Filter Your Way To A Greener Earth


“What do you want for dinner honey, how about plastic?” This may seem like a ridiculous statement, but it’s one that needs to be taken seriously. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a large island in the Pacific Ocean that is full of tires, plastic, nets, and lots and lots of trash. To be clear, the largest landfill isn’t on land, it’s in the ocean. An estimated 80% of the garbage in the ocean comes from land sources and plastic composes 90% of the trash floating in the oceans around the world. The size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not verified, but some say that it is twice the size of the state of Texas while others say the garbage island is 3.8 million square miles. The trash leaves human hands, goes into the ocean, and kills sea animals. Sea turtles become entangled by fishing nets, eating plastic bags mistaking them as jelly fish, and dying because of it. Birds are also scooping up the trash and feeding it to their young mistaking it for food and dying from starvation or ruptured organs. How does this process come to a full circle? The trash leaves humans hands, goes into the ocean, animals then eat the trash, bigger animals eat the smaller animals that have ingested the trash, the animals are then caught by fisherman, and then the fish, which have ingested trash and plastic, ends up on your dinner plate. Sounds delicious right? No, I didn’t think so.

Mostly everyone can agree with the statement that we live in the “Age of Plastic”. However, it has been a growing issue within the world that plastic is harmful to the environment. But has anyone stopped to think of what it is doing to the human body? Werner Boote has and that is why he created the documentary called Plastic Planet. Boote traveled all over the world to understand how plastic is made and used throughout the countries. During the video he speaks to the world’s foremost experts in biology, pharmacology, and genetics to receive some answers about the effects of plastics. A shocking revolution of this video is that plastic is actually in our blood. He created this video to educate those about the risks of plastic and how long the material really lasts on earth. This video is encouraging those to limit the use of plastic and to educate the next generations of children so that they understand what kind of a plant they are being introduced to. Last year, the Green Team on UNCW’s campus collaborated with another sustainability group to play this movie for the students to see. People should be educated on the effects of plastic and understand how harmful it really is.http://firstrunfeatures.com/plasticplanetdvd.html

Many companies are now producing products to help save the environment and cut down on the amount of plastic bottles the world uses every year. Brita water filters has made technology so that customers can make tap water from their home safe from harmful bacteria and pure while using their own glasses. Brita has a new campaign, Brita For Good, which asks customers to use their bottle and pitcher filters to save about 300 plastic bottles from being used and thrown away. The average filter needs to be thrown away every two months, so you don’t have to constantly be worrying about changing the filter. Camelbak is another company striving to save the environment from being consumed by waste. They have recently designed a product to solve water purification problems with a system that uses UV light. The bottle takes 60 seconds to purify the water inside, which is not too long to wait for pure and fresh water.

-Kelsey Bendig, Brooke Keller, Andrea Blanton, Brian Burch

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11 thoughts on “Filter Your Way To A Greener Earth

  1. Just got my own Brita Filter! It’s definitely just as easy to use as the faucet so I might as well help the environment!

    • I can’t say that this news was shocking to me. I have heard about the negative effects plastic can have on humans. However, I was unaware of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In reading this I was amazed that we could allow that much trash pile up, when it could have detrimental effects to our wildlife and even ourselves. This is something that everyone should be made aware of. I personally own both a Brita and a Camelbak in efforts to keep myself and the environment healthy. If more people were to buy into this and simply make an effort to eliminate the amount of plastic they use/ discard of, our planet would be more sustainable. There just needs to be more awareness.

      • I have heard about the effects of plastics as well but I must admit this blog really put it into perspective. There is no excuse for th Great Pacific Garbage Patch and as the population grows and we stay dependent on plastic the Patch wll grow as well. This will lead to very negative consiquences for us and our aquatic life. It is so easy to buy a brita and a reusable water bottle so that you can use less plastic in your life. Using a reusable water bottle will save you money in the long run. You can not live anyone else’s life for them you can only make a change in your own life. Making a switch to reusable water bottles seems like a small thing but it can lead to big improvements.

  2. Love this topic, personally I have no idea how something like this water garbage pile can happen let alone be ignored. Are there any organizations cleaning this up or just organizations creating solutions for the future? Anything interesting qpresearch aspect to this topic is, what does this water trash pile look like from outer space, if it’s zoo big we should be able to see it via satellite.

    This makes me think of another ocean topic.. The world islands off Dubai. A more happy topic, check it out.

  3. I learned about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch a couple years ago in my environmental science class, and I hate to admit it, but I forgot that was even out in the ocean until reading this blog post. I’m glad this issue is being recognized for others to see! I have been using a Brita Filter for a while now, and I hope everyone takes at least one small step such as this to help out the environment. If anyone is interested, I found an article called “10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth.” Here’s the link. Enjoy! http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/save-earth-top-ten.htm

  4. I learned about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch a couple years ago in my environmental science class, and I hate to admit it, but I forgot that was even out in the ocean until reading this blog post. I’m glad this issue is being recognized for others to see! I have been using a Brita Filter for a while now, and I hope everyone takes at least one small step such as this to help out the environment. If anyone is interested, I found an article called “10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth.” Here’s the link. Enjoy! http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/save-earth-top-ten.htm

  5. I believe that this is a very crucial issue that needs to be heard. Many Americans are uneducated about this issue and don’t believe that they are the problem. I know I personally can do a lot more to be environmentally friendly and I have been working on it. I own a Brita water filter and use it every day and use a refillable water bottle as well. I think the Camelbak water bottle is a great idea and I will be considering purchasing one. More college campuses need to take actions that UNCW has to become a green campus. UNCW has been very successful with using recyclable products and needs to keep up the good work.

  6. I love my brita pitcher and I love my new brita water bottle even more because I literally have filtered water anywhere! My mom got me started a few years back on trying to reduce the number of plastic water bottles I use so I try to buy them as little as possible. You can almost always find me with my personal water bottle on me at all times. I think the video was really enlightening to people who don’t know how much plastic humans waste each year.

  7. Wow. I have always known that we are having serious negative impacts on our planet from the amounts of trash we dispose everywhere in the world. However, I have to admit I’ve never even heard mention of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch until reading this post. I am really surprised that we are not doing more to clean up this area. We really need to do something about it and the best way to start is by spreading awareness (such as through this blog post).

  8. I think it’s great that companies are doing what they can to encourage people to live a greener life and help preserve the Earth. We are destroying our Earth daily by the careless things we do, and I am guilty of that as well. I think the idea of using reusable water bottles is a great start and something easy that everyone can do. I can’t seem to understand why people find it so hard to use reusable water bottles instead of plastic ones. You buy the bottle for 10 or 20 dollars max, and after that, it’s free. It’s free to put water in your bottle. What isnt’ free is buying packs of plastic water bottles at $6 every week, so that you can drink them once and throw them away. There are such simple solutions for people to do to advance towards a greener planet!

  9. This article made both my jaw drop and my stomach churn. It was very informative considering I had never really thought about where the trash I produce ended up. I have heard of several theories but never really gave it a second thought. I barely every purchase any sort of water bottle and thought I was helping the environment out that way but was struck with a harsh realization when I really thought about the fact that nearly EVERYTHING is made up of or composed of plastic. I am greatly disappointing in us as human beings and believe we should make it a huge priority to do what we can to clean up this patch. We need to find a way to decompose the material that we make, scientists should focus on creating a non toxic chemical that can aid in the disinigration or plastic.

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