Decrease plastic use to help environment
Iowa is a long way from an ocean, but many of us like to vacation near the ocean. We want our water and beaches to be clean and the ecosystems to be healthy for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Oceans contain 96.5 percent of the Earth’s water, leaving only 3.5 percent as freshwater, polar ice caps and glaciers. There is a huge “blob” of water 1,000 feet by 1,000 feet and about 300 feet deep that is 2 to 7 degrees warmer than normal in the Pacific. This anomaly helped create the drought in California and changes our weather patterns in the Midwest. This temperature change makes marine life harder. They may have to change eating habits or move to a completely different area.
Our oceans are also polluted by huge quantities of plastic. The gyre in the Pacific is twice the size of Texas. Plastic is getting into our food chain because marine animals think it is food.
I am asking you to celebrate our oceans by doing something positive for their health. Try giving up single use plastic of all types. Use your own shopping bag. Use a reusable bottle for drinks. Quit using plastic straws. Ask for biodegradable carry out containers or ask to have your leftovers wrapped in foil.
I would also recommend visiting the Iowa Arts Festival Global Village from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday in downtown Iowa City. 100Grannies For a Livable Future will have a booth featuring information about the Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean. These islands, only 3 meters above sea level, are experiencing rising seas due to climate change and melting glaciers.
Becky Ross Iowa City