the late juvenile / sub-adult age and the fact they do not have a size limit is even worse since those are the ones probably nesting here but live elsewhere. 
There is a moratorium on loggerhead turtles, leatherback turtles, & all sea turtle eggs.

So I signed a petition to Ralph T. O'Neal, Premier of the British Virgin Islands, which says:

""Stop the legal harvesting of endangered sea turtles in the British Virgin Islands"" 

Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name: "

I hope you'll sign up. What have you done to reduce the use of plastic in your home?


  1. I know I'm naive -- this isn't my area of expertise, but I always thought that when an animal becomes endangered they automatically became illegal to hunt. I was shocked to see anyone could legally hunt/harvest an endangered species.

  2. Horrified at the pictures of the animal remains. Yikes! I recycle, but I could definitely do more. Great reminders!

  3. This is so sad. We stopped buying bottled water when we saw Tapped.

  4. signed it, facebooked it, tweeted it. I live by the ocean and it makes me crazy. We don't buy bottled water and very little of the soda variety. A friend of mine has a soda maker - Add water and PHZZZZZ it up. No plastic. We get most of our produce from a CSA - community shared agriculture - program - no plastic. I shop at the market and the supermarket with cloth bags. Still they accumulate. arghhh.
    Thanks for this AND how bizarre we should both be on about plastic on the same day!

  5. Those pictures break my heart! :0( So sad.

  6. Done. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. As depressing as it is to see these pictures and read such horrible information, it doesn't help to ignore the problem.

  7. I signed the petition. Thanks for sharing this.

    I stopped using plastic wrap years ago. I still use tupperware, but I know where it all is. Not in the ocean. I recycle everything. So much so, The Monster is even a recycle freak at school. She makes sure her little friends put trash where it goes and recycles the plastic.

  8. I see a lot more plastic usage here in SC than we did in WA. I'm not sure why more people don't recycle here, but I'm not a believer that we're all going to die from plastic. If you think of the large scale changes on the earth (mountains formed that were once ocean beds) you will see that the earth is very resilient.

    It's hubris to think any man-made thing is going to survive the interior of the earth. Just my two cents. Of course this doesn't mean to do whatever willy nilly. We are first and foremost, stewards of this earth.


  9. In college I did a project on the Gulf of Mexico's Dead Zone and ocean pollution for my Problems of the Environment class. Sad, but definitely eye-opening. It makes me so mad when people don't recycle! It's so easy to do and does a lot of good. I take canvas shopping bags to the grocery store and Target. I hate those plastic bags! They're unnecessary and it's terrible seeing them tangled in trees or used in birds' nests.

  10. Vicki, one would think so, but Japan still hunts whales....

    I hope so Liza.

    Janet, we all need to be reminded.

    Good for you, Matt.


    You are absolutely right Vijaya. The earth will survive, even if man doesn't. In the mean time, for those who come after, like your children, what will their world be like?

    Laura, yes...the sighting of the floating plastic bag has come common place. Stores need to charge for their use.

  11. Bish, this is extremely depressing. I don't think that when God gave man dominion over the environment, it was so that we could destroy it. Going to sign the petition.

  12. We're still dragging our feet about getting rid of plastic bags at grocery stores in our county! Can't believe that. You know my feelings about the #!@!!@ that lands on our beaches and in our oceans; I've commented about it before. Of course, I'll sign the petition. I sign all petitions dealing with this issue. Grrrr.

  13. I can't believe how much plastic was in the turtle's stomach. That's really sad. :(

  14. I hadn't heard about that unbelievable trash heap in the Pacific. I've heard of dumping tires and trash in the ocean before, but didn't know about this. How disturbing. And that poor, poor turtle with that plastic ring around its middle.

    The second video clip is truly amazing. What an ingenious idea that man came up with!

    Yes, I'll sign that petition, for sure. Thanks for this post, Bish.

  15. I'm completely disgusted by those photos with all the plastic. That's awful! Headed over to have a look at that petition now.

  16. That was a ton of plastic in that turtles stomach. Trying to recycle as much as possible.

  17. I can't believe the harvest of sea turtles. When I lived by the ocean in Florida, all my neighbors were so diligent in protecting the sea turtles that laid their eggs in front of our houses. Then to think they are killed.
    Thank you for doing the crusade against plastic. I've been on that most of my life or since the 50th when plastic became the big investment. My granddaughter is not pregnant but talks about having a baby and the first thing I said was, "I'll buy you cotton diapers." Ha

  18. Oh Bish! That video about the bottle light bulbs is SO cool! How inspiring! Thank you for posting it.

    I'm a plastic hater too. But I have to admit, I still drink 2 liters of Diet Coke. But I recycle every bottle. I have a ban on plastic bags in my house. I use cloth bags for everything. I try not to buy food packaged in plastic, but when I do, for example, shredded cheese in the 6 oz plastic tub, I keep them and use them as tupperware. So when I make soups, I freeze them in individual sizes and use them over and over again.

  19. THose images of plastic were quite shocking, which I'm sure they were mean't to be. I will definitely be cutting down on my carrier bag use and attempt to mostly use the recyclable bags I have for my shopping. You've got one more on board!

  20. I reuse my plastic over and over again. And I have many fabric totes to bring to the supermarket. For the plastic bags we wind up getting, we use them for the cat's litter to go into landfill. I use cloth napkins and I compost. I do the best I can. It's hard not to have a negative environmental impact. I try to lessen it.

  21. We use those "shower caps" to cover leftovers rather than plastic wrap, and save plastic food containers and reuse, then recycle. I have a box of sandwich bags I've had for years, because I wash the bags out and reuse them!


  22. Great post, Bish! I signed the petition. I've watched this video on the pepsi bottles before. Always makes me proud of being Filipino. :)


  23. It breaks my heart what we do to the animals in our world. Thanks for this, Bish. I've signed the petition.

  24. This is so sad, people be responsible for the things that they do. We can't really blame no one but ourselves.



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