Growing up I always preferred to be outdoors rather than stuck inside. I was passionate about playing in the mud and learning about the plants and animals I saw around me. Although I have since become more comfortable in front of a computer screen than digging for worms in my grandmother’s garden, my love for the environment has not decreased.
Several years ago while I was watching one of my favorite TV shows (this link contains a video), I heard about something called “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” which can be found in the North Pacific Ocean. This patch is made up of discarded inorganic materials that cannot be broken down by the plankton and other organisms in the ocean. Due to a vortex that carries any garbage that ends up in this part of the ocean to a specific location, this patch has grown to be the size of Texas and is messing up the delicate ecosystems in place.
When I first heard this story I was outraged but unsure of what I could do. Although I wanted to singlehandedly fix this problem, I realized that I couldn’t do this without first making changes to my own life. I began to look into how I could lower my own carbon footprint and harping on my family about recycling everything possible. Every day before recycling went out I would look through our garbage and make sure that there was nothing in it that could be recycled instead. Because of this my family now recycles twice as much as we throw away and I feel a sense of accomplishment. Although I have not eradicated the Garbage Patch, I have been able to reduce my own contributions to it and am constantly looking for new ways to do my part.