The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Artist Creates Advent Calendar From Beach Trash to Raise Awareness of Ocean Plastics
At least eight million tons of plastic ends up in the world's oceans every year, and some of it washes up on the beautiful pink-sand beaches of Bermuda. But one inventive artist has found a way to turn this tragedy into a unique and educational take on the traditional Advent calendar, CNN reported.
Every day this December, travel photographer Meredith Andrews has been using her Instagram to add a new page to her "Adventgram." Each page photographs a collection of artfully arranged plastic items Andrews has found.
"I'm just trying to say that this is all of our problem. We are choking in plastic. We are drowning in plastic," Andrews told CNN. "Killing our ocean and choking our ocean with plastic is going to have such a detrimental effect on everyone on the planet."
Andrews focuses on a specific category of trash each day, and offers viewers suggestions for how they can stop more of that item from ending up in the sea. December 1, for example, focused on toothbrushes.
"Roughly 3.5 billion toothbrushes are sold each year and in the US alone that equates to 50 million pounds of waste," Andrews wrote. "Think about making the change to a toothbrush made of bamboo."
Andrews explained her process to CNN.
"I think about what I have, what I've done the day before, what message I want to express and actually in a way I sort of let the trash guide me," she said.
Entries range from expected items like bottle caps (Dec. 2) and plastic rope from fishing gear (Dec. 6), to more surprising finds like deodorant containers (Dec. 17) and glow sticks (Dec. 7), which long-line fisherman use as lures.
December 20th's entry on plastic toys doubles as a last-minute shopping suggestion for anyone with children in their life.
"Try Green Toys who make their rocket ships, tug boats & submarines from recycled plastic," Andrews wrote.
This isn't the first time Andrews has used her artistic skills to raise awareness about ocean plastic pollution, as a scroll through her Twitter and Instagram feeds shows. On the Fourth of July, she tweeted an American flag made from plastic, with the message, "Now just don't forget to clean up after yourselves."
Andrews has done Adventgrams in previous years too, using found objects to shape numbers, but this year is the first year she has focused on using beach trash to count down the days till Christmas.
- Column: Tackling Bermuda's Trash Problem - Bernews ›
- Throwaway society is spoiling beaches | The Royal Gazette ... ›
- North Atlantic Garbage Patch – Sargasso Sea, Atlantic Ocean - Atlas ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The annual Arctic thaw has kicked off with record-setting ice melt and sea ice loss that is several weeks ahead of schedule, scientists said, as the New York Times reported.
'This Should Scare the Hell Out of You': Photo of Greenland Sled Dog Teams Walking on Melted Water Goes Viral
By Jon Queally
In yet the latest shocking image depicting just how fast the world's natural systems are changing due to the global climate emergency, a photograph showing a vast expanse of melted Arctic ice in Greenland — one in which a pair of sled dog teams appear to be walking on water — has gone viral.
By Tia Schwab
It has been almost a year since Hurricane Florence slammed the Carolinas, dumping a record 30 inches of rainfall in some parts of the states. At least 52 people died, and property and economic losses reached $24 billion, with nearly $17 billion in North Carolina alone. Flood waters also killed an estimated 3.5 million chickens and 5,500 hogs.
'Huge Victory' for Grassroots Climate Campaigners as NY Lawmakers Reach Deal on Sweeping Climate Legislation
By Julia Conley
Grassroots climate campaigners in New York applauded on Monday after state lawmakers reached a deal on sweeping climate legislation, paving the way for the passage of what could be some of the country's most ambitious environmental reforms.
Tens of Thousands Flee Extreme Heatwave in India as Temperatures Topping 120°F Kill Dozens Across Country
By Julia Conley
Nearly 50 people died on Saturday in one Indian state as record-breaking heatwaves across the country have caused an increasingly desperate situation.
By Will J. Grant
In an ideal world, people would look at issues with a clear focus only on the facts. But in the real world, we know that doesn't happen often.
People often look at issues through the prism of their own particular political identity — and have probably always done so.