April 23, 2011

Earth Day: Great Pacific Garbage Patch

A coworker came to my desk a couple weeks ago, sat down, and said, “Have you heard of something called The Great Pacific Garbage Patch?”  And I said, Yes.  Of course I had.  I thought it was something everyone knew about due to how disgusting it is.

Apparently not.  A random poll in my life showed that 5 out of 5 people asked (large poll, I know) had never heard of it.  My coworker had seen it on TV, and it shook her how gross it was.  Overnight, she stopped using water bottles and switched to reusable cups.

My brother spread the news when he dressed up as the Garbage Patch for Halloween.  I thought I could use this little space to spread it too.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a gyre, where ocean currents swirl together, and pull in garbage from all over the Pacific.  It is a huge floating island of trash that is twice the size of Texas.  Sea creatures get trapped in it. It leaks toxins into the water.  It is 537,162 square miles of trash.


Every person in my poll said, "That's disgusting.  Why don't they move it somewhere?"  And my question is, Where?  Where could we possible move that much trash.  Only half of it will fit in Texas, where's the other portion going?  At this point, our best option is reduction.

I know it’s easy to think, “One water bottle won’t hurt” – but they add up.  When we all do that, it’s a huge amount of plastic.  I’m guilty of contributing plastic coffee lids.  I’ve made the permanent switch to reusable mugs (I leave one at work so I never forget) and it saves the Earth and my wallet.  At most coffee shops, you get a $0.10 or $0.15 discount for bringing your own mug.  And in honor of Earth Day, Starbucks will be giving you free coffee or tea if you get it in a reusable cup today.

Happy Friday/Good Friday/Earth Day!  Go enjoy some free coffee!


  1. every time i think about it i think its soo sad! glad you are spreading the news on your blog about it, but i agree not nearly enough people are aware!

    happy earth day!

  2. It's so scary to think about because it's just so unfathomably huge...and little changes do add up and make a huge difference! great earth day post :)

  3. I didn't know about that either! That is so gross! I am so guilty of using plastic bottles and cups. This definitely will make me think twice before using a disposable cup again.

  4. i had no idea. that is absolutely crazy. it's sickening. it really does make me think about everything that i use and how i can reduce.

  5. this is insane. and makes me sort of hate mankind. but you on the other hand are awesome for sharing this! i hope everyone can at least try to do their part to help out. i definitely will!

  6. Wow, this is shocking an appalling! I didn't know about it either, thanks for raising awareness!

  7. Nice post for the earth and all of us!!

    Let's try to make plastic water bottles go the way of the dinosaur and the pop-top (dangerous little suckers, just ask Jimmy Buffett..)

    Love, Mom

  8. It's actually one of my high school's tunnels! :)

  9. OMG this is horrific, isn't it? I learned about this in one of my classes, and I was shocked. The top picture you have is unreal. Great blog, i'm officially a follower :) x

  10. Oh my goodness that is SO terrible & something that I hadn't heard of... eeek! I'm vigilant with my recycling and I don't use plastic bottles. How sad that the garbage is poisoning our water. :-(

    Hope your having a great start to your week. xx veronika

  11. i do know about this, but it still appalls me every time i see/hear about it.

  12. Oh my goodness. I never heard about that phenomena, too. And I'm seriously shocked right now. That is so effing disturbing and sad, it also makes me so angry!
    Thanks for sharing, I need to think about that for a while... :(

  13. OH. MY. GOSH. I had never heard of this - thanks for opening my eyes!


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