I shared this story on my facebook last Wednesday. The text is more likely to be a blogpost, so I like to share it here as well…
Buenos días hermosa playita.
On mornings like these I feel the richest woman in the world. This is our home. Here you see beautiful pictures of Cala Tarida’s beach on Ibiza of today, March 7.
It’s almost too good to be true, right?
Nothing is what it seems..
Like many pictures you see on social media, showing you the perfect lives, the gorgeous bodies, the flawless faces, the success stories, best jobs and the brightest colours, they don’t tell the real truth. Under the surface there is something not completely right, there are troubles, worries and fears. There are tears screaming to break free, well hidden under layers of beauty and happiness. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing is perfect. Nobody is happy all the time. Let me tell you these stunning beach photos don’t expose the real truth neither.
As I walked on the beach this morning there was nobody, not even people with dogs playing around. I first watched the waves crashing on the sand, I looked at the crystal clear water and the sun shining on the surface of the sea. I started walking and with every step I took I saw waste spread around. A container, bottles, one boot, a broken bucket and thousands of tiny coloured pieces. Blue, red, yellow and green particles spread over the sand. Also hidden under it. Lids, straws, juice boxes, packaging, tampax shells. All I saw was plastic. Every step I took there was litter. I started putting the garbage in the broken bucket. Only a few meters further the bucket was full.
I looked down and seeing the thousands of tiny plastic pieces everywhere, especially after the stormy days we have had, I felt hurt. Truly. And I know why it hit me so hard this morning. It’s because this is my home and therefore I feel affected by it on a personal level. I witness the pollution, the damage, with my own eyes. These years living near the sea made me realise how much I respect the sea and all what’s living in her. Her mystery. She’s never the same. On stormy days when she is wild I love her even more.
When I was removing the rubbish I man walked down from the stairs, he works for the municipality. He started to clean like he does every day here. He pointed me the parts of the beach he cleaned yesterday and said he has to start all over again each day as the litter never ends. It’s a real tragedy and people have to become much more aware of this problem which is worse than we ever imagined, he said. The plastic waste pollutes seas and beaches all over the world. He thanked me for helping him and I could put the waste in the little vehicle upstairs if I wanted so he could have it recycled later. I thanked him for the work he does.
Not in my backyard
As I walked my way home I thought that most people will just start to care when they feel affected by it. Like I do now. We tend to only come in action when the problem gets to our doorstep. When it’s still far away we don’t feel the effects and we don’t change our behaviour. Without us the seas would be still full of life instead of the plastic garbage we keep on producing massively.
A while ago I shared a short video clip I made on social media of the micro plastic and cigarette-ends polluting the beach of Cala Tarida. I wanted to make another video today to show you, but decided not to. I decided to show only the beautiful side.
On Instagram there are many initiatives and organisations who are doing beach cleans. They show the amounts of garbage they remove from the beaches and it’s really astonishing. I read about a huge beach clean in Mallorca a few days ago and only a few hours after the people started cleaning they already collected 500 kg of plastic pollution. It’s great that people come together and make it better. It’s difficult to understand why this is needed in the first place.
So here I show you only beauty, no ugly plastic. Just realise this beauty isn’t 100% real.
There’s ugliness if you look well, but you can’t tell from the pictures.
There’s suffering under the surface. In fact, there’s a real tragedy going on.
I just love this sea, this beach and those we have on the island and elsewhere in the world. They deserve so much better than this. They deserve to be cared for. Not to be used like a huge garbage dump. Let’s treat the seas and our environment with love and respect just like we love our partners, parents, our children, friends and pets.
Finally, here are just two simple things everybody can do to make a change:
- Don’t buy plastic water bottles. Take a re-useable bottle, full it up with water and take it with you.
- Ban straws. If you’re ordering a drink say clearly you want it without a straw.
If we all do that, straws will be no longer polluting the beaches and seas. Especially when the holiday season arrives, let’s pay attention to this. We don’t need straws anyway. The same goes for the plastic bottles.
Are you joining?
Feel free to share this post. The more people starting to care, the better.