Some Thoughts on Pollution

This is more of a photo-essay than anything. And it’s a bit off-topic considering I usually talk about books and coffee and my love of books and coffee. But sometimes there are other things that I think about.

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On one of the days I was in Mexico, I went for a two hour walk up the beach. From previous travelling experience, I knew that beaches were often combed, cleaned by early morning workers at the resorts. I knew that I would find a different world, have a different experience by walking up the beach, but this time I saw a few things that got me thinking.

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We stayed just north of Playa Del Carmen, on the Carribean Sea. There was both a lot of seaweed and a lot of litter washed up on the shore. I began taking pictures, because all of this litter just began to catch up in my mind and a lot of it is something that we can all do something about. You see, what I most commonly saw washed up on the shore were bottle caps. Plastic bottle caps that come on water bottles or soda bottles or sports drink bottles.

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Then I realized that while people can recycle the bottles themselves and get money back, there is nothing you can do with the lids but throw them in the garbage. But why, both the bottle and the lid are plastic. Can’t we do something about that other plastic, reuse it somehow?

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Then I began to think that that isn’t the main problem. the main problem is that we’re using plastic bottles in the first place. When at home, I often drag around a refillable water bottle. I don’t buy bottled water unless I’ve forgotten my refillable container. But I do buy it sometimes. I also occasionally buy something else like a pop or a juice. And all of those lids are ending up in the ocean and destroying these beautiful beaches! So now, after my two hour long walk, I’ve developed a new goal of lessening my purchase of plastic bottles to practically nil (I’m going to be realistic, it’s going to happen sometimes, but I’m going to try really hard to avoid it). I have two favourite coffee travel mugs, and a few water bottles. I can do this. I can avoid purchasing plastic. Hopefully it helps my wallet out too.

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And maybe these pictures will help you think about litter and the state of our oceans and lands as well.

JEH

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