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https://www.youthvoices.live/tag/stopplasticpollution/

Littering in Oakland

Did you know that littering has become an unacceptable habit for Oakland? Also, did you know that Oakland can face many expenses just from littering? Littering is when people leave trash such as items, objects, on the ground making it look unsanitary. In Oakland, citizens have noticed the mess people are leaving behind especially the Mayor of Oakland who is angry. As Oakland residents, they aren’t picking up or making a change to clean our trash that is in OUR community. It’s causing a problem for Oakland residents too because they will be paying an expensive fine for littering. Based on research, littering has become an awful habit for people in Oakland because it’s increasing the pile of trash that is being thrown onto the streets and illicit dumping costs the city tax money. 

Firstly, Oakland has a surplus of trash and are trying to clean it up, but it’s still too much. In the article, “Battle for the Bay wraps up with record turnout in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose” it talks about how Oakland had the most picked up trash by volunteers from Oakland and people from the Bay Area participated to compete for the San Francisco vs Oakland clean up day, on September 21, 2019. In Oakland just about 11 miles searching for trash to pick up and clean, there was a shocking number of trash picked up by volunteers and there was 109,460 pounds of trash, founded (SF.gov ). This highlights that Oakland has a problem that could have a high chance of increasing trash in the bay area, polluting the streets, drains, that could affect the water too.

Secondly, in the article “How Oakland Tackles Costly Illegal Dumping With Technology and rewards” by Amanda Parr, she talks about how if Oakland residents don’t pick up after their trash, they will have to pay an expensive fine for illegal dumping. She wrote, Oakland, California has an illegal dumping problem that costs the city $5.5 million per year. This demonstrates that if residents in Oakland don’t realize or make an impact for illegal dumping then they will have to pay the price of others.

So Oakland needs a solution to stop dumping because it’s illegal, harmful, and disrespectful to the environment. Solutions that Oakland can use is raising money for volunteers to provide with equipment to clean up around the streets where most trash is thrown because residents know that they won’t be caught and stopped what they’re doing. In an interview with an Oakland teenager she feels that a solution is “ A solution to help Oakland is to make cleaning outside the streets into a paid job, so more people can participate and make streets sanitary” (Martinez). This solution is beneficial because residents will actually be paid with money then this will motivate them to clean more than they ever have. After cleaning neighborhoods, streets, this will be useful because they will realize how the cleaning helped out the community and make residents pleased with where they live.

In conclusion, Oakland residents do have a nasty habit of throwing trash onto the ground, and not being able to pick up after themselves. Also, making Oakland have to pay a huge amount of money for illegal dumping. But this could change if people congregated when cleaning up, giving people motivation to participate in activities that can help the environment surrounding us.

This is credible because this article took place in San Francisco and Oakland residents volunteered to be in the competition of cleaning so they have experienced how much trash they have picked up in the bay area.
“Battle for the Bay Wraps up with Record Turnout in San Francisco, Oakland and San José.” San Francisco, 24 Sept. 2019, sf.gov/news/battle-bay-wraps-record-turnout-san-francisco-oakland-and-san-jose.
This article talks about how Oakland and San Francisco came together and made a competition that helped out both of the communities clean up trash, they then realized how much trash there was out there in public spaces or outside where we live.
Parr, Amanda. “How Oakland Tackles Costly Illegal Dumping with Technology and Rewards.” Medium, Fixer Stories, 19 Mar. 2019, blog.seeclickfix.com/how-oakland-tackles-costly-illegal-dumping-with-technology-and-rewards-55ba408ad3ab.
Pablo, Angelina, and Divianca Martinez. “Littering.” 19 Dec. 2019.


Single-use Plastic

Dear Youth Voices,

Plastic Pollution is a serious topic that should be focused on. Many times, the plastic is polluting the Ocean. There are many ways to fight it like recycling, reusing plastic, and not using single-use plastics. What I believe should be done is reducing the amount of single-use plastics made and used.

The first thing we can do is “refusing to any single-use plastics that we don’t need” (Hutchinson 2). There are a lot of single-use plastics that we don’t need. This includes, water bottles, plastic bags, food wrapping like sandwich bags, bubble wrap for packaging, wrapping, and utensils plus dishes like forks, spoons, knives, and cups. All these have alternatives or “alternative versions of those products” (Hutchinson 2). You can easily use a reusable water bottle like a hydroflask or something along the lines like that. You can use reusable grocery bags, paper bags, old newspaper or foam, and metal utensils and reusable cups.  In 2015 alone, 448 million tons of plastic were produced around the world (Anastasia 1). By using alternatives, we’re already reducing the amount of single-use plastic being thrown out.

My second reason is “Americans use roughly 100 billion plastic bags per year. Plastic bags can take 400 to 1000 years to decompose. But their chemical residues remain for years after” (oneworldoneocean.com). The reason I chose this is, plastic bags are single-use plastics and can harm marine animals when they eat it thinking it’s food. Over half of the 120 marine species have been found entangled in or ingesting plastic (oneworldoneocean). This plastic literally takes forever to decompose and its still around after the animals eat and die from it. A lot of times, us humans eat the sea animals and there could be microplastics in them. This happens because we don’t recycle a lot of our plastic. Another alternative to plastic is cardboard, as is it recyclable as well, and the best part is, it’s biodegradable! (4Ocean.com)

Now you might be wondering, is all single-use plastic harmful? Well the answer is no. There are a lot of helpful and useful single-use plastics. These can be found in labs and hospitals in things like gloves, syringes, vials, pipettes and sample bags – these are all single-use to control contamination and infection (Harvey 2). We wouldn’t want to re-use something that has been contaminated. It’s important to be careful and safe in these types of places where there is chemicals and sickness. Single-use plastic is used in domestic food aid, emergency responses, and international aid efforts these all need food and water that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and can all be distributed when and where it’s needed (Harvey 2).

In conclusion, I believe that the amount of unnecessary single-use plastics should be reduced.  This can be done by using alternatives and recycling. By doing this, I hope we can secure a cleaner ocean and a better future.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Solis

Works Cited

Anastasia, Laura. “How Plastic Is Trashing The Planet”. The New York Times, 2019, pp. 15-17, https://upfront.scholastic.com/issues/2018-19/010719/how-plastic-is-trashing-the-planet.html#1030L. Accessed 13 June 2019.

Harvey, Paul. “Sometimes We Really Need Single-Use Plastics”. Oceans Deeply, 2018, https://www.newsdeeply.com/oceans/community/2018/07/06/sometimes-we-really-need-single-use-plastics. Accessed 13 June 2019.

Hutchinson, Brian. “7 Ways To Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution Today”. Oceanicsociety.Org, https://www.oceanicsociety.org/blog/1720/7-ways-to-reduce-ocean-plastic-pollution-today?gclid=Cj0KCQjwt_nmBRD0ARIsAJYs6o2I-yUUjMIcWXCXDjmIhdjb0-AfrgQ_QyL-F2jhXG2eZt6lK1sZrLgaAnhmEALw_wcB. Accessed 13 June 2019.

oneworldoneocean.com. Plastics Breakdown. http://www.oneworldoneocean.com/images/blog/OWOO_PlasticsInfographic_2012_b.jpg. Accessed 13 June 2019.

Team, 4Ocean. “15 Ways To Reduce Your Plastic Use – 4Ocean”. 4Ocean, 2019, https://4ocean.com/blogs/blog/15-ways-to-reduce-your-plastic-use-4ocean. Accessed 13 June 2019.


The Creation of our Plastic Pollution Blog

In February, I created a blog about plastic pollution with two of my friends. I am very passionate about this topic. As a member of Generation Z, I realized how important is it to begin to take action to limit the amount of plastic we use. I wanted to help make a better life for myself and people in the future, which is why I decided to take part in the creation of this site. I want to take small steps to help solve a big problem. This site was part of my goal to create a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, waterways and oceans, and the environment. After 4 months, our project has been successful. We advocated the ban of plastic bags, and in April 22, 2019, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. In addition, we gained many views and supporters during this project.

Our blog has been successful. In total, our blog has received 162 views and 69 visitors. In addition, we got a few views from Ireland, China, and Martinique. Our blog post titled “DIY Mason Jar Tumbler” has the most views (https://plasticearth.home.blog/2019/04/16/diy-mason-jar-tumbler/). It was our first DIY post. It was to encourage our viewers to take action and give them suggestions on how to do so. It provided a direct guide to making something beneficial to the environment. It was fun, informative, and got our viewers to do something meaningful. The popularity of our blog and DIY post indicate that we have gained supporters and our project has been successful.

In addition, our petition has gained many supporters. As part of our project, we created a petition on change.org titled “Charge for plastic bags at major supermarkets and food chains in New York.” In only 4 months, our petition has received 59 signatures and 59 supporters. Our petition has not received any constructive comments. We updated our viewers on our petition 7 times on our blog and promoted it 3 times on Twitter, 3 times on Instagram, and 3 times on Facebook. Since we promoted it so heavily across our popular Instagram accounts, it became successful. Our avocation has succeed, leading to the ban of single-use plastic bags. New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in April 2019. Our goal has been achieved, proving how our blog and petition has been successful.

Our plethora of evidence of successful and engaging blog posts and petitions demonstrate how our project has been successful. We gained many supporters and views on our posts. Our blog has many posts about plastic pollution and steps to take to improve our situation, and many people have noticed and read it. If we had to redo our project again, I’d try to promote it more on social medias to improve views. Regardless of the success we had, we hope that future visitors of our site will recognize our goal and help us achieve a better future.


Plastic Pollution SUCKS

“Plastic Pollution Sucks” ‘s goal was to ban plastic bags in New York. We also wanted to make people more aware of the fact that the Earth is dying and how they can help save it. We wanted to make sure that everyone knew about our cause and want to help save mother Earth. Our blog somewhat worked because halfway through doing the project they banned plastic bags in New York.

We’ve made countless blog posts about zero-waste swap outs people can make in their lives and how plastic pollution is affecting the Earth. One post I made was about plastic pollution’s effect on the marine ecosystem, here’s a snippet: “Plastic pollution has many effects on the ocean. Plastic consists of very large molecules that have not been implicated into environmental pollution. This means that plastic can take decades to about a thousand years to decompose and 8.3 billion metric tons of trash have been produced and 6.3 billion metric tons of it, or about 79%, of it, is plastic. Most of our plastic ends up in landfills and the ocean. If these trends continue, there will be 12 billion metric tons in landfills and the ocean by 2050. This is as heavy as 35,000 times the Empire State building.”       

I’ve also made some posts about crafts someone could make in order to make their life more zero-waste and sustainable, one of our most popular posts, “DIY Mason Jar Tumbler”, where I told the audience how they can make their own reusable tumbler to take with them to the coffee shop or they can use it for any drink in general. “Use the drill or line up pick to drill a hole into the lid of the jar, mason jar lids usually have an indent as to where the center is, so use that for reference 2. All you have to after is insert your metal straw and you’re done!”

I also made some posts on ways they can waste less food and trash in general, “Avoid prepackaged foods and opt for loose produce instead! The loose produce is most likely fresher, and therefore, much better for you! Did you know most apples that come in plastic packages were picked at least 6 months ago? Do you really want to eat a 6-month-old apple? And even if you do have plastic containers, reuse them! 1. Pick the ugly produce that gets left behind. The tomato that is a little darker on the outside will taste exactly the same as the other tomatoes. Seriously, they all taste the same. 2. Make sure you store fruits and vegetables in the right place to make sure they last for as long as they can. Peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, and squashes are to be kept at room temperature. Ripen apples and avocados on the counter and then store them in the fridge. You should also store potatoes and onions in a cool, dark place. 3. Use extra vegetables to make soups, stir-fries, and vegetable stock. You can also freeze the soup for 2-3 months to enjoy later.”

As you can see, we’ve done a lot to show people how to waste less and save the planet. We’ve shown them ways to We’ve also done a decent job of telling people the effects they have on the Earth. If I had to do this project over again, I’d promote it more on social media and I’d post more often. I’d talk less about being more sustainable and more about why they should be more sustainable.

-Mansha 🙂


Plastic In The Ocean

https://youtu.be/hW1BOFJDWPg

I have choose to make plastic pollution in the ocean as my digital activism topic. I want to spread awareness on growing ocean pollution as plastic will continue to end up in the ocean, killing many sea animals. Plastic entires the ocean at an alarming rate and a lot of plastic is already in the ocean. A huge amount of water is already in the ocean so I think it would be ideal to mention that and bring attention to it.

This video that I have made discusses how much plastic is in the ocean with how much continues to entire the ocean. I use visual and audio components to present the topic effectively and bring more attention to our blog post and our cause.

Link to blog: https://plasticintheocean.video.blog/