Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fiji in the Forecast

Four years ago, I learned about the plastics accumulating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  It was one of those aha moments when one connects human actions to the environment.  Not that I wasn't feeling just a ting of guilt every time I threw my Styrofoam coffee cup into the trash (roughly four times a day), but it was reading Susan Casey's article "Plastic Ocean" that woke me from my thoughtless waste. 

The truth is I knew that it took centuries for plastic to breakdown when I was 12 years-old.  But I lived on the assumption , as many of us do, that our government wouldn't allow anything that could harm us or the environment to be mass produced.  I believed that science would figure our way out any problem that we might encounter from this way of life we have been living.  After all, I wasn't a scientist, nor a politician that was paid to worry about these things.

Now I know I can no longer wait on science or the government to fix it, it can only be through individual action.  I now think about the hundreds of disposable cups I've used in my lifetime to satisfy my fetish for coffee knowing that they will out live me 10 fold. And that is just the coffee cups. The story I read created a shift in me that forced Michael Jackson to sing in my head, "take a look in the mirror . . . and make that change." It was that moment that lead this landlocked Elmira, NY girl to find her sea legs and travel over 7,000 nautical miles over three oceans to study the plastic requisites of man on the marine environment and communicate my eye witness accounts of the devastation of plastic pollution.

Tomorrow, I'm flying to Fiji to continue this research with a team of underwater videographers formally from the BBC.  They too, have had the aha moment, the look in the mirror, and the "what can I do to make that change."  With hope ,their major motion picture, "Plastic Oceans" can create a ripple affect to reduce the use of plastic which will reduce the impacts of plastic in the marine environment, and reduce the demand for limited resources such as petroleum and natural gas. 

Stay tuned.  I'll be blogging from the International Dateline in the South Pacific.


  1. Dear Bonnie over the Ocean, thank you for your inspiring words and your inspiring action. All the best of luck on your trips and will be most interesting seeing your eye witness reports on this mondial topic that concerns us all (or should concern us all). Eef from peaceful protest against litter

  2. Hi Bonnie, have an awesome voyage! Thanks for all the great work you are doing :-)
    Two Hands Project