Saturday, October 9, 2010

Letting the Fox out of the Bag

So I probably haven't mentioned that I ride a motorcycle. Some would tease, if it isn't a Harley its a glorified motorized bike. I like my little Honda Rebel 250 for one because it gets about 80 miles to the gallon. It's my only mode of transportation and is plenty enough hog for me. But after today, I maybe having a change of heart.

My new found motorcycle friends all ride Harleys. On Saturdays the owner of Carolina Coast Harley-Davidson, Rick Noyes, provides free hot dogs and soda at his Market Street store in Wilmington and that is where you will often find my friends. This Saturday was no exception, but what they witnessed was. Crossing six lanes of very busy traffic came a small gray fox, which was feat enough, only this little guy had a plastic bag completely over its head. According to my friends, it could barely see as it made its way passed them and headed toward the back of the shop where they lost sight of him.

"Don't tell Bonnie," said LT Hines, "What ever you do." Butch Barnhardt told Bonnie and sure enough they all had a good laugh when I said "let's go find it." Butch was the only taker and he whined the whole way. "What are we gonna do if we find em?" Planless, he still couldn't stop me.

I wandered around along a hedgerow near where they last saw the fox. I found 12 plastic bags of all shapes, sizes, and brandings in just 10 square feet and thought, "no wonder." Now days, we find more plastic on the roadside than wild flowers, or wild anything for that matter, and maybe it is the fact that not only are people crowding out nature, but plastic debris is too. Anyway, we came up upon the owner's son who not only saw the poor traumatized fox, but took matters into his own hands. He and another co-worker corralled the fox. With one guy in front, Rick's son pulled the bag off of its head! He explained how there was so much moister inside the bag from the fox breathing that it was all fogged up. The bag had something sticky like candy that matted into its hair and caused it to stick even more - probably what the fox was looking to eat in the first place. check out this video: http://www.facebook.com/bonnie.holden.monteleone#!/video/video.php?v=485673523407

So here is why the issue of over-use of one time use plastics is so important to me. We have no idea how many animals are maimed and die slow painful deaths due to our inability to manage plastic waste. And the worst part is, this plastic is a resource! Its petroleum energy that we can either recycle into other useful items, burn for electricity, or turn into gasoline. Instead of doing damage, it could be helping our energy crisis. If that doesn't convince you, how about this. Try not to use one time use items like plastic bags because they are made out of petroleum. By doing so we could use the petroleum for better uses. And if you have to use bags, recycle them at your local grocery store, but don't throw them away or let them get away into the environment.

Just a reminder, please support my research into the South Atlantic Gyre sampling nearly 3500 nautical miles from Brazil to Cape Town, South Africa. This research in conjunction with http://www.5gyres.org/ and http://www.panexplore.org/ educates the masses on the problems with plastic especially on animal life. We leave in less than a month - please visit http://www.theplasticocean.org/ and click on donate!

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