Re: Garbage Island
Public awareness is key here. Recycling, reusing, etc.. As a surfer and sailor, I explain to non-water people that the ocean isn't pristine like they think, it's more like a diluted pool of trash. Most especially around populated areas, where rain just creates run-off of everything on land flowing into the ocean. LOil, littered garbage, dead animals (seriously), chemicals, you name it, it flows into the ocean. There isn't much one person can do personally, but when I walk back from each surf, I pick up what I can on the beach, it's usually grocery bags and food bag wrappers. I've seen much worse after storms though.
The other day I was sailing off of Los Angelese and saw a soda can with japanese (my guess) labels, I assume drifting from the tsunami. I'm thinking about bringing one of those pool cleaning nets and when I take guests sailing, just having them swoop some things up if they get bored. The thing I see most commonly in the ocean are party balloons all leaking air and tied together, floating on the surface.
The whole disposal of trash is an entirely immense issue, but for people who enjoy the oceans and lakes, seeing it treated like a land fill is awful. The sea is such a vulnerable and easy place to let waste seemingly dissappear.
There's some strong voices out there sailing, on swellvoyage.com, Liz has seen up close the amounts trash surrounding "beautiful" indonesian islands and other places.
I've been in traffic before and witnessed someone litter out their window. I got out my truck, walked up to their door and picked it up, said "Excuse me I think you dropped this" and put it back in the persons face. The person sat speechless. Of course, I don't recommend doing this, there's some crazies out there. I chose this woman because she had kids in her car, figured she wouldn't act insane in front of them and maybe they'll get the message too.
I'm thankful that most sailors aren't contributors to the problem.