Livin On Trash

Most of our waste today is comprised of plastic. Plastic, which is made from petroleum, is a material that the Earth cannot digest. Every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists, except for a small amount that has been incinerated, releasing toxic chemicals.
This statement makes me sad. If I let myself think about the state of our world environment, I get overwhelmed by the magnitude of how thoroughly humans have screwed everything up and how we continue to. I watched a documentary a few years ago about the Pacific Garbage Patch and was horrified by the density of plastic waste that is concentrated in our oceans. The thing is –where the hell did we think all that plastic waste was going?! The pacific garbage patch is an enormous stretch of floating debris which is as shockingly deep as it is wide.  Estimates range from 'the size of Texas' to the size of 'Spain and France, combined'. 
As shown in these tables the ocean currents have created conditions which favor a convergent zone of stable water where in 1998 it was published exists a mass of plastic debris.

Obviously ‘plastic debris has significant environmental and economic impacts in marine systems’ and human health. The main problem in determining the volume of debris is that we currently do not have the resources to measure it.  By having an better idea of how much trash we are dealing with we will be better able to find a solution. 

In the mean time a Dutch based architectural company has come up with an idea to use the plastic debris and create a self sustaining island habitat suitable for humans to live on. Proposed to be about the size of Hawaii’s biggest island, Recycled Island will use the waste currently in the ocean to build a habitable land mass. The island will be an environmentally self sufficient community using compost, wind and solar energy without negatively impacting the environment.
The concept of Recycled Island is not naturally pertinent and admittedly a fanciful solution to a grave problem. However the Pacific Garbage Patch is not going to disappear without human intervention. The fact that skeptics even exists would suggest that any amount of attention drawn to this issue will help pave the way to establishing a set of goals and solutions that might begin to make an impact in our lifetime, or that of our children’s.

To read the ten main characteristics of Recycle Island and check out their website click here.
To read a short and interesting article by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health click here.
To learn more about the Great Garbage Patch and the source for the leading quote, click this.


Lady Grey said...

while the colourful island is a cool picture, this whole thing makes me really sad.
Reality is so hard to accept sometimes.

sherri said...

totally depressing.

Everton Terrace said...

I was shocked to discover this as well - and I only did so last year. It's just alarming and devastating. I have been wondering why we aren't talking about it more. Why is the news covering which actress is going to jail when there are so many real issues requiring our energy. I'm going to read your links now.

Getrealmommy said...

Sadly, I think most of us just try to avoid thinking about the whole thing. Denial.

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Wow this idea sounds like it's out of this world! Could be nice, but I think I wouldn't want to live on such an island lol Would you?

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

LG- sad but at least we can accept it and spread the word!
Sherri- same as above- would u move to the island?
Everton- did you like the links? What do you think about the island- would you live there?
GetReal-You should talk about it with Z- show him pictures- that's doing your part to help!
Julia- maybe for a period of time I would live there.

Kris said...

wow, that island is pretty darn spectacular. I would love to see it up close!

ps I have some earrings up for grabs on my blog. Check it out!


Lenore @ Lather. Write. Repeat. said...

It is very overwhelming when you stop to truly think about it. Way to share the knowledge! I don't know if I would want to live on an island, is there a way to incorporate some of the strategies on the mainland?


Krystal said...

I had no clue about this conversion zone, weird...
and it is sad, and the oil spill makes me feel heavy.
i hope you are having a great day too, friend!

Grace said...

The island might be a better idea than just letting the garbage float about but I don't think I'd want to live there.

I always think I'm doing better not using so much plastic then I REALLY look around: shampoo bottles, yogurt containers, toys, the phone, the printer, cereal containers, etc. All I have really done is recycle, not use plastic bags or containers and I won't buy anything in excess plastic packing... that is just the tip of the iceberg.


dotblogg said...

this topic is very sad indeed, and I agree that people prefer denying it instead solving the problem. At least one architect thought about doing something global about that. I think idea is worth taking into concideration:)

take care

Susan Erickson said...

We really need some leadership on this problem. It's out of sight, out of mind right now. Who will claim responsibility? Who will pay to clean it up. Our world is in deep despair. I am afraid for the coming generations.

Silver Strands said...

Thanks for sharing. It is really something we (everyone) need to hear about, think about, act upon.

Fashion Butter said...

Oh man, food for thought for sure.


3 hungry tummies said...

The first photo is truly disturbing :(
Great read and I will go too sleep thinking about it.

Lily Boot said...

perfectly horrid. I so agree with you - what were we thinking! I can't even imagine sailing along - or swimming if I was a poor marine animal - and bang - there's a cesspit of floating plastic garbage. And totally agree with Susan - where is the leadership! Where are the laws that say, nope, there's no need for all that plastic crap you buy in toy shops and kitchen shops and $2 shops. You can't make it anymore. Too bad. Instead, the shops are filled with more and more plastic items that most folk only use until no longer fashionable/needed and then - turf! Ugh!

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