Browsing articles from "November, 2013"
Nov 29, 2013

Down The Marine Garbage Patches Rabbit Hole

In recent months, media outlets and some stars have actually turned the spotlight on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Last August, a player of experts, researchers, oceanographers, and ocean-lovers set sail in an exploration, referred to as the Job Kaisei, in the location to find out more about the extent of this hazard to the ocean environment.

The Great Pacific Patch is a huge swath of the ocean, approximated to be twice the size of Texas is having as much as 100 million tons of plastic garbage. In 1997, Captain Charles Moore, a California-based sea captain found the location, while passing through on his method home from a sailing race in Asia. The documents and samples revived by the analysts of Project Kaisei verified our worst fears – the location is much larger than was initially thought, it is full of a lot debris, and it is growing.

Close to 20 % of discarded plastic ends up in the sea. There is an area understood officially as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or the Eastern Garbage Patch. It is 1,000 miles west of San Francisco, a swirling mass of plastic in an area two times the size of Texas. A research by the United Nations Environmental Program approximates that in this region there are 46,000 drifting pieces of plastic for each square mile of ocean and the trash now distributes to a depth of 30 meters.

When the main section of the Garbage Patch drifts over the Hawaiian Islands, Waimanalo Beach on Oahu is covered with blue-green plastic sand while Midway Atoll – a significant rookery for albatross – is now a PERMANENT garbage stack. Greenpeace estimates that a million seabirds a year pass away from plastic consumption, many of them chicks that have starved to fatality with bellies full of plastic cigarette lighters, toy soldiers and bottle caps. About 100,000 marine creatures also die. Sea turtles moving past the Garbage Patch do not understand the difference in between a drifting jellyfish and a drifting plastic bag and often eat plastic bags. Scientists who study the Rubbish Vortex say there is little we can do to cleanse it up. Most of exactly what is now there will ultimately sink to the ocean floor where it will seriously interrupt ocean ecosystems.

Let’s Continue This Analysis

The plastic now caught in the patch has collected progressively with several decades from debris organized or cleaned to the sea from the surrounding shorelines and from passing ships. This is garbage coming from every country in the North Pacific basin from North America to East Asia to Australia. The garbage is drawn to exactly what is referred to as the Northern Pacific Gyre, a system of currents in the northern Pacific, required into the center of the big vortex, and trapped there by the peripheral distributing currents.

Garbage can make its way from land to the ocean quite easily with our brains. With enhanced varieties of plastics, glamorous lifestyles and enhanced laziness litter is being flushed into our gutters which is ending up in the ocean and our stunning environment. As soon as in the ocean, some sinks to the ocean floor or is ingested by sea creatures while the rest is drawn to what is known as the Northern Pacific Gyre. The Northern Pacific Gyre is a system of currents which drags garbage into the center of a substantial vortex which is then trapped by peripheral distributing currents. The enclosed enormous mass of garbage is known as the Pacific Garbage Patch.

Many people misinterpreted the mass of garbage. They anticipate to cruise out to the Gyre and find a rubbish island. In truth the ocean teems with small colored parts of plastic. The plastic is simply more concentrated in the Gyre and is accompanied by bottles, webs and helmets floating on the surface area. This substantial ecological catastrophe is unidentified to many due to the fact that it is out in the middle of the ocean which is yet to influence our daily lives. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is comprised of the East Gyre and West Gyre which is located roughly between 135° to 155° W and 35° to 42° N. It ranges from the coastline of California all the way to Japan and in some locations the debris is 90 feet deep.

It was discovered by Charles J. Moore who came across this enormous stretch of floating Debris while returning house through the North Pacific Gyre after the TRANSPAC Sailing Race in 1997. A similar patch of floating plastic debris is found in the Atlantic Ocean. Something much like the garbage patch was anticipated in a paper released in 1988 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States, with Alaska-based study which determined the boost of tiny plastic particles in the ocean water. This is evidence that as time goes by the circumstance is getting dramatically worse.

One of the tasks of the Kaisei clinical exploration was to figure out the viability of removing the plastic from this location for commercial recycling. Up until that is possible, it would be too expensive for any one nation to undertake the clean up of this veritable mess. Exactly what might be done at present is to attempt and decrease, if not stop altogether, the circulation of garbage that gets contributed to the patch each year. We need stringent strong garbage disposal policies to avoid more garbage from spilling into the ocean. An increasing number of cities are now banning entirely the use of plastic bags and polystyrene containers, and this is a vital step.

On the individual level, we can magnify recycling and minimize, if not eliminate, our acquisitions of plastic. BYOB – ‘Bring Your Own Bag’ – is not just a catchy motto but a considerable factor that would substantially help the ocean – if all of us do it.

Out of sight, out of mind. That’s the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for the majority of us. It is genuinely – as real as the plastic keyboard in front of you, right now – it is out there growing by the day from all the garbage we toss away so heedlessly.

Nov 2, 2013

Solar Lighting: Benefits for the Rural Areas of the World

ruralareasdevelopingcountriesIs solar lighting a fad, something that a really great marketer made up to get people to believe they’re actually helping the environment? Or are there real and substantial benefits to switching to solar lighting.  The places where we would see the biggest advantage are in rural areas of developing countries.  The developing world has significantly benefited from the use of solar lighting in rural regions. Here’s why:


Solar lamps replace kerosene lamps, which are a serious fire hazard in the developing world. There are tens of thousands of people killed every year from fires caused by kerosene lamps. Solar electric is a safe way to have lighting without the risk of fire.

Lighting After Dark

Having cheap, solar powered lighting after dark allows families to work longer and get more done. It has been shown that regions where there is more solar lighting have increased economic activity because they can work longer. Bringing in solar lighting into a rural area also brings more economic activity with the sale of lighting in that area.

The other side of this is that literacy rates are also increasing as people can now read after dark more easily than they can by candlelight. People in rural areas can now seek education more readily and also attach themselves to the modern world.

Saves Energy and Reduces Air Pollution

Solar lighting allows rural areas to save electricity costs, which can be put towards the lighting of their centers, or more urban areas. The use of solar power also decreases the air pollution in a region, which can also keep the agriculture healthier.

Improves Health Programs

The use of solar lighting system by health centers in rural areas also improves the quality of the care. Solar systems will allow power to be on longer and will improve the actual ability to see properly, ultimately leading to better diagnosis and treatments. Even childbirth often happens in the dark.