The Plastics of Occasions Past

For many of us, this past weekend was Easter weekend. This means that a ton of us humans from all around the world, went out and spent our money on clothes, candy, flowers, food and gifts. The National Retail Federation actually projected this year’s Easter spending to be a grand total of $17.3 BILLION DOLLARS! With the breakdown being- $3 billion on clothing, $2.4 billion on candy, $1.2 billion on flowers, $5.5 billion on food and $2.2 billion on gifts. These numbers are certainly striking but I am not really here to discuss dollars and cents as much as I am here to talk about the environmental impact of it all.

Now, for a majority of us celebrators of this holiday, a portion of the billion dollar Easter deficit is spent on things like plastic window clings for decorating, candy in plastic wrappers, candy in plastic wrappers in a bigger plastic wrapper, multicolored hollow plastic eggs, little plastic bunny and chick figurines, fake plastic “grass” for our baskets and rolls of plastic gift wrap to wrap it all up in. The overuse of such a persistent and  potentially non-biodegradable product is what is really alarming about this past holiday.  The image below shows just how long it takes for different types of plastics to decompose naturally or “biodegrade”. Today, we only talked about Easter so, can you imagine how much plastic we use just for global holiday celebrations annually!? I shutter at the thought.

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(Link for Nation Retail Association article: https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/nrf-says-easter-spending-will-reach-173-billion)

-The Ecologist

The humans who live “beneath the sea”

Part of my “Green Scheme” is volunteering with an amazing non-profit organization called Gotham Whale. They strive “To study, advocate for, and educate about the whales and marine mammals of New York City, through Citizen Science.” This weekend they invited me to join them in exhibiting at an event called Beneath the Sea at the Meadowlands Exhibition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.

During my time at the exposition, I met many humans who live “beneath the sea”. This small yet brotherly population of people have learned to breathe, explore, record, and create, beneath the sea. Some design suits that act as a second skin equipped to handle a foreign environment while others blaze trails through unknown and unexplored oases and wrecks, all while living beneath the sea.

Having spent a short time of my own (Study Abroad program during college) learning to become a certified diver and visiting the coral reefs of Jamaica, I live in awe and admiration for the skills and techniques of all the humans who live “beneath the sea”. These pictures are just a small snapshot (no pun intended!) into the specialities of these humans…enjoy 🙂

 

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-The Ecologist