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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.
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Wolves and Jaguars Are Already Threatened by Border Razor Wire As Trump Vetoes Bid to Block Emergency Wall Funding
President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency Friday, overturning Congress' vote to block his national emergency declaration to fund a border wall that environmental advocates say would put 93 endangered species at risk. However, the president's decision came the same day as an in-depth report from UPI revealing how razor wire placed at the border in the last four months already threatens wildlife.
Yet another whale has died after ingesting plastic bags. A young male Cuvier's beaked whale was found washed up in Mabini, Compostela Valley in the Philippines Friday, CNN reported. When scientists from the D' Bone Collector Museum in Davao investigated the dead whale, they found it had died of "dehydration and starvation" after swallowing plastic bags―40 kilograms (approximately 88 pounds) worth of them!
By Joe Sandler Clarke
"Don't expect us to continue buying European products," Malaysia's former plantations minister Mah Siew Keong told reporters in January last year. His comments came just after he had accused the EU of "practising a form of crop apartheid."
A few months later Luhut Pandjaitan, an Indonesian government minister close to President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, warned his country would retaliate if it was "cornered" by the EU.
By Luis Torres
For some people who live along the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump's attempt to declare a national emergency and extend the border wall is worse than a wasteful, unconstitutional stunt. It's an attack on their way of life that threatens to desecrate their loved ones' graves.
At least 150 people have died in a cyclone that devastated parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi over the weekend, The Associated Press reported Sunday. Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people since it hit Mozambique's port city of Beira late Thursday, then traveled west to Zimbabwe and Malawi. Hundreds are still missing and tens of thousands are without access to roads or telephones.
"I think this is the biggest natural disaster Mozambique has ever faced. Everything is destroyed. Our priority now is to save human lives," Mozambique's Environment Minister Celso Correia said, as AFP reported.