Posts tagged oceans

Happy Earth Day

I’ve been working this week and have not been able to celebrate Earth Day, but I really celebrate Earth Day everyday. I try to do as little harm as possible to the planet all the time.

I was an extra in a movie in Nashville this year, and I was disappointed at the amount of trash the set produced. I’m glad to read the following AP story:

Hollywood studios cut trash production

(AP) – 1 day ago

LOS ANGELES — Hollywood is producing less trash these days — 40 million pounds less.

The Solid Waste Task Force says major movie studios collectively diverted 66 percent of studio sets and other solid waste from landfills in an industrywide effort to be more environmentally friendly.

MPAA President Bob Pisano said Wednesday the joint effort by the Motion Picture Association of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has reached “an all-time high” in recycling and reusing since it began in the early 1990s.

Disney will donate of a portion of ticket sales for its new film “Oceans” to support coral reef conservation. Fox is marking Earth Day’s 40th anniversary and the DVD release of “Avatar” with a pledge to plant a million trees around the world by the end of 2010.

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Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications

From US News and World Report:

Posted March 26, 2009

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) — Fish from five U.S. rivers were found to be tainted with traces of medications and common chemicals, according to a new study from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Baylor University.

The common antihistamine diphenhydramine (Benadryl), an anticonvulsant and two types of antidepressants were among the seven types of pharmaceuticals found in the tissue and livers of fish from waterways in or near Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Orlando, Fla. Each river is considered “effluent-dominated,” because they receive large amounts of wastewater discharge from nearby sewage treatment plants.

While federal standards exist for treated wastewater, they do not address pharmaceuticals or most personal care products, and little is known about the effects they have on the environment and wildlife. This study is part of a federal strategy to address the issue.

Previous research has concluded that behavior vital for fish survival, such as mating and fighting, can be affected if too much antidepressant residue collects in their systems.

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This is not news. When you dispose of medications, put them in coffee grinds or cat litter in a bag, then in the trash. Some cities have hazardous wastes pick up sites to take medications and some pharmcies (I think CVS) will take them for proper disposal.

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Bush to create three marine monuments

Palmyra
Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times A researcher counts fish near a coral reef at Palmyra Atoll, south of the Hawaiian Islands. The monument designations will ban most commercial fishing and will vastly limit recreational fishing, or fishing by indigenous people or researchers. In all of the protected areas, seafloor mining will be prohibited.

A president who had been assailed by environmentalists will have set aside more square miles of ocean for protection than any other political leader.

By Kenneth R. Weiss January 6, 2009

President Bush will create three national monuments in the Pacific Ocean today, protecting waters near U.S.-controlled islands that contain some of the world’s richest diversity of corals, fish and other sea life as well as unusual geological formations in the deepest undersea trench.

With the stroke of a pen this afternoon, Bush will have set aside more square miles of ocean for protection than any other political leader in history.

Thanks, Bush. I never thought that I would say that.

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Plastic Continents on the Earth

plasticearth_0330.jpgWatching the Altered Oceans videos last night made me cry. We’ve progressed from birds, strangled in six-pack rings, to young birds dying from eating a diet of plastic floating in our oceans. What do we do about plastic? Plastic simplifies our lives. Did you give up plastic for Lent this year? No, I didn’t think you did.

I input type on a plastic keyboard linked to a desktop computer housed in plastic. I’m perched on an office chair with plastic molded arms. There is a plastic lampshade on the cheap 80s floor lamp in our home office. The shade is ugly. Should I toss it into the Harpeth River; let it flow into the Tennessee River into the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico to join a plastic garbage patch in the oceans?

My cell phone is encased in plastic. I brush my teeth with a plastic toothbrush. Plastic bottles hold face cleanser, face moisturizer, body lotion. My eyeglasses contain plastic, even lightweight plastic lenses.

We buy orange juice and milk in large one-gallon plastic jugs. What will happen to the plastic casings on the analog TVs that we will soon discard?

Plastic plates on light switches and electrical plugs are in every room of our home. My cocketiel and cats eat from plastic dishes. Only the dog and the humans eat from glass dishes.

Many years ago for lunch, I heated some lasagna in a plastic Tupperware container in the microwave at work. I remember chewing some burned cheesy, noodle blob. I later was convinced that I had eaten a bit of plastic from the container because the sides were deformed by the heat. As a human, do I deserve to have a belly full of plastic like those young albatrosses in the video? Is there plastic somewhere in my digestive system? I’ve seen my dog eat a plastic frisbee.

The more I blog and learn about our Planet Trash with its Plastic Continents in the Oceans, the more I am convinced that we will destroy ourselves by our luxuries, our plastics.

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