Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

When we were in Kingston yesterday, I bought my final copy of The Ecologist. I've been buying this magazine regularly for the past decade or so. They are moving from a print magazine to an on-line magazine--something about conserving resources...

I've used their website over the years as well:

There are many things I've loved about this magazine: the writing, the information, the inspiration for change. This issue contains, among other things, a list of valuable resources for eco-minded folk.

One organization that stood out for me is Algalita, a US-based, non-profit independent research foundation examining the degree of plastic contamination in our oceans. They focus on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch described as "a swirling vortex of plastic soup estimated to be twice the size of Texas." Bleh.

I read about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in an essay called "Plastic Ocean." Essentially, all our litter (air mattresses, tampon applicators, plastic dinosaurs) collects in this one place because of currents, etc. This organization studies the impact of this plastic (which breaks down and floats on the surface of the water) on the food chain. I think of all the plastic toys in our house and cringe.

Whatever happened to the "floatie" of Kieran's that blew away from the beach in PEI?

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