By Bryan Ordonez-Santini
In a day, the average American can produce up to 4.4 pounds of trash. In a week, that number grows up to 30.8 pounds, and in a year it will total to 1,606 pounds. Most people will have the common sense and morality to throw away or recycle their trash. Others however, tend to throw away their trash wherever is more convenient for them and, consequently, unsafe for the environment. All of this irresponsibly-handled waste leads to the ocean, where it floats indefinitely, until someone comes to help.
On Saturday, the CIEE team came to the beach to help clean up the trash and oil that has fallen upon the coasts of Bonaire. Following a briefing alongside the Junior Rangers of Bonaire, explaining the situation and what we are to do, the group was split into 2 different teams. One picked up the plastics, bottle caps, and ropes that were strewn about, while the other cleaned up the globs of oil on the beach. Different gloves were issued depending on whether you got to pick up oil or trash and we persevered against what seemed like endless quantities of waste. We all did our part, whether that be collecting data, holding the bags open, or picking up the waste.
After collecting as much as we could in 2 hours, we looked at what we could call our “catch” of the day. 10 large bags and buckets full of trash and waste. A small piece of all that is out there, but nevertheless, a piece that we have removed from the ecosystem we call the ocean. Saying our goodbyes to the Junior Rangers and others there, we departed, hoping to one day see the sea clean with a breeze. Because as long as the earth blooms, there is hope.