English 1121 Journey

Terry Swearingen once said, “We are living on the planet as if we have another one to go to”(Quote). Pollution has a big impact in the world. Not only does it affect animals, but it affects humans, too. Types of pollution are the gas emissions from our cars going out into the air, oil spills, hair spray, and littering. Littering is what interests me the most only because littering is what I see more. There is not one place in New York that doesn’t have garbage in the streets. Littering doesn’t only mean seeing trash on the sidewalk or the street but it’s also about seeing garbage in the water. Garbage like, plastic bags, plastic bottles, bottle caps, lighters, and more are founded in the water. This harms animals like whales, penguins, and turtles.

Whales are one of the biggest sea animals in the world that we know of. People can go whale watching and enjoy the show, but what people don’t know is there are people who throw garbage into the streets and waters. Unfortunately, “If you live hundreds of miles away from the coast, it probably never occurs to you that the plastic bag or cup lid that you toss into the gutter might make its way into the Atlantic or the Pacific. Somewhere between 40,000 and 110,000 metric tons of plastic waste generated by Americans ends up in the ocean”(Kiger 1). Whales were found dead on beaches not only because of boats but also because of the trash we put in the streets that then goes into the water and could possibly be clogging the whales air hole causing them to drown. Whales aren’t the only animals to be harmed with all the trash.

There are a million YouTube videos based on people saving the waters and the animals that live in these waters including the whales. More specifically, there is a video of two guys on their boat who come across a whale who is asking for help because he’s trapped in a net making it uncomfortable for him to swim. The two guys get their knife and cut the net off the whale’s neck. Once they were done, the whale swam away performing its tricks to give off that it is happy, free, and thankful. Even though it was a nice thing what they did, and helped an animal out, there are still animals in the world that still go through it. It’s not always about getting trapped in fishing nets and plastic six-pack rings, but also oil spills and chemicals that find their way into the rivers, lakes, and oceans. Like how in the book, “polluted Waters,” Jennifer mentions how even washing your car could pollute the waters with the chemicals that are used to wash your car. There are hundred reasons why we are currently going through global warming but there also a hundred ways to help better the world by less pollution to avoid hurting animals like whales.

It may be out of the blue, but have you ever watched happy feet? If you did, did you see the part where the powerful penguin had his neck wrapped in a plastic six-pack ring? It was hurting him, preventing him from breathing right and communicating. These things really do happen in real life, and is because people litter, but importantly people don’t recycle. Dumping is one of the major reasons why pollution is at its highest. As someone was wrote in their book, “polluted waters”, “people throw unwanted plastic bags, aluminum cans…millions of sea birds, mammals and turtles suffocate in plastic bags or suffer painful deaths when they get tangled in abandoned fishing nets” (Stefanow 9). Even though this is always known to happen, there are people in the world who try there hardest to help prevent it or help animals that get trapped in these situations.

One day I was walking and I saw a child throw his bag of chips on the floor after he was done with it, and his mother didn’t even tell him to pick it up and throw it in the trash. It gets mad because if that were my kid I would’ve told him to ick it up his trash and put in the trashcan. There’s a difference in how people try to help the world. There’s people that who pick up bottles from parks to get money from it. That’s a form of recycling and helping out the world and yourself. The other I was walking to the supermarket and there was this girl with her father walking, and her father had a can of red bull in his hands he laid he can next to the tree because there was no garbage can around to throw away the can. She then exclaimed him, telling him to throw it out in the garbage instead of leaving it on the floor that opened my eyes to the fact that there are so many people in the world who want to make a difference in the world. The world is a big place, and trying to do good for it, is challenging, it’s possible. There’s a difference between telling someone to not litter and showing someone’s what happening because of littering. There was this high school girl who decided to interview because as I was walker passed her, saw she had a plastic bag in her book bag to put her trash in it. Not that many people would like to have their trash or the street.

As I approached her, I asked if I could ask a few questions and she let me proceed. One question I had for her was, “why do you carry a plastic bag for your trash instead of just throwing it out in the trash can.” What she told me was very inspiring. “If I’m somewhere where there isn’t a garbage can and I have garbage on me, I would rather throw it out in here then in the street or dirty the inside of my book bag.” Its amazing to know a high school student thinking like this because not that many are mature enough to actually think of the consequences of littering, I continued to ask her more questions and one question I dared to ask was, “did you ever litter before?” she told me she has for a long time until she in her science class and her teacher showed the class a documentary based on Midway Island where a documentary shows an Island full of Albatross birds laying down because they are suffering because they consumed so much trash that its killing them. This documentarian showed the insides of the birds belly and it had things you wouldn’t believe. It had plastic caps, lighters, paper, straws, and pieces of plastic in its belly. It was dead and there was a whole island of them. It was insane to hear about what these birds were going through, keep in mind it wasn’t only 20 or 30 birds, but a whole island, hundred of them. I then learned about this documentary made by Chris Jordan, and I went home to watch it and turns out that the birds when they are flying over the waters and they try to catch food, they accidentally get waste in their mouths and swallow it. Also they tend to confuse waste with food causing them to not only eat, but pass it on to their babies, killing them too.

Pollution is a big deal and not that many people see it unless they are in situations where they are researching pollution, in classes learning about pollution, or trying to save an animal from dying or from a net or plastic six pack ring. Animals like whales, penguins, and albatross birds are suffering every day because of those human waste and chemicals. We are endangering these bodies of waters that we use to shower with, wash dishes with, drink, and swim in in the summer. In the long run we are damaging the animals home but our homes, planet, and our life. Who knows when the world is going to end but when it does, global warming pollution can be the reasons to it.

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