Network for the Environment and Social (Human) Security

Sun, Sea and Easy Living!

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Featured, Water | 3 comments

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All during the last spring and summer I have taken leave from writing for, but it does not mean that I’ve been just lazy. Actually I prepared an article, called Beach Live and I shot lots of pictures for it. But somehow I didn’t publish it. Perhaps the topic is a little off-season now, still the next summer will surly come and perhaps we could think about some solutions for the problems mentioned here.

I know more people who feel uncomfortable in the mountains than people who don’t like the sea. Everyone loves the sea. Not the mountains are our origin, it is the sea. Some people might be afraid of the vastness and depth and the terrible might of the sea, but who does not enjoy the beach and the sea?

Here, at the beach, it also about seeing and being seen. For a middle aged man, such as me, with a 1- Pack instead of an attractive 6- Pack, it is pure torture. Still I go to the beach, because I love to be in the sun and to feel the mood of the sea. The sea is every day different. For this archaic pleasure, I take the inconvenience of my envy into account.

But just as every cloud has a silver lining, to every silver lining is a dark cloud attached. This cloud is the way we, human beings, treat the beach and the sea. And the cloud is getting darker and darker. In the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are gigantic Garbage Patches. (1) Places where plastic is, for some reason, to be found in masses.

A couple of month ago I signed a pledge not to pollute the sea anymore. I take this pledge very serious and whenever I encounter a big piece of plastic, or anything which isn’t bio-degradable, I take it out of the water and dispose of it in one of the waste baskets on the beach. Besides my pledge, the other reason I take the plastic out of the water, is that it is a very unpleasant sensation, when the piece of plastic is wrapping around your leg, while you swim. But even though, I do my utmost to keep the beach and the sea clean, actually I just relocate the problem.

The problem is the plastic itself and not the location. Does it really matter whether the garbage is in the sea or in a landfill? Every sort of garbage should be recycled, especially the non- biodegradable sort. This is a political demand. The municipality has to give us, the denizens, every possibility to separate garbage. Not just on the beach, of course, but throughout the city. On the beach the situation is simply more obvious. The dirt is all around us. While on the beach we do what we wouldn’t do at home. Most of us keep our homes reasonably clean and still we don’t lie down on the floor. How different is it on the beach, there we literally roll in the dirt. And we enjoy it!

One thing everyone can do is take a little more garbage, than you produce and dispose it properly. That is a sure way to keep the beach clean. But on the other hand, this doesn’t make much sense, if there are only insufficient garbage bins in the whole of the city.

Firstly, the bins are obviously too small for the quantity of garbage. Secondly, the garbage bins are open to wind and weather, which means that a lot of light weight garbage is blown out of the bin by the wind.

The garbage bins are located more by chance than design. They should be right next to the sitting benches and not because a landscaper decided it has to be every 50 or 100 meter distance between them. This does not invite people to dispose of your garbage in an effective way. People, in the middle of a lively conversation, or whatever else one does on a park bench, will simply put the garbage aside, of course, with the intentions to take care of it when we leave. And then they forget about the garbage or the wind has blown it away already. Anyway, the garbage is not where it is supposed to be, it pollutes the environment.

Plastic bottles are another problem. Most soft drinks and mineral water is sold today in plastic bottles. Of course, everyone going to the beach has a bottle along. The bottle is emptied and you want to dispose of the bottle and you look for the cages where the bottles are collected. They are not on the beach and also not on the side walk adjacent to the beach, no the cages are across the busy main thoroughfare. OK, let us go the way of the least resistance and throw the bottle in the already overflowing waste basket. And let’s not forget, bottles take up a lot of volume anyway.

Another example of pure thoughtlessness can be seen on the picture. I shot this picture during the summer, after I drank the Ice coffee in the plastic cup. After I drank it, I was looking for the waste basket where to throw the plastic. I had to leave it on the table in the hope that the waiter will have gotten rid of it and not the wind. The next time I visited the Cafe I spoke to the people there about the missing waste basket and they told me there is one nearby. I looked for it and indeed I saw a waste basket. About 10 meters away and almost hidden by a bush! Yep exactly, everyone will go there to dispose the trash. This is simply wishful thinking.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with plastic. On the contrary, I believe plastic is a very helpful material and it is better to use plastic than other resources that need a lot more energy.

The real problem with plastic is not the utilization but the garbage collection and the recycling. As long as the garbage collection is as desolate as it is today, plastic will simply remain a dangerous pollutant!

Youtube has some interesting clips about the Garbage Patches in the oceans. The clip introduced here was chosen randomly.

For further information:

1. Images of the Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean

Some more every day pictures:

The beach as a place to relax.

The municipality of Tel Aviv see a certain urgency in the problem. How else could one interpret the sign, that this is a beach and not a huge ashtray?

Every once in a while the country is stricken by strikes and then it looks like this in every city.

After a storm the beach looks like this.

As usual I left some interesting things out and now I am adding them. Better late then never!

After it rained, that’s what can be seen on the beach. The rain water washes the city of it’s dirt and it flows into the sea.

This picture was taken on a normal day in the port of Jaffo.

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  1. Allie

    Hats off to whvoeer wrote this up and posted it.

  2. Hawk

    Ho ho, who wdolua thunk it, right?

  3. Mirka

    Nice article, I am happy that i found your site, you have such a nice site with nice articles, your ideas is so unique and i hope someone will start taking them seriously.

    Keep writing.

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