Time to switch topics from dogs to marine life. Please read this if you care about the creatures of the seas – and if you are a fish eater. I listened to a story on NPR about how our garbage, specifically plastics, is contaminating the oceans. It’s more than just an aesthetic issue of plastic bottles washing up on the shores (which is pretty disturbing too). 

Fish are mistaking bits of plastic for food and they are eating it. The plastic bits attract dangerous contaminants so when the fish eat the plastics, they are ingesting unhealthy toxins as well. Larger marine animals like whales and dolphins are being found dead, washed up on shore, and when autopsied, their stomachs are found to be full of plastic. The animals had starved to death because the plastic in their stomachs fooled their bodies into thinking it wasn’t hungry. I find this so disturbing and something we cannot ignore. 

While some people can look the other way – what you can’t see isn’t really happening – there’s more to this story and it affects anyone who eats fish. When the very small fish eat the plastic bits and toxins, they are then being eaten by larger fish and they are eaten by larger fish until finally, we humans eat the big fish.  It’s called the food chain. The toxins in the small fish enter the cells of the larger fish and accumulate. When we eat these fish, we are eating the toxins stored in their bodies. 

I’ve always eaten wild-caught fish instead of farm raised. I have read stories about what farm raised fish are fed and it bothered me. Now it seems that wild-caught fish are no healthier. What do we do?? 

It’s all of our responsibilities to cut down on the use of plastics and recycle what we absolutely can’t do without. Here are a few suggestions:

–          Stop buying bottled water – gallon bottles and especially the smaller, individual sized bottles. They are everywhere. Instead, buy a water filter like PUR or Brita and fill your own water bottles.

–          Bring reusable bags to the store instead of using plastic bags.  Whole Food Markets give you a 5 cent rebate for every reusable bag you use.

–          Buy larger sizes of common household goods such as laundry detergent and other cleaning and personal hygiene items.

–          Use waxed paper instead of plastic wrap whenever possible for storing and covering food, or better yet store items in reusable containers. 

Did I miss any suggestions? What do you do to help cut down on unnecessary waste? I’d love to hear your ideas!

It’s up to each one of us to be responsible for making a difference. We can’t rely on government or others to bring about change.

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