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Published: February 24th 2012
How inappropriate to call this planet earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
Anyone that has spent any time at the ocean seems to have the same feeling I do about it - they love it. The ocean is calming, healing, soothing, invigorating and draws you back time after time. (I now have ocean sounds on my iPod to fall asleep to and let me say, it actually works.)
For all that the ocean gives, she sure takes a beating from humans. In my daily walks along the beach in Playa del Carmen (MX), specifically first thing in the morning I would watch the beach workers rake up and thoroughly clean the beach from the day & night before. It's a grandiose effort when you think of the miles of beach in Playa.
One of the big draws of Playa is its soft powdery clean beaches, some of the most prized in the world. It certainly wouldn't look good if tourists were cutting themselves on beer bottles, glass or beer caps that were haphazardly thrown around (which they are).
A beach worker I spoke to one morning who had the best "Spanglish", told me that he shakes his head in disgust at the selfishness and disregard he sees left
on the beach in the form of garbage and litter. I think these guys must start their job while it's dark outside because when I would get out there at 7 am, the beaches are spotless which is a real tribute to all those beach workers who work for peanuts. And who take their job very seriously in the process.
When the local Mexican families go to the beach, especially on Sundays, you see the effort they go to, to clean up after themselves. They recycle, reuse and repack their refuse. Clearly they get the message about protecting the beaches & ocean and all that lies within it and they show it the proper respect it so deserves.
We've done our best to ensure our kids are aware of the pollution/littering problem, and the message seems to be getting through to them. They are really good about butting out their cigarettes in an ashtray and recycling their beer cans. (smile).
Really though, we did see the girls picking up garbage/plastic water bottles they found on the beach and throwing them in garbage cans. We bring our own reusable water bottles with us for the beach as well
and forgo plastic bags as much as possible. It's a drop in the bucket, but one drop forms another...to make an ocean right?
One of the worst culprits that wreak major havoc is plastic water bottles and plastic bags. Next comes food wrappers, beer can plastic and cigarette butts and more. We saw beach signs that said, "Use an ashtray - crabs get cancer too" or "The beach is not your ashtray". All of these items eventually get absorbed back into the ocean affecting our marine, coral and plant life.
I never thought myself much of an activist, but it sure does make me wince when I read about the state of the oceans and how many different types of marine life are dying off due to pollution.
Check out the photos at the bottom; some really clever beach signs!
Here are two articles I wrote for Playa Beach Condos & Villas who as many of you know I write travel blogs for. Feel free to read them (or not)! Hopefully it gives "food for thought" for all of us about how we go about living our daily life. Plastic Harming Marine Life: http://www.playabeachgetaways.com/blog/28/203 Magnificent Turtles & Life Lessons http://www.playabeachgetaways.com/blog/28/165
It's been fun sharing my blog with all of you. We'll be heading back to Playa soon enough; hope to see some of you there in that slice of paradise!
Sal and gang
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