Yesterday we were back in the classroom with the kids 🙂 This time our lectures were about recycling. Did you know it takes about 2 years for a cigarette bud to disappear? Not only that, but what happens when it gets thrown on the beach? High tide takes it into the ocean where it will float and most probably end up in a stomach of a fish or turtle. (this is only one of the main reasons we do not allow smoking on our dive boats)Costa Rica has a big problem with people burning their leaves, which is not too big of an issue, if only they did not thrown their plastic bottles into the fire. This got the kids going; from now on they will tell their neighbors and friends to take the plastic out of their garden disposals and bring it to recycle. 12 year old James made a comment that people will not listen to a kid, but we explained people usually DO listen to kids and if only one person would listen to him, it already helps out. Christa decided she is going to swallow her gum from now on, just so it would not take 5 years to disappear. After we explained that would not be a solution because where is it going once it is in your stomach? You think a “gum tree” will grow in your tummy (as my mom used to tell me) 🙂
Solid waste like bags, foam, and other items dumped into the oceans from land or by ships at sea are frequently consumed, with often fatal effects, by marine mammals, fish, and birds that mistake it for food. Discarded fishing nets drift for years, ensnaring fish and mammals. In certain regions, ocean currents corral trillions of decomposing plastic items and other trash into gigantic, swirling garbage patches. One in the North Pacific, known as the Pacific Trash Vortex, is estimated to be the size of Texas. A new, massive patch was discovered in the Atlantic Ocean in early 2010.