Can we all agree that whether it’s partying, spending time with family and friends, or just sightseeing, being at our beautiful beaches and parks is something we all enjoy? Living on this tropical island that we all can call paradise and home has many significant aspects. However, with benefits come disadvantages. One is trash and litter on our beaches, sidewalks, roads, and so much more, which impacts many things. This issue can be considered worldwide, which is why we need to think globally but act locally.
Whether trash washes up on our shores, goes into our oceans or roams free on our islands, it all has similar adverse effects on humans, our waters, and our environment. When trash enters our oceans, many marine animals we islanders enjoy feasting on may get caught up in it or even eat it themselves, which will negatively affect us. For instance, if someone were to go fishing and catch a fish that has eaten plastic, that person may have many health defects if that fish is feasted upon. In addition, roughly five trillion pieces of plastic debris are floating in our oceans as we speak. Imagine how much of the world’s marine life is negatively affected by this!
How can we help solve this problem? One way we can help positively contribute to this issue is by maybe putting more trash bins around the islands and especially in beaches to stop the overflowing litter that goes into our beautiful water. Another way would be to have more people participate in cleanups. Instead of occasionally having them, we should have a program where people could help pick trash up at least three or four days a week. I also think that in the CNMI, we should fully convert to using reusable bags when we go shopping, which will have a massive impact on all of us. We should all work together to make our home a better, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly place.
If we follow up with this plan, the CNMI will be much more beautiful than it already is. Our air will be cleaner, and we will experience less pollution. Of course, our corals, sea animals, and land animals will also thrive. Most importantly, the people of the Marianas and our tourists will be much safer in terms of our environment and we will be healthier. We only have one Earth and not a lot of time to take action, so we might as well start as soon as possible.
Lastly, it’s important as islanders to think global, but act local.
Vinnie Juan Sablan