Last November 23rd, I wrote a post about the dismay I feel when the extent of accumulated roadside litter becomes readily apparent each spring after the snow melt and each fall as the vegetation begins to die back. Personally, I find the amount of litter to be disgraceful and emblematic of how callous we humans can be towards our lovely planet.
This week I came across a statistic even more revolting than the trash desecrating our roadways. According to a 2006 United Nations Environmental Report cited by Greenpeace, there are 46,000 pieces of trash in every square mile of ocean.
Doing a little math, that equates to more than six trillion (6,000,000,000,000) pieces of trash floating in our oceans and I am not even counting adjacent bodies of water like the Gulf of Mexico or the Mediterranean Sea. Frankly, that statistic is beyond staggering, it is freaking pathetic! Throw in all the junk we leave in outer space or left on the moon and we humans are quite an untidy bunch of slobs.
My proposed method to address these sad facts is to personally resolve to pick up at least one piece of trash littering our planet each and every day. If each of us does that less litter will blight our parks, neighborhoods, and roadways and hopefully less will migrate into water bodies ranging from small vernal pools to mighty oceans. It is time to turn the tide and reverse our bad habits, by resolving to care for the Earth as it should be cared for every newly dawned day.
UPDATE: Six trillion pieces of trash comes to approximately 860 pieces of trash per person on the planet.