Garbage Trail

I have never been a serious environmentalist.

I love our planet and I want it to be healthy and beautiful for a long, long time, but I have never put in a lot of serious effort if it inconveniences myself. I try to dispose of my trash appropriately, not litter, recycle when a center is nearby, reduce my waste (that goes nicely with my search for minimalism), and teach my children to do the same.

When we first came to American Samoa, we heard the beaches tended to be littered. We decided to bring a trash bag with us each time we spent the day at the beach, and use it to pick up the litter before leaving. We have done this a few times, but have become lackadaisical in our commitment to purging the beaches of their trash.

The government of American Samoa has been working to crack down on littering and encouraging beach clean-ups. Because of this, most of the beaches on our beautiful island vary between clean and charming, to breathtaking.

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Recently, we stumbled across an area of shoreline that was in dire need of clean-up.

In this instance, words do not seem necessary. You can see for yourself.

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In the tree?

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Have you heard mention the problems of single use plastics and Styrofoam?

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Granted, trash can be the portal to a child’s wonderland.

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Or a child’s landmine, with boobie traps lurking under the surface. 

Next time you hear someone advocating for cleaning up our oceans, please don’t dismiss it quite so quickly.

Even if your waste isn’t directly ending up in the ocean, it is causing harm somewhere on our Mother Earth.

Obviously, I don’t have the perfect answer of how we, as the collective human race, can stop this from happening, but I plead with you to look inside and ask, “What can I do to help? Can I be a little better?”

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