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Planet Earth is strong and human awareness is growing

We live in the Anthropocene, an epoch in which not the geological processes, but us, humans shape the natural environment. Some people call it the Plasticozoic Era. Therefore, there are two messages...

Bad news

Yes, currently there is an alarming number of places which are FLOODED with plastic. Despite the increased pressure to segregate garbage, it is estimated that as much as 90% of plastic waste is not recycled. Each year it lands in the oceans, over 8 million tons. It drifts in the form of the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Everything returns to us anyway. If not as a plastic bag thrown in the face by the wind, we consume it in fish that had eaten plastic slime. Many sea turtles and water birds swallow bottle caps and other small items which they confuse with food. Their stomachs are not able to digest it, which makes the trash settle in their interiors, blocking space for real food. Plastic kills hundreds of thousands of animals each year. The above photo of the littered water we took during a tourist cruise on the Grijalva River in the National Park (!) of the Sumidero Canyon in Mexico. A few minutes earlier we admired the incredible flora, fauna and majestic waterfalls of the region. In this place, the canyon narrows and the plastic burden of civilization and modern conveniences accumulates, comes to the surface, screams in the eye, cracks on our conscience, breaks unhurriedly, terrifies with its longevity. Planet Earth does not complain. Silence surrounds us. After all, fish have no voice...

Good news

Planet Earth is strong and human awareness is growing. What is happening around is the next stage of our evolution. At the landfill, Japanese scientists have recently discovered a bacterium of the new era: Ideonella sakaiensis, colloquially called the PET, which is recognized to be a "plastic-eater". I believe that, despite to what pessimists say, we will not neglect our home so that only PETs will survive and take control of our planet. We want to find a way to utilize a plastic consuming enzyme of such creatures in the recycling processes. Other scientific observations show that polystyrene, the styrofoam component - a horrible substance, because it is very hard to get rid of it in ecological way - turns out be a tolerated food of mealworms. There is more. Who would have expected that a larvae of a common food moths, which are usually exterminated at our houses, can consume polyethylene, the material from which, among others, plastic bags and containers are produced. Aspergillus tubingensis is the name of the fungus that was extracted from a soil in a garbage dump in Pakistan and in the study it showed the ability to break down polyuteran, plastic used for the production of thermal insulators, waterproof clothing, tires, adhesives and many other products. Recently, Róża Rutkowska, a Polish graduate of the School of Form at the SWPS University, has developed ecological, fully biodegradable, and even edible packaging made of kombucha mushroom. It can be created in cheap and easy way in two weeks. In addition, a food wrapped in this bio packaging remains fresh for at least six months (read more about SCOBY).

Isn't it fascinating how sophisticated and powerful the nature is? Science still explores its secrets and connections, we learn how to use this knowledge wisely, to heal wounds globally, and properly balance the new methods. At the same time, all good acts, even the little ones, do matter. Drops make ocean. Not only at the Day of Earth, but usually when going for a walk through forest we take a trash bag to clean our favorite paths from waste which does not match with the blooming landscape. It's about time to initiate a mass process of "undoing" the whole mess we made to ourselves and our children.

 

Sprzątam las
When going for a walk through forest we take a trash bag to clean our favorite paths from waste which does not match with the blooming landscape

 

Coming back last autumn from our American motorcycle expedition we traveled through Germany, where we were happy to see the success of machines installed in supermarkets where you can exchange plastic bottles and cans to money (in other words, sell your reusable trash). The idea turned out te be very motivating for people. Many times we saw customers with boxes full of prepared waste queuing in front of the devices. The initiative has been successively implemented in other countries. Just a few days ago Łukasz Wantuch, a councilor of Krakow, got inspired on his trip to the Western Europe and decided to put the first machine of this kind in Polish city. He even sponsored a purchase of the first 10 000 bottles. We look out for more heroes among the authorities!

There is a lot to do in Mexico and other developing countries, but the number of activists grows. In Todos Santos we joined "friends of endangered species" to support them in actions increasing chances of survival of leatherback sea turtle, an unusual marine reptile being on the brink of extinction. Nowadays, the Internet allows to easily get involved in social and ecological activities around the world. It's not only a noble form of investing free time, but also very educative and inspiring one. It lets you get to know amazing animals, plants and learn how to live in harmony with nature and benefit from its natural food, building material and medicines. What is more, you don't need to spend fortune to act even in distant exotic area because you get accommodation and food in exchange for your help.

 

This is how we escorted baby turtles is Mexico to the ocean:

 

At present we live in Polish city of Jelenia Góra, at the foot of the Karkonosze and Izerskie Mountains. We are pleased to meet here more and more nature-friendly, eco-aware people. Through my window I see neighbors cleaning their backyards, segregating the garbage collected under the fence. Residents, parents with children, school youth and regional social workers participate in organized collection of waste in places requiring increased interference.

 

Travel lovers like us and you, we know very well that beautiful, clean, abundant nature is the greatest tangible gift of this world. It is our house, food and medicine. It is our universal sanctuary, regardless of age, faith and origin. People celebrating life do not ask if it's worth taking care of. It's obvious. We meet at travel festivals, we talk about the beauty of our planet and the problems it faces in order to turn this knowledge and respect into actions. And if necessary, to awaken those, who still can't look "wider". Show that our solidarity in positive habits matters. It's really happening in our region, the spring truly blossoms in the hearts of many people and together we take care of the awakening greenery.

 

And how is at your place? Are you going with the good wave already?? Are you the good drop???

Sumidero Canyon on the map

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Kanion Sumidero 16.743200, -93.035700 Kanion Sumidero

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Follow Liwia:
She paints with images and words. Liwia finds joy both in long journeys "beyond the horizon" as well as in familiar everyday life, at which she looks through a colorful kaleidoscope of hers. She's inspired by the beauty of nature and stories intertwined in a stream of true emotions.

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