Most of our waste today consists of plastic, a petroleum based material that we use for many products: plastic bag, bottles, wrappers, containers, forks, straws...etc. These items don't biodegrade or disappear once out of sight. They end up in landfills and a heap of the plastic has been collecting in what is considered the largest landfill. Though not on land the Pacific Gyre, or The Great Garbage Patch is a massive swirling wasteland twice the size of Texas off the coast of California.
As educators, we get the word out and initiate response.
Check these resources out to educate yourself and your students.
Gorilla in the Greenhouse, is a fun multimedia website that offers animated videos as a way of communicating real world environmental issues. http://www.greengorilla.com/
The California Coastal Commission has great resources for educators
http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/directory/educate.html as well as information on the upcoming California Coastal Cleanup Day http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/ccd.html scheduled for September 25, 2010.
NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
http://www.education.noaa.gov/teacher1.html has educational resources to advance environmental literacy.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle