I am in the process of fixing up my house in Sedona, AZ to become a short term rental and I have had so much fun scrounging the resale shops to do it. I am a huge animal lover and the shops that I like the best are the two non-profit shops whose proceeds benefit the animals, Second to that is the shop whose profits benefit abused women and children. I can also be seen browsing Goodwill where I have found many good secondhand books and cooking utensils. I totally believe in the concept that one man's discards can be another man's treasure. I don't believe in throwing anything in a landfill if there is any reuse possible.
With all the bad news of our consumer throwaway society and the pollution that it causes, particularly the plastic waste that is clogging our rivers and oceans and killing the marine life that feeds on it by mistake, we have an urgency to do something about it. California has just outlawed plastic bags for grocery shopping because of the trash they leave behind much of which ends up in the ocean. I am terribly concerned about the floating "island" of trash in the middle of the Pacific (and there are other such "islands" elsewhere). We produce about 300 million tons of plastic a year most of which is then discarded. It is estimated that 1 million seabirds die each year due to plastic pollution.
But all is not lost. Many are devoting their time and resources to finding solutions. A foundation called The Ocean Cleanup, founded by a young Dutchman named Boyan Slat, is one such organization tackling ocean cleanup. How are they doing this? Their method utilizes natural ocean currents and winds which passively transport garbage toward a collection platform. Solid floating barriers are used to trap the trash from the ocean avoiding the sealife entanglement that is a problem with nets. After capture the plastic is then removed mechanically and recycled by recovery vessels. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation is a testament to what human ingenuity can do when focused on a problem.
Whether is is a tiny effort like what I am doing in Arizona and California or a massive effort like what the Dutch are doing in the oceans of the world, what is important is the mindset of not throwing away but recycling and reusing instead.