The sound of the sea is music to our ears. It carries our minds to far off places lending tranquility that is difficult to find elsewhere in today’s hectic world. We relax to the sound of waves lapping on the shore and imagine the abundance of gentle as well as fierce creatures that live in the immense waters providing us with sustenance.
What if that sea and the creatures that inhabit it were not there? Impossible? No, unfortunately not. Research is telling us that our careless and excessive use of plastics is threatening our oceans, rivers and wildlife on a scale never before imagined and moderate efforts to stop that damage are not even a drop in the bucket. We simply must change our thinking and our habits drastically.
Making changes can be upsetting, but every little change we make to correct this situation is a change for our lives and that of our children and grandchildren. A change for the world. We have all seen images of islands of plastic refuse in the sea larger than many countries and remote beaches littered with plastic bottles and bags. Where will all of that plastic go? Scientists say nowhere. It will remain there and grow more and more until the end of time if we don’t act.
Imagine this. All those beautiful bags and baskets you see in the markets made from natural materials by local people would be lovely to carry your groceries and other purchases. And, by the way, you don’t need plastic covering everything. A damp towel is a great cover for lettuce in the fridge and after all, vegetables should be consumed when they are at their freshest—soon after harvest. We need to come up with alternative methods to store our food and producers need more reasonable ways of packing them for us especially if we shop in supermarkets. We can be the beginning of that change. If each of us begins to make an effort, we can make a difference. It is easy to think a little effort is not worthwhile but that, combined with a voice in our communities to encourage others to follow suit, can snowball into a great effort.
As singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen taught us “Ring the bell you still can ring…” may be as easy as giving up the use of a harmful substance that takes centuries to disappear, destroys our sea and our land making its way back through the food chain into our bodies to our detriment, not to mention the harm it does to our wildlife. Be wise. If you listen closely, you may hear the sea weeping.