F*** your resolutions and protect your comfort zone!

Vanessa Koch — — 5 minutes

A few days ago I tidied up my picture folder and came across the photos we took on our trips to the coasts from the north to the south of Europe in the last years. Miles of beaches, glistening light on glittering water, azure blue gentle waves. Pure beach romance. But not only that.

Whenever there is talk of garbage in the sea, organisations, media and influencers like to use the superlatives. They show big garbage carpets at river mouths, huge mountains of garbage at beaches or they dive through a curtain of garbage in the middle of the oceans. These pictures shock and leave you speechless.

Also we have used such pictures in the past in discussions and presentations to describe the influence of our massive consumption on our beautiful nature.

In the first moment the pictures have an advantage. Because of the fact that they show the problem in that moment with a forcefulness, they also make many people question their lifestyle in that moment and solve some people's desire to change something. Some of them remember themselves having seen garbage in nature - but not to such an extent as you can see in the pictures.

This is also where the problem lies. The pictures show the concentrated form of our garbage problem. The tip of the iceberg. If you walk through nature with open eyes you will see that there is garbage everywhere. This pollution is not only in the Pacific - the garbage patches. The problem is much bigger.

On our trips to the coasts, we could observe in the last four years alone that beaches and coastlines around the Atlantic and the Mediterranean are full of garbage.

Four years ago we already had bags full of washed up garbage in a few minutes during a beach clean-up. Actually we just wanted to take a little walk on the beach. Two years ago we also found a lot of garbage. But there was something else: tiny little pieces of plastic - broken colourful plastic particles that sprinkled the sand like shells. We found them on the beaches of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Wherever you looked at the sand, you could see the tiny plastic particles. And the sightings became more and more over the last two years and unfortunately the particles became smaller and smaller.

Plastic in the sand

„Meeresrauschen. Sitting on a beautiful beach in the sand, stretch your chin towards the sun. Sand plays around fingers and toes. Or ... at least some of it is grains of sand. In between, red, green, blue, yellow, white and black particles and balls are flashing. Plastic. It's no longer just about the bottles, boxes, cups, foils and other things that are washed up on the beach. It's the colored particles that blend into the sand. Because it shows that the plastic in the ocean has begun to break up. While it is still possible to collect bigger garbage, it is almost impossible to sieve these plastic particles out of the sand. This shows that it's already much later than five to twelve.

The following pictures of us show some of the beautiful beaches we visited. Often there were sun worshippers who did not notice the pollution around their towels. Sometimes even we did not notice the plastic at first sight. But as soon as the eye focused its gaze on it, we could not deny it anymore. Of course we also found frayed cigarette butts. Countless. Another problem, because they also poison the soil, thanks to the accumulated substances from the tobacco and especially nicotine, which is a nerve poison.

Findings of a beach cleanup

But back to the plastic particles. I really hope that someone will find a solution to rid the oceans, the shores and the beaches of these tiny particles. It's impossible to pick them up by hand because there are hundreds and thousands of them.

It's NOW time to act. If we want to continue to spend beautiful days in nature, each and every one of us must reduce our consumption of plastic and packaging. We have to force companies and politicians to reduce disposable packaging and punish illegal waste dumping on the sea and in nature much more.

And especially small animals also make crap. If something falls out of your hand or out of your pocket ... pick it up! Industry, politics and us are responsible for the pollution of our own comfort zone - the earth with its wonderful places. The earth that gives all creatures food and a place to live. We are the only ones who leave a trail of garbage. No creature in the world does this. Nature uses every tissue, every material. Everything is perfectly coordinated.

So, fuck your resolutions and better ask yourself more often:

  • Does this coffee in a disposable cup offer me more than just short comfort?
  • Is the next funny gadget I have to buy really as useful as I think?
  • Will I still be in the mood for this garment or the accessories in a year?

Or will everything go into the trash in a few weeks, days, months?

Remember, the only comfort zone we always want to use in beautiful moments is nature. If you want to continue to enjoy it, respect and protect it by your actions every single day.