As some of you know, I am becoming increasingly passionate about preserving and protecting our oceans. I have made some efforts to try raising funds for charitable contributions, but so far that has not been very lucrative. I continue to look for new ideas of things to create, but I do not always have the necessary free time to bring those ideas to light as quickly as I would like to. It is a bit frustrating for me because there are not many opportunities available to do anything that is “hands-on” being that I live in the mitten state. Recently though, while on vacation in Florida, I was sadly faced with such an opportunity.
It was day one of our vacation, and we made our way down to Ft. Lauderdale beach. The sand was glistening in the sun, and the sea looked as lovely as ever. After spending a few moments in the sand, absorbing that glorious Florida sunshine, I went to join my boyfriend Dan in the wonderful salty waters of the Atlantic. It was a spectacular day filled with radiant sunlight, warm temperatures, a gentle tide, and plastic.
Yes, before I knew it, I was faced with countless pieces of plastic items floating all around me. It all began with a potato chip bag, then another, then a water bottle, and so many other random pieces of plastic drifting in the surf. After making a few trips back and forth to the beach with hands full of plastic items, Dan said to me, “Gloria, you could spend all day doing this”. I sensed that he felt I was wasting my time. My response was simply this, “I know I can’t save all the oceans, but I can do this much.” At that moment, he paused, looked around and began retrieving plastic as well. We spent about an hour, if not more, cleaning the ocean, and when we were finished we had collected approximately a gallons worth of plastic from the Atlantic. I make the guess of a gallon because all the items fit into, and filled, the plastic gallon jug we also pulled from the ocean.
This was not exactly how I envisioned beginning my vacation. And while it deeply saddened me to see such carelessness and disregard by humans, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to make a difference.
Now that I am back in the chilly little mitten, I feel more determined than ever to find ways to help the oceans, and in turn, our planet. Our beautiful planet Earth cannot sustain itself without our oceans being able to thrive. We cannot simply sit back and ask, “What can I do?”. We must stop telling ourselves we cannot do enough to make a real difference, and then choose to do nothing. Because the truth is, every little bit does help. Dan and I could not clean the entire ocean, but there is a gallons worth less of plastic in the Atlantic, and we did that!
Please be conscientious of what you are doing. Think before you litter. Look for ways to make a difference, no matter how small they may seem. Opportunities always present themselves, you just have to keep your eyes open. Do research. Write a letter. Sign a petition. Make a donation, even if it is only $5. Just do something.
I have found several organizations that are committed to making a difference. I will list them below, and I hope you take a moment to look into them. And it does not matter if you “believe in global warming” or not. The fact of the matter is that our oceans are polluted; our entire planet is polluted, and we are the only ones who can make it better.
Together we can all make a difference.
Peace & Love,
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