700 Marine Species Might Go Extinct Because of Plastic Pollution. Here Are 5 Ways You Can Help! | One Green Planet

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Plastic. It’s everywhere.

From food packaging to fabrics and face wash, this modern “miracle” invention can be found in some shape or form in nearly all of the products that we purchase and use. While this might be convenient for us, that is about where the accolades of this material end.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in one year alone, the U.S. produces a staggering 32 million tons of plastic waste and only around nine percent is recovered for recycling. This means the majority of plastics end up in landfills and much of it never makes it that far; plastic also has a tendency to wind up in local waterways and our oceans. While we might understand that plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is not a good thing, we are only just beginning to realize the impact that plastics have on marine ecosystems.

There are an estimated 270,000 tons of plastic floating on the surface of the ocean and according to a recent study authored by researchers at Plymouth University, a staggering 700 different marine species are threatened by its presence. More than this, researchers believe that plastic plays a role in rising rates of species extinction.

Research found that 693 species had been documented as having encountered plastic debris, with nearly 400 involving entanglement and ingestion. Between entanglement, ingestion and ecosystem damage, the threat of plastic pollution impacts marine species both large and small.

“We found that all known species of sea turtle, and more than half of all species of marine mammal and seabird had been affected by marine debris – and that number has risen since the last major study,” explains Sarah Gall, one of the report’s authors.

We have seen around 52 percent of the world’s wildlife disappear in the past 40 years, and if we continue to dump plastic into the world’s oceans, this number is set to increase exponentially. The good news is that we can all help turn the tides for marine animals. Although humans are to blame for plastic pollution, this means we also have the power to stop this marine destruction. So, if you want to stand up for the world’s marine animals, the best place to start is with your personal plastic consumption. Check out these five ways you can help save marine species now!

  1. Replace all Disposables With Reusables

Think about your daily routine – how many times do you use something that is made of plastic and disposable? Water bottles, plastic utensils, to-go containers, straws, Q-tips, toothbrush. You probably don’t even realize how many disposable items you use every day, plastic can be a sneaky thing! While they might not seem very significant, remember that every piece of plastic you throw out has the potential to wind up in the ocean. Luckily, there are reusable alternatives to virtually all of the disposable plastics you might use. Check out ReUseIt and start kicking plastic out of your routine!

  1. Swear off Plastic Bags

By now, you’ve probably caught on to the reusable grocery bag trend. This is a great place to start, but there are many other places where plastic bags show up on a daily basis. In fact, it is estimated that the average American throws out 10 plastic bags a week! When plastic bags make their way into the oceans, marine animals can easily ingest them, which causes gastrointestinal blockages and other serious health problems. To help keep plastic bags out of the oceans and away from marine animals, carry a reusable bag where ever you go – not just the grocery store! You can purchase convenient reusable bags that roll up to fit easily in your pocket or purse.

  1. Check Personal Products for Microbeads

Have you checked your toothpaste and face wash for plastic? Certain exfoliants and “deep-cleaning” toothpastes actually contain tiny plastic microbeads. These small beads easily travel through water filtration systems and end up in lakes, streams, and the ocean. One single tube of face wash can contain around 300,000 of these plastic beads.

Studies have found thousands of plastic beads in the stomachs of fish and other aquatic animals. These plastics leach toxins and can cause digestive issues in animals. Not to mention, these plastics can travel up the food chain and research shows that the fish many people eat actually contain plastic.

Be sure to check your personal care products for microbeads. You can even download this handy app to find out if the products you use contain these sneaky beads.

  1. Avoid Synthetic Fabrics

While you may know that synthetic clothing and materials aren’t made of natural fibers, did you know they are actually derived from plastic? Rayon, polyester and nylon fabrics are made of thousands of tiny, plastic microfibers. Although these garments are versatile and easy to clean, they leach plastic fibers every time they go through the washing machine. Nearly 1,900 microfibers are released from a single synthetic garment every single time you wash it!

Like microbeads, microfibers can pass through water treatment plants unaltered and enter into waterways and the ocean where they are ingested by marine species. According to ecologist Mark Browne, worldwide, around 100,000 marine animals accidentally consume plastics, like microfibers, spreading toxins through the ecosystem.

While it might be difficult to avoid synthetic fabrics, reducing the number of new items you purchase is a great way to lower the amount of microfibers you’re adding to the water system. Opt for high-quality natural fabrics like linen, hemp or soy silk over synthetics. Check out this article for some other great, planet-friendly options.

  1. Learn to Live Waste-Free

Achieving a 100 percent waste-free lifestyle is challenging, but it is certainly not impossible. Just take a page from Lauren Singer, the 23-year-old who can store all the waste she’s produced in the past two years in a single mason jar! Finding new ways to avoid plastics by making your own food or beauty products will not only make you feel incredibly accomplished, but it can save you money and help keep tons of plastic out of the oceans. To learn more about how to make your life a little less wasteful, check out these resources:

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http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/marine-species-extinction-and-plastic-pollution/

‘Trash Isles’ apply to United Nations as Great Pacific garbage patch tries to become country | Miami Herald

Plastic garbage is displayed prior to a press conference of the Ocean Cleanup foundation in Utrecht, Netherlands, Thursday, May 11, 2017. The foundation aiming to rid the world’s oceans of plastic says it will start cleaning up the huge patch of floating junk known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within the next 12 months, two years ahead of schedule.
Plastic garbage is displayed prior to a press conference of the Ocean Cleanup foundation in Utrecht, Netherlands, Thursday, May 11, 2017. The foundation aiming to rid the world’s oceans of plastic says it will start cleaning up the huge patch of floating junk known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within the next 12 months, two years ahead of schedule. Peter Dejong AP
World
The latest nation to apply to the UN: An ocean garbage patch with 115,000 ‘citizens’

By Greg Hadley 

September 21, 2017 11:14 AM

The Great Pacific garbage patch, a swirling pile of pollution and discarded plastics between California and Japan, is made up of millions of pieces of trash and tiny plastics and has been estimated to be anywhere from the size of Texas to twice the size of the continental United States.

Now, a group of activists is hoping to make those comparisons to countries and states a bit more literal.

According to Quartz, enviromental advocates have started a petition to have the garbage patch officially recognized by the United Nations as a country, formally known as the Trash Isles. They even have designed a flag, passport and currency, appropriately named “debris.”

So far, the group has more than 115,000 signatures on its petition urging the U.N. to accept the Trash Isles as a nation and volunteering to be citizens of the country. If the petition reaches its goal of 150,000 signatures, it would have more “citizens” than 24 other countries.

The Trash Isles’ honorary first citizen is, of course, former U.S. vice president Al Gore, who appeared in a video for the project.

“We want to shrink this nation,” Gore said. “We don’t want any more plastic added.”

Other high-profile supporters include British actor Judi Dench and Olympic champion runner Mo Farah, per Reuters.

Getting the Trash Isles recognized as a country would help, organizers say, because it would force other U.N. members to help clean the new nation up, as required by the U.N.’s charter.

However, not only is the plan extraordinarily unlikely to succeed, it also isn’t entirely scientifically accurate. In promotional materials, activists describe the Trash Isles as roughly the size of France, suggesting that there is nearly 250,000 square miles of solid, uninterrupted garbage floating on the surface of the Pacific.

In fact, “island” or “isles” are misnomers, according to the NOAA. For the most part, the garbage patch consists of millions of pieces of microplastics — tiny pieces of plastic that poision fish and harm the environment. While there is plenty of empty water bottles and fishing nets too, some of them are below the surface and it is not large enough on the surface to be observed by satellites.

Still, scientists say the garbage patch is extremely dangerous for the environment and use names like “Trash Isles” to convey the severity of that danger, per AdWeek.
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http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article174571916.html

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Tell the inspector general of the Department of the Interior: Investigate the censoring of government scientists and experts | CREDO Action

Censoring scientists will not solve the climate crisis but Donald Trump is much more interested in covering it up.
https://act.credoaction.com/sign/investigate_doi?t=5&akid=25112%2E7157012%2ENA70ue

Watch “Can this project clean up millions of tons of ocean plastic?” on YouTube

Watch “Coca-Cola – Stop choking our oceans” on YouTube

 

Watch “How We Can Keep Plastics Out of Our Ocean | National Geographic” on YouTube

 

Rare White Giraffes Spotted in Kenya, Captured on Camera for First Time

 

Lorranie Chow
Sep. 14, 2017 12:27PM EST
http://www.youtube.com
Rare White Giraffes Spotted in Kenya, Captured on Camera for First Time

Two white reticulated giraffes, a mother and her calf, were captured on camera at the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservacy in Kenya.

Their creamy coloring is due to a genetic condition called leucism, in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal’s skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes.

The Hirola Conservation Programme, an NGO which manages the area, wrote in a blog post that the giraffes were first spotted by a local villager.

“They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence,” the post states. “‘The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signalling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes.”

According to the post, the only two known sightings of white giraffes have been made in Kenya and Tanzania: “The very first reports of a white giraffe in the wild was reported in January 2016 in Tarangire National park, Tanzania; a second sighting was again reported in March 2016 in Ishaqbini conservancy, Garissa county, Kenya.”

Reports say this is the first time these animals have been filmed on camera. The conservancy first shared video on YouTube last month, but the clip is now going viral. YouTube commenters have expressed concern that sharing the animals’ location could attract potential poachers.

It is unknown how many white giraffes roam the Earth, but Africa’s giraffe population as a whole has plunged almost 40 percent in the past 30 years and now stands at just more than 97,000 individuals due to habitat loss, hunting for meat and the international trade in bone carvings and trophies.

https://www.ecowatch.com/white-giraffes-kenya-2485263703.html?utm_source=EcoWatch%2BList&utm_campaign=c8503e37c0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-c8503e37c0-86074753