Sunday, May 15, 2011

Guest Blog: We all Share the Same Ocean

Tomorrow is the WordCount blogathon post exchange, and I'm delighted to present Kris Bordessa, author, features writer, and the voice behind one of my favorite blogs, Attainable Sustainable, where she writes about reviving the lost art of self-sufficiency, one small change at a time – because every little green initiative we take does make a difference. Here’s Kris …

As with those of you who live or vacation in Wellfleet, I love the ocean. Happily, I live in Hawai‘i where restive beaches, vivid blue water, and neon tropical fish are never far away. But with nature comes responsibility. Everything runs downhill to the ocean.

As you might imagine, plants grow really well here in the tropics. Turn your back, and weeds and vines have taken over roadways and power lines. The solution? Chemical poisons. County workers suited up from head to toe to in hazmat gear spray poison along the roads. They are protected, but Mother Earth is not. Soon, dead brown strips of vegetation frame the asphalt roads. Homeowners spray Roundup because it's easier than hand pulling weeds. How many people consider the fact that the poisons are impacting the natural cycle and will eventually end up in our ocean?

Pests are another problem that are dealt with aggressively here. Residential and commercial buildings are commonly sprayed with harsh pesticides to keep the bug population in check. I get it. Nobody likes cockroaches or centipedes, after all. But at what cost? Those poisons kill bugs while we humans survive with no visible damage, but what about long term? Perhaps we'll have a lovely, bug-free life until cancer rears its ugly head and we realize that the big blue ocean that we say we love is no longer as clear or as thriving as it once was.

These chemical poisons end up in our oceans, they end up in our food, and they end up in our bodies. But our decisions can make a difference.

We have to break the habits that have become part of our day to day living. We can say no to plastic bags. We can ask our grocers to carry local, organic produce. We can cancel the monthly bug spray service and we can stop throwing chemical fertilizers on our lawns. We can choose the greener path whether it's at home or while planning a vacation simply by stopping to consider the impact of our choices and our habits.

Mother Earth will thank you for it. Hawaii will thank you for it. And I'm sure Wellfleet will thank you for it.