Ocean Pollution: What’s Your Solution?

Living on the beautiful island of Magerøya provides many opportunities to go hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, boating and the list goes on.  As my photos attest, the North Cape region is spectacular.  One of my favorite things to do is go hiking and explore hidden coves along the coastline.  I feel like a little kid again and am thrilled when I find driftwood, shells and polished glass.  A genuine treasure hunt!

Sadly, that’s not all I find.

chair washed up on shore, Norway coastline

Trash washed up at Fakkelbergbukta, Nordkapp, Norway

Finding such large amounts of trash and debris along these magnificent coastlines is heartbreaking and overwhelming.  I started reading about ocean pollution after we moved here and the facts are scary.  If you haven’t read about trash vortexes, I highly recommend it.  The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a ferocious monster estimated to be twice the size of Texas.  If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is.

When faced with this ugly problem, I have to ask myself what am I going to do about it?  And my simple answer to myself is, “Pick up the trash you see, Erica.”  That simple.  If I do it, and others do it as well, together we can make a difference.

In addition, I’ve chosen to write about it for some children’s articles and now here on the blog.  And as an artist, I’m working on an installation that will be completed in 2013, with the main goal of raising awareness and funds for cleaning up the coastline.  Those are my simple solutions for a complicated problem.  Maybe if we all come up with simple solutions we’ll find we make a major impact on a gigantic problem.

Ocean Pollution:  What’s your solution?

Trash at Småskjæftan, Nordkapp, Norway

About ekhaugli

I'm Erica from America living at the top of the world - North Cape, Norway. I run my own gallery, Once Upon a Dream Gallery and Gift Shop, nestled in the picturesque fishing town, Honningsvåg. In 2014 I started and environmental art project, One Step at a Time, concentrating on removing trash from or arctic shoreline.
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15 Responses to Ocean Pollution: What’s Your Solution?

  1. sueedstrom2 says:

    It’s amazing that such an amount of trash could end up in a remote part of the world. The impact of our negligence, unseen to us, is still there. (I know that ocean currents have brought this cargo to the shores of Northern Norway, but it still strikes me how we are all connected on this earth)

    • ekhaugli says:

      I know, it’s scary. And a reminder that we all have a responsibility to take care of this planet. The plastic we through away today doesn’t just magically disappear. It will still be around when my generations grandchildren are grown.

  2. knotrune says:

    It is scary, but picking it up, then what? Putting it in landfill and polluting the ground rather than the sea? I like the idea of making an artistic installation from it instead, but also some could make be reused, could that chair become garden furniture? We need to reduce our consumerism and the mentality that has us throw out perfectly good stuff just because we are bored with the colour. We need to stop making products with “built in obsolescence” and instead construct items to last, which cost more to buy, but then have no further outlay except maybe a bit of paint to change the colour without chucking them away. We need to encourage more upcycling and repurposing and change the attitudes of the majority.

    • ekhaugli says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more – we need to change our consumer mentality. I do believe picking it up is the right thing to do, and then ask yourself what can be done with it. I know that a lot of it can be reused, repurposed or at least recycled. It’s better for plastic that already exists to be recycled into another plastic product than floating in the ocean or being buried in the ground. Why not collect all the plastic soda bottles and send them to an organization that uses them to make lights http://uk.reuters.com/video/2011/07/11/bringing-light-to-the-poor-one-liter-at?videoId=216968892)? These artists collect plastics on the coastline and make jewelry (http://beachplastic.com/#). And we can avoid products that are one-time use plastics. But then we have to be willing to give up “convenience” in our daily lives. It’s not an easy battle, but it’s worth fighting. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  3. I am so glad that you have written this post! Since I was a young girl, whenever I visited the beach, in North and South Carolina, I carried a pail or something, to be able to pick up things that had come up onto the beach. Often I had more trash than treasures…but I was glad to do it. Helping the sea turtles that nest on those beaches was just one reason…Thank you for doing your part and then some…

    • ekhaugli says:

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I checked out your blog and your writing is beautiful. The latest post was so touching and I like how you tell a story to address health care issues. I’m going to follow your blog and look forward to learning more. Erica

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