Posted in Bloggers in Planet Love, Corina L. Ravenscraft, General Interest

BLOGGERS IN PLANET LOVE hosted by Corina of “Dragon’s Dream”

Editor’s note: This evening we celebrate Valentine’s Day by demonstrating our love and concern for planet Earth. Directions for linking your post are at the bottom of this evening’s post.

TRASH

How many of you are aware of your carbon footprint?

HERE is a handy-dandy calculator for those of you who don’t know but would like to.

Bizarro comics "The Evolution of Trash" image borrowed from earthisland.org
Bizarro comics “The Evolution of Trash” image borrowed from earthisland.org

How many of you consciously try to make less of an impact on the amount of things you consume and the subsequent amount of trash you generate?

HERE is an easy sheet to fill out to get a general idea. Of course, it takes a bit of work to sort the things you throw out in one day.

Being aware of it is enough to give anyone pause in this day and age. The amount is staggering. Truly. Unfortunately, there is just no getting away from trash. Every person creates some, and those of us fortunate enough to live in non third-world countries (hell-bent on rampant consumerism) produce more of it than others. A LOT more of it. Recycling is great and I encourage anyone and everyone to do what you can! But it’s not enough; there is SO much more that needs to be done!

Do you know about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? How about the North Atlantic Garbage Patch? Well, guess what? These aren’t the only ones. There are FIVE of these “islands” between the U.S. and Japan! These are basically gigantic islands of plastic and man-made debris waste that have collected over the years from both land-based and sea-based human pollution. The one in the Pacific alone is estimated as twice the size of Texas with a mass of roughly 100 million tons. Think about that number for a minute: 100 million TONS. And it gets larger every year.

Captain Moore’s Description of the
North Pacific Garbage Patch:

“It was and is a thin plastic soup, a soup lightly seasoned with plastic flakes, bulked out here and there with ‘dumplings’: buoys, net clumps, floats, crates, and other macro debris.”
– A quote from the book,
Plastic Ocean, by Captain Charles Moore

“Remember, plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it only gets broken down into smaller and smaller bits of plastic, and if you’re in the Pacific it all ends up getting pushed into this massive floating garbage pile. ” – Planetgreen.discovery.com

Photograph from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Obviously, this happened when the turtle was young and it grew this way. 😦

Are you upset yet? Angry? Are you more aware now?

In June, I will be joining with the Ocean Conservancy to do my best to be “trash free” for 30 days. It won’t be easy and I probably won’t succeed 100%. But I’m going to try. I invite all of you to join with me and take the Trash-Free Challenge. 🙂

Here are some things you can start doing NOW to help keep your trash out of the ocean(s). For those of you already doing your part, THANK YOU!!! 😀 I believe in the power of 1+1 into infinity = anything is possible. Together, we can all make a difference. It’s the only planet we’ve got…there is no “Plan”-et B. It starts with you and me.

From Squidoo.com:

What Can Be Done?

Plastics are so integrated into so many people’s daily lives that this is clearly a global problem. Change needs to happen through awareness and education. Start with yourself. Evaluate your daily routine and assess exactly what you use plastic for, and more critically, what plastics are you throwing out every day? Systematically try to minimize the amount of plastic that you use and throw out. Here are some ideas to help.
  • Buy in bulk, and bring your own cloth or recycled grocery gags to the store.
  • Keep litter, leaves, and debris out of the street gutters and storm drains.
  • Stop drinking plastic bottled water! If you live in an area with safe tap water, drink it! Tap water in the United States is much more strictly regulated than bottled water. If you need bottled water, get a reusable bottle that can be refilled
  • Reuse whenever possible.
  • Choose products which have been packaged in recycled materials.
  • Buy local products whenever possible because this reduces the amount of fuel and plastic packaging used to ship materials to you.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Refuse!

From the Ocean Conservancy site:

Number 1 Reduce your carbon “finprint.” Our ocean is on the front lines of climate change — absorbing half the carbon dioxide we’ve pumped into the atmosphere. Use mass transit, carpool, and find other ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Number 2 Take only pictures. Choose vacation spots working to protect endangered sea animals. When snorkeling or diving, take pictures and tell stories but never stand on coral reefs or touch the marine life.
Number 3 Be a green boater. Protect the boating experience along with the ocean. A little spill makes a big difference; be especially careful with oil, gasoline, solvents, and sewage. Bring your trash back to shore. Join Ocean Conservancy’s green boating program Good Mate.
Number 4 Ask for sustainable seafood. Let chefs, wait-staff, and the folks behind your fish counter know that sustainable seafood is important to you.
Number 5 Sign up for Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Volunteers remove trash from beaches and shorelines, and data collected by these citizen-scientists help inform solutions that keep trash out of our ocean in the first place.
Number 6 Reduce. Since packaging materials account for much of the trash we generate, they provide a good opportunity for reducing waste. Consider items with less, reusable, or recyclable packaging.
Number 7 Reuse. More than 60 percent of the litter collected during the 2009 International Coastal Cleanup consisted of disposable items. Choose reusable shopping bags, coffee mugs, and food containers.
Number 8 Recycle. If you can’t reuse it, recycle it. Check online with your local government to see what you can and can’t give back, and recycle everything possible.
Number 9 Prevent contaminated runoff. No matter where you live, the ocean is downstream. Don’t use chemical fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn. On the driveway, avoid harmful cleaning products, and take proper care of spilled oil.
Number 10 Vote Blue. Urge your elected representatives to support ocean-friendly policies that protect our ocean. Stay informed through e-alerts from Ocean Conservancy and share your passion at facebook.com/oceanconservancy and twitter.com/OurOcean

© 2014, essay, Corina Ravenscraft, illustration, Ursula Vernon All rights reserved

effecd1bf289d498b5944e37d8f4ee6fAbout dragonkatet Regarding the blog name, Dragon’s Dreams ~ The name comes from my love-affairs with both Dragons and Dreams (capital Ds). It’s another extension of who I am, a facet for expression; a place and way to reach other like-minded, creative individuals. I post a lot of poetry and images that fascinate or move me, because that’s my favorite way to view the world. I post about things important to me and the world in which we live, try to champion extra important political, societal and environmental issues, etc. Sometimes I wax philosophical, because it’s also a place where I always seem to learn about myself, too, by interacting with some of the brightest minds, souls and hearts out there. It’s all about ‘connection(s)’ and I don’t mean “net-working” with people for personal gain, but rather, the expansion of the 4 L’s: Light, Love, Laughter, Learning.

BLOGGERS IN PLANET LOVE

JOIN US!

We invite you to join your voices with Corina and the other members of The Bardo Group by linking one of your own post’s on nature and its beauties, environmental protection, animal welfare (which is Earth welfare too), global warming and so on. The work can be anything essay, video, music video, poem, photography, photo essay, art or craft. At the bottom of this post you will find Mister Linky. Click on it to paste in the url to your post. It does not have to be a new or recent post, just one that is in the spirit of this event. Jamie will visit and comment and we hope that you will all visit one another to comment and support and connect. Thank you!

Posted in Film/Documentaries/Reviews, Jamie Dedes

TRADING IN TRASH: garbage collecting, growing up, and multi-nationals in Egypt

Video posted to YouTube by massify.

Documentaries about impoverished communities around the globe — in Latin America, Africa and Asia — feature heart wrenching images of children picking their way through garbage dumps to gather food to eat or material goods to sell. But nothing quite compares to the story of Cairo‘s Zaballeen, a community of Egyptian Coptic Christians who have for generations survived by scouring their city for trash, carting it off to their ‘garbage neighborhood’ and recycling it. MORE [About.com Documentaries]
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TRADING IN TRASH
documentary review
posted by Jamie Dedes (Musing by Moonlight)
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The short story: Given the stunning events in Egypt over much of the past year, it seems appropriate to cover this documentary film that illustrates life for one of Egypt’s minority groups. GARBAGE DREAMS follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world’s largest garbage village, on the outskirts of Cairo. It is home to 60,000 Zaballeen (or Zabbaleen), the Arabic for “garbage people.” Far ahead of any modern “Green” initiatives, the Zaballeen survive by recycling 80% of the garbage they collect.  Face to face with the globalization of their trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community. Released in 2009, the list of screening venues around the world is HERE.
A Donkey at Moqattam Hill in Cairo
courtesy of Matthias Feilhauer under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License via Wikipedia.
A Group of Boys at Moqattam Village
courtesy of Ayoung ShinAyoung0131 licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License via Wikipedia.
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Expertly weaving personal fears, family tensions and political action, GARBAGE DREAMS records the tremblings of a culture at a crossroads. Jeannette Casoulis, New York Times.
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Courtesy of Iskander Films, Inc. under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Stunning debut . . . Tech credits are aces. As fascinating as [Iskander’s] anthological revelations are, it’s her lensing that grants her subjects immense dignity (they never appear “other” in their poverty) and her film its curious beauty. Ronnie Scheib, Variety

With a population of 18 million, Cairo, the largest city in the Middle East and Africa, has no sanitation service. For generations, the city’s residents have relied on 60,000 Zaballeen, or “garbage people,” to pick up their trash. The Zaballeen collect over 3,000 tons a day of garbage and bring it back to their “garbage village,” the world’s most effective and successful recycling program.

Paid only a minimal amount by residents for their garbage collection services, the Zaballeen survive by recycling. They have transformed Mokattam, their garbage neighborhood, into a busy recycling and trading enclave. Plastic granulators, cloth-grinders and paper and cardboard compacters hum constantly. While Western cities would boast of a 30% recycling rate, the Zaballeen recycle 80% of all the waste they collect.

The Zaballeen, who mostly belong to Egypt’s minority Coptic Christian community, were originally poor and illiterate farm laborers. Driven out of the rural south due to a lack of work, these disadvantaged farmers saw Cairo’s trash as an economic opportunity. They have created a recycling model that costs the state nothing, recycles so much waste and employs tens of thousands of Cairo’s poorest.

The Zaballeen earn little, but in a country where almost half of the population survives on less than $2 a day, it is a livelihood. Or has been.

In 2005, following the international trend to privatize services, the city of Cairo sold $50 million in annual contracts to three private companies (two from Italy and one from Spain) to pick up Cairo’s garbage. Their giant waste trucks line the streets, but they are contractually obligated to recycle only 20% of what they collect, leaving the rest to rot in giant landfills. As foreign workers came in with waste trucks and began carting garbage to nearby landfills, 60,000 Zaballeen saw their way of life disappearing.

Laila, the teacher at The Recycling School, the garbage village’s local school, sighs with despair, “They don’t see that we are poor people living off of trash. What are we suppose to do now?”

An evocative examination of the clash between tradition and modernism . . . Championed by Oscar winner Al Gore and the spur for a million-dollar donation by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ‘Garbage’ could ride its sociological importance to Oscar recognition. Andrew Schenker, Village Voice

Two thumbs up on this one. See it if you can …

Video posted to YouTube by garbagedreams.
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