I am trying to do my bit, but will it make a scintilla of difference? I hope so, but I think not.
Every afternoon when I take my dog for a stroll through the nearby park (it’s a big one…the park, that is, not the dog!), I collect items of rubbish that people have thrown away, willy-nilly, on the paths, beside the skate ramps, in the bushes and on the edge of a small creek.
The rubbish includes bottles, plastic bags and (always!) those take-away drink containers, often with plastic dome-like tops and usually still with a straw.
It beats me how people can simply drop or throw trash just anywhere as they go along. But they do!
If the rubbish item is too gross to touch, I use one of my doggie poo bags as a sort of disposable glove to pick it up. (Yes, I use those plastic bags, but I dispose of them very carefully).
So, picking up others’ rubbish is something I do every day.
Trying not to sound too much like a goody-goody, I think I do my bit – little though it is.
I have not accepted supermarket single use plastic bags for years.
I even made my own cotton bags to hold fruit that I buy.
But…is this enough?
Is my tiny contribution helping to alleviate the horrendous problem of plastic pollution?
The problem is HUGE!
Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.
To see what we’re up against, please watch the video showing waves of plastic pollution in the Caribbean Sea:
And here’s a scary fact: 5 Asian countries contribute more plastic into the oceans than the rest of the world combined. (That is, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand & Vietnam).
Shocking report reveals that 95% of plastic polluting the world's oceans comes from just TEN rivers - including the Ganges and Niger. (Daily Mail, 2017)
(According to Forbes media, April 2018) Indonesia’s Citarum River, blackened by debris beyond recognition, has been dubbed the most polluted river in the world.
The situation has gotten so bad that the army was recently called in to remove the plastic waste -- and prevent further dumping in the waterway.
The army had to be called in!
Last year, a third of the 1.67 million tons of domestic waste disposed in Singapore consisted of packaging waste, primarily plastic bags and food packaging.
But, the situation is slowly changing: Taiwan is moving to ban all one-time use plastic, including bags, beverage cups and cutlery issued by restaurants and businesses by 2030. (but ‘by 2030’ ? too late?)
But, don’t be complacent Australia. Australia is a serious polluter!
There’s so much more we can do. But this is a start:
In Australia, (from July 1), Queensland and Western Australia have now banned single-use, lightweight plastic bags from major retailers, bringing the states into line with the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania.
Victoria is set to follow, having announced plans in October 2017 to phase out most lightweight plastic bags this year, leaving only New South Wales without a proposed ban.
Come on, Victoria and (especially) NSW!
We’re still seeing those bags as they are thrown away - or blown away. Off they go, into gutters, then drains, then waterways, then the sea.
And the damage they and other plastics wreak on sea life is indescribably awful.
Check out this video of a poor green turtle battling piles of plastic rubbish as she tries to build her nest…and later the poor baby turtles.
https://www.facebook.com/bbcearth/videos/our-blue-planet-turtles-battle-with-plastic/1824694994230715/ (watch the whole video)
It is estimated that one in three ocean swimming turtles have plastic in their stomach. It’s killing them.
I could go on…and on…and on…
But, while we on this frightening topic, can anyone tell me the reason behind drinking bottled water??
Who conned us into thinking that water from a plastic bottle was preferable to water from a kitchen tap? Who conned us into paying exorbitant prices for water that we could have for free? Water in bottles that contribute towards ruining our environment!
And WHY do we think we have to constantly drink water – no matter where we are? (Several times I’ve seen people sipping from water bottles at funerals! FFS!)
So, anyway, I am doing my (tiny) bit, and still hoping the situation isn’t hopeless!
DO YOUR BIT!
I belong to Twitter, in that I read the tweets of people whose opinions interest me. I follow 63 people and I have about the same amount of followers – some are people I know and some aren’t.
I have never been trolled, possibly because I rarely post a comment, even when I am in fervent agreement or fervent disagreement with a tweet.
But I have seen many awful (often quite foul) comments that sometimes accompany tweets as ‘replies’.
And here’s the topic I find interesting. The worse the response, the more likely it’s written by a man.
I read positive comments from both male and female members of the Twitterverse, but negative and insulting comments are mainly from men. Hateful comments are almost always from men.
Why is this so?
Now, please don’t start thinking that I am one of those females who claim that ‘all men are horrible’ or ‘all men hate women’ and so on, ad nauseam. I’m just stating that it’s usually men whose comments on Twitter and Face Book are the nasty ones.
I won’t quote any – that would be furthering their agenda. Anyone who follows Face Book or Twitter can see them easily enough. (And they’re usually anonymous).
I will never imply that ‘all men’ are anything. This month’s news story claiming that a woman said that ‘all men are rapists’ was blown out of all proportion and it also was not what was said.
But, but…there are SOME men who are horrible, there are SOME men who (seem to) hate women and there are SOME men who are rapists.
But it is not ALL men.
In my family- close and extended, in my circle of friends and amongst my work place acquaintances I have never come across any really horrible men or men who hate women or men who are rapists. In that I am fortunate. Nor do I know any men who post crude or hateful remarks as Twitter or Face Book comments.
But SOME men do.
Again, I’m tempted to give an example, but NO. Most don’t bear repeating.
There are people (mainly men) who post negative comments about politicians, which I suppose is understandable and even acceptable, but there are some men who post nasty comments about women, just because they don’t like how they look, what they wear, what colour their skin is - more than what they say.
Are there reasons why some men seem to dislike women? And why is it often subjects concerning empathy and compassion to which men react negatively? Has anyone researched this interesting topic?
I am so pleased to read that Twitter is deleting (some of) some people’s followers. I haven’t studied much about this new development but what a good thing to have the worst of trolls, robot nasties and anonymous abusers eliminated.
To change my usual whingeing approach, commenting on the problems of the world - and the actions of politicians of late, I decided to post a more lighthearted blog. Here's something to show that I don't spend all my time complaining!
I made a little book for little people. It has cut out pieces showing the first part of a picture, such as a goat's face for ‘a goat in a boat’ or a saucepan lid for ‘a lid on a kid’. Then there's a clue for ‘a lamb in a pram’, 'a snake on a cake', 'a star on a car', 'a mouse on a house', ‘a sock in a clock’ and more. Only when the page is turned is the rest of the picture revealed.
As an educator of small children I know that the use of rhyming words helps language development. This small example also gives the chance to discuss the appropriateness of each picture, including others such as: ‘a bug on a mug’, 'a frog in a log', 'a fish on a dish', 'a bee in a tree', 'a hen with a pen' and so on. (I had included 'a bride on a slide' - but I found that little kids don't often know what a bride is!)
Because of the cut-outs it is impossible for me to self publish this little book and because of its amateurish appearance no publisher would ever take it on. But I have had great pleasure in making it - and even duplicating it for a few little friends.
It’s been fun!
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.