A journal by Lisa.

a tipping balance
A Tipping Balance

The ocean, so vital to our planet and filled with a diverse array of living things, is being destroyed. One piece of human-produced trash at a time.

It should have been a beautiful, peaceful day at a quiet beach located in Chiba Prefecture, far from the metropolis of Tokyo. Upon stepping onto the beach, however, I immediately saw a disturbing amount of waste scattered everywhere. It is the off season, no food and beverage stands, no hordes of beach-goers, swimmers, sunbathers. Yet they have left behind their souvenirs to nature: plastic in all forms, tangled rope, styrofoam, dirty tissues. How absurd to repay the ocean, which gifted them with fresh, salty air and clear waters among many more things, with this harmful mess.

I stooped down near the water’s edge by the rock formations to see many tiny hermit crabs. The crabs seek out each new appropriate-sized shell, found from the many empty ones on the beach, as they grow. How awful it must be to stumble into a plastic beverage bottle by mistake while on the search. How terrifying for the birds who don’t know better and ingest bits of plastic and rope by mistake.

Any way I turned, I could see trash left behind by humans.It was even drifting into the sea. I waded in deep, past my knees, to pick up a piece. As I took it out, another bit of plastic caught my eye. It was endless. I couldn’t protect all the fish, turtles, and other sea life out there who would eventually come upon the pieces, flowing further and further out into the ocean, and swallow them.

Nature is being polluted, and our ignorant, self-indulgent actions are causing the pollution.

But nature isn’t just “out there” somewhere. It’s the Earth. And so are we. We’re all part of this planet, all together. It’s not enough to feel sorry for a moment and flick on to the next documentary. It’s time to do.

tipping balance
shells on the beach
sparkling black sand
hermit crab peeking
hermit crabs
trash collected on the beach

In a very short span of time, we collected enough trash to fill these two bags. There was still so much more that couldn’t fit. Hours and hours could’ve been spent without getting it all.

holding trash collected on beach