Garbage Trail

I have never been a serious environmentalist.

I love our planet and I want it to be healthy and beautiful for a long, long time, but I have never put in a lot of serious effort if it inconveniences myself. I try to dispose of my trash appropriately, not litter, recycle when a center is nearby, reduce my waste (that goes nicely with my search for minimalism), and teach my children to do the same.

When we first came to American Samoa, we heard the beaches tended to be littered. We decided to bring a trash bag with us each time we spent the day at the beach, and use it to pick up the litter before leaving. We have done this a few times, but have become lackadaisical in our commitment to purging the beaches of their trash.

The government of American Samoa has been working to crack down on littering and encouraging beach clean-ups. Because of this, most of the beaches on our beautiful island vary between clean and charming, to breathtaking.

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Recently, we stumbled across an area of shoreline that was in dire need of clean-up.

In this instance, words do not seem necessary. You can see for yourself.

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In the tree?

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Have you heard mention the problems of single use plastics and Styrofoam?
Granted, trash can be the portal to a child’s wonderland.
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Or a child’s landmine, with boobie traps lurking under the surface. 

Next time you hear someone advocating for cleaning up our oceans, please don’t dismiss it quite so quickly.

Even if your waste isn’t directly ending up in the ocean, it is causing harm somewhere on our Mother Earth.

Obviously, I don’t have the perfect answer of how we, as the collective human race, can stop this from happening, but I plead with you to look inside and ask, “What can I do to help? Can I be a little better?”

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0 thoughts on “Garbage Trail”

  1. I think it’s great that you have taken pictures to raise awareness on litter! For many, litter is a frustration but some would never take pictures of it on holidays or days out and post them because they only want to show the best parts!

    All the best and keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you! Most of the time I go try to take pictures in between the garbage, to keep the pictures “pretty”. It was just overwhelming in that spot, that I felt like I had to share it! I think it’s important to find a balance between only showing the good and dwelling on the negative.

  2. How heartbreaking that such a gorgeous place is being polluted by humans. So glad that you pitched in to make the world a better place to live in. <3

  3. It is sad how humans are destroying this beautiful planet. Great that you have taken this initiative, I hope we can make this world a better place for our future generations.

  4. I recently looked up the statistics on plastic and the numbers shocked me. 500 years for a piece of plastic to degrade (depending on the type, look up milk jugs those are the worse!). Thank you so much for writing this and shedding light on this situation! Single use plastic is a serious issue and most people don’t realize how serious it is.

    1. People don’t realize because they don’t want to. I know, I’m guilty of turning a blind eye, too! It’s nice to know there are people out there who take an interest, do their research, and ultimately care enough to try to make a difference.

  5. Your post put tears in my eyes. I grew up in the panhandle of Florida. It used to be mostly locals and the beaches were always clean and beautiful. However, it got mentioned in a few travel magazines and now, it’s littered with cigarette buts, cans, and other things people aren’t even allowed to have on the beach – however, it’s nothing like the photos you posted here. Kudos to you for teaching your children the value of cleaning up behind them and making it better than they left it.

    1. The contrast makes it hard to ignore. Most of the beaches in American Samoa are beautiful, with much less trash (most have a little, due to littering and trash washing on shore) but I couldn’t just look past this amount! The kids don’t love having to pick up other people’s trash. It’s a good reminder to them to never leave trash of their own.

  6. What a wonderful way to make a difference. So depressing to see the consistency of people littering on the beach. I hope your efforts catch on and make a difference. Litter is a result of people being too lazy to take the time to throw something away. Ridiculous.

  7. That is such a cool sign. “just leave your foot prints” Some people on these days really lack respect to nature. While nature shows its beauty to us, instead of being thankful, we disrespect it by not practicing proper waste disposal.

    1. So true! I think that’s what kills me most! We all want to see the beauty of nature, the Instagram pictures of beaches and such. We have to work together to be able to keep our Earth beautiful!

  8. Oh, so sad. Such a shame to see this, but the harsh reality is that we all need to see this – to raise awareness. Bless your bringing trash bags along, hun. This post is a great reminder of consequences to mindless action, and how we can “be the change we wish to see” (Ghandi).

  9. Oh wow, I never will understand why people think its okay to trash up a beautiful country or town. The places that don’t aren’t covered are so beautiful. I couldn’t trash a place like that.

  10. It makes me really sad that our world is so polluted. I’m also not sure what the answer is as I often see litter right next to a trash can.

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