Updated: Apr 4, 2021
While watering our seedlings we noticed a purposefully placed pile of straw that we knew we hadn’t put there. After closer examination, we discovered it is a bird’s nest! The mother bird was away from the nest at the time, so we decided to take a closer look. Inside we saw five small speckled eggs nestled together surrounded by various organic materials the mother had gathered to build the nest. Then, we noticed something that just didn’t belong, that stuck out like a sore thumb and soured this sweet moment—PLASTIC. At the back of the inside of the nest are scraps of clear and black plastic, probably from store bags, definitely not the typical construction material for birds’ nests.
The impact of plastics on our culture and our environment has been massive. It has been established through decades of research that plastics break down at a slower than snail’s pace, causing lasting negative effects wherever it may land. Our oceans and waterways are overcome with plastic waste and wildlife is bearing the brunt of this burden. In our world of BPA-free everything, this just doesn’t seem fair. Animals often don’t have a choice on their interactions with humans, or furthermore, our infringement on them.
Over the past few months since many people all over the world have been at home, we have seen remarkable improvements in air and water clarity and quality, and Mother Nature is rebounding beautifully. As we begin to re-establish our routines and habits, may we be ever mindful of our impact on the environment while we move about in it. Instead of helping to send things right back into a tail spin, commit to reusable/recyclable bags, boxes, containers, and other materials. This is one small way we can all make a positive impact.