What with the current state of affairs over in Japan with the Radio active waste seeping into the Ocean and and causing a major water pollution problem in that area and almost definitely, in a few months it will be making its way to other parts of the ocean. It got me thinking while Watching the sun set over the beautiful vast ocean is a tranquil and reflective experience. But everything isn’t always as it seems on the surface. We may not see the effects of water pollution on our oceans until we dig deeper-- down to the bottom of the ocean, on shores of uninhabited islands, and even in the stomachs of our precious marine life.
And now thanks to Fukushima we can add Radioactive waste to that list of water polluters.
Many of us have switched to home water filters and eco-friendly bottles, but even after that the US alone uses 2 million plastic beverage bottles every 5 minutes. If we assume that as much as half of these users are recycling their bottles, there’s still little hope because plastic isn’t purified by the melting down process like glass or metal (don’t let this stop you from recycling all the plastic you can though!).
Waste disposal companies and governments have always treated this as an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ issue. In the 70’s, 17 million tons of industrial waste was legally dumped into the ocean. That’s right, I said LEGALLY! In the 80’s they did a lot better by only allowing 8 million tons to be dumped. Again, legally. With this trend you would think that the numbers would be going down every year, but somehow we have more waste now than ever. That’s because the world is producing significantly more future garbage everyday with no sign of slowing down.
But don’t lose hope surfers, there are still great, seemingly clean waves out there. But let’s remember that one day that may not be the case. There may be a day when you go out for a paddle and get your fin stuck in a knot of plastic bags, or you go out for a handboard ride and get hit in the face by a piece of scrap plastic from an old child’s playhouse.
The best thing you can do to save your future waves is to stop garbage at land when you can. You can also participate in or organize beach clean-ups that will make you and the ocean feel a little better that day. You can also make eco-friendly choices when it comes to surfing! Grab a quality board that’s not made with any polluting materials or paints. California Slyde handboards for example are made with recycled polystyrene and bioresin so you can rest assured that if a wave gets the better of you and steals away your board (should’ve had a leash!) that it won’t be harmful to the sea and the creatures living in it.
Let’s get out there and enjoy the ocean as often as we can and appreciate every second of it because you never know what the future will hold if we keep following this pattern. There are still tons of perfect waves out there today ready to be ridden, and they’re waiting for you!
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