Paradise with Responsibility

Many of you following this blog have said you enjoy the photos of where we’ve been. Today, the pictures are more disturbing. They begin at home.

Waves lap and grind coral and stone to a fine sand. They also carry seaweed and garbage. Lee shores are the depository for carelessness of folks on land. Sometime it’s the carelessness of folks on the water as well.

Seaweed is a natural part of the beach, the garbage that get’s tangled in the muck is not.

You’d think these pictures are about local garbage only. I can tell you first hand, they are not. The Captain and I have seen floating garbage as far as 100-200 nautical miles from shore. Deflated helium balloon bouquets are another frequent sight.

Garbage is a problem everywhere. There’s so much. We live in an era where a garbage truck comes to the end of our drive and picks up the garbage regularly. We think nothing of where it goes from there. Most US communities have recycling services. Yet, we rarely think of what it takes to dispose of the garbage we’ve made.

On a boat we take recycling seriously, especially if there is a service on an island. It doesn’t happen very often, but we try to take advantage of the opportunity.

Mostly, we reduce our garbage consumption.

When possible, we buy goods with less packaging. We dispose of large boxes before we ever get to the boat, sometimes at the store we purchased the goods.

Water is filtered on our boat, eliminating the need for water bottles. Plastic is the biggest culprit of beach trash.

So when you go about your daily chores, think about the trash you generate and see if you can’t find a way to eliminate and downsize your refuge, rather than add to a growing problem in the beautiful planet we live on.

Pay It Forward.

Do you recycle? Where in your daily life can you cut down on the trash being generated?

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About Nancy J Nicholson

Nancy J. Nicholson is a wife, mother, writer, and full-time sailor, writing of her adventures and creating contemporary mysteries along the shores of the eastern United States and Caribbean. She fills her time with new friends, exploration, food, knitting and reading.
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21 Responses to Paradise with Responsibility

  1. This happens in the Bahamas too. Sometimes a garbage bag is needed as a walking accessory.

  2. This happens in the Bahamas too. Sometimes a garbage bag is needed as a walking accessory.

  3. Carol Roe says:

    Yes we recycle, I like to repurpose as much as I can too. I save lots of things to be used again, plastic coffee cans, icecream tubs, twine pulls from the dog food bag, rubber bands from the paper, buttons from worn out clothes, etc…

  4. courtney shaya says:

    My daughter, Emily, would be all over that trash! She frequently cleans up trash no matter where we are, from parking lots to parks and everywhere in between. I’ve been enjoying reading your blog! Keep them coming. :)

    • Courtney, Welcome Aboard. I’m so glad you enjoy the blog. And, I’m happy you’ve taught your daughter early to appreciate the responsibility we all share on this planet.

  5. Elena Aitken says:

    Oh, this is a sad fact of paradise.
    On all my sailing adventures, sadly we do see this.Thank you for posting this reminder about the ‘hidden’ side of paradise. It does begin at home.

  6. Lesann says:

    This is sadly unsurprising. We moved to a rural home six years ago and were astounded at the amount of debris we discovered “secreted” away on the property. Little by little we salvaged, removed, burned, recycled, gave away and reduced the materials until nothing remains. It could have been much worse. One of our neighbors has over thirty vehicles parked behind his house…at least there are trees to screen the sight.

    We stopped our weekly trash service several years ago in an effort to reduce the amount of waste our little family generated. When you can no longer just toss it in the can and let somebody else deal with it, you learn to conserve, reuse, recycle and repurpose in a bunch of new ways. Of course we still generate waste. We haven’t figured out how to get around that entirely but the amount of trash headed to the landfill averages one kitchen sack a month. Yep. The rest gets recycled, composted, donated, etc.

    And the funny thing is…it’s not that difficult once you get out of the habit of having the convenience. Giving up the weekly trash picku-up was simple but if we didn’t have the transfer station (dump) to discard the waste we do have…where would it go?

  7. I love this post! I often think about all the waste we humans make and wonder where the heck it all goes. Then I think about that movie, ‘Wall-E’ and I get a little nervous that that’s where we’re headed. It doesn’t take much to reduce our consumption and recycle and if everyone did it, the work would be even less. I see all the time up and down my street people who can’t be bothered. Really? You can’t separate your bottles and cans into a bin the city provides for you? So sad.

    I never thought about how hard it must be on a boat! That is truly an accomplishment, Nancy.

  8. This is such an important issue and you are absolutely right when you suggest that most people don’t stop to think how much garbage is floating around in our beautiful oceans. Recycling is such a simple thing to do, as Tameri points out. There’s just no excuse not to!

  9. David J Nicholson says:

    Sadly, it is not because there are a lot of slobs out there. Imagine what happens if every person dropped one piece of plastic a year, every year. In the words of Mad Eye Moony, “Constant vigilance”

  10. Dannie Hill says:

    Great post, Nancy. Since I’ve been living in Thailand we’ve really become cognizant of how much garbage one small family can produce. Up on the farm garbage service is non-existent but very little is thrown away. We give our cans, plastic bottles and bags to neighbors who in turn sell theses things to be recycled.

    I was pretty amazed when I first moved here. Thailand is an emerging nation and it’s very clean. Oh, lots of dirt and grime but few pieces of garbage are left on the streets.

    One things Thai’s do that would be considered bad by American standards is they burn what they can’t use. I’ll say this it does cut down on land-fills.

    • Dannie, I find island people for the most part very clean. They can’t bury their garbage like we do in the states, burning seems to be the only recourse. I’m glad when I find islands recycling.

  11. Makes me sad to see this but not surprising. We were driving the other day and I told hubby that I was noticing more and more garbage collecting on our city streets and side walks. What is wrong with people? Take it with you, reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s pretty same and imperative if we want our next generation to have a healthy planet. Great post Nancy!

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