A brilliant group called Take 3 For the Sea has launched the effort to illustrate how even our smallest acts can make a huge impact when they are multiplied across the masses. You don’t have to use social media to participate – in fact, you don’t even need a computer! But if you do choose to share what you’ve done, you could well inspire many others to do the same. Doing your part is amazing, and getting others on board is even better.
Take 3 For the Sea’s message is simple: “Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or… anywhere and you have made a difference.”
According to their website, they’re responsible for having 10 million pieces of rubbish removed from beaches each year, with people across 129 countries participating.
The idea started in 2009 when two friends, marine ecologist Roberta Dixon-Valk and educator Amanda Marechal were looking for ways to stop plastic pollution from killing our planet’s wildlife. They teamed up with environmentalist Tim Silverwood a year later to publicly launch the Take 3 organisation and have been inspiring people to clean up the planet ever since.
This is something you can do on your own, any time you’re outdoors. If you want to officially participate in the challenge, all you need to do is take a picture or video of you picking up three pieces of rubbish. Share it on your Facebook or Instagram account using hashtags #Take3Challenge and #Take3fortheSea, and tag three of your friends in the caption to challenge them to follow your lead and do their part for the environment.
Maxim Blinkoff: Shutterstock
Ary Malemdiwa: Shutterstock
Plastic in the sea is getting worse. Illustrated by a dead whale that was recently found in the Philippines carrying 40 kilograms of plastic inside its stomach. Some of the objects found included shopping bags, plastic bags and rice sacks. Scientists say the whale died of starvation and dehydration on account of having all that plastic inside its stomach, and it’s a fate shared by thousands of animals that we never end up hearing about.
For whales like this one who rely on echolocation to find food, plastic pollution is a big problem. Their natural source of food has an echo that is quite similar to that of plastic bags, and they have trouble distinguishing between litter and legitimate food in the dark depths of the ocean where they feed.
Even when they can see at shallower depths, plastic can look and smell a lot like their natural food sources. For example, plastic covered in algae will look like food and the animals may not realise it’s actually waste. Moreover, plastic bags can float and bob with currents in a way that makes them look like jellyfish.
Once the plastic enters their body, it can cause problems right away. It can compact within their stomach and prevent real food from making its way into their intestines. When it lines their stomach, it stops them from absorbing nutrients. Either way, it is likely to end in death.
Take 3 for The Sea