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One of the planet’s largest ecosystems is brewing in controversy: is manmade pollution impacting the oceans?  Recent studies have shown that marine degradation is rapidly accelerating with thousands of tons of waste such as sewage, oil, chemicals, and mostly plastic, entering the oceans every day creating trash vortexes. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest of all and spans from Japan to the West Coast of the United States.

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Every day we make decisions in our lives that can either leave an impact on the environment or not. Businesses and media tell us how we can lower these environmental impacts every day. We can swap out light bulbs, take shorter showers, buy eco labeled foods, turn off AC and heating when we are not home, and support local businesses. What if all these environmentally friendly initiatives and consumer goods are doing enough? What if by simply cutting down on our meat consumption to follow the recommended health food guidelines could cut emissions by nearly a third by 2050.

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“Duunn duunn…duuuuuun duunn… dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun “We have all experienced the sinking feeling hearing the two notes that have made us scared of swimming pools, oceans and lakes. The 1975 blockbuster Jaws spiked the worldwide irrational fear and hatred towards sharks. Since then, multiple films and TV shows have amplified such fear, making sharks vulnerable and targeted for commercial fishing.  The radio clip by CBC’s Matt Galloway describes this spike in commercial fishing, specifically drawing in on the shark fin trade and its inhumane tactics.

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Biodiversity loss is a worrisome topic. We are losing species at a rate 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than we would without humans on the Earth (1). We can tell we are the problem and yet we will not bother to come up with a solution. Summits and conferences are booked to elicit action, but no one wants to put in the effort required to make a difference in our world; more likely no one wants to take the blame. We are not living sustainably. If we want to save our precious Earth, then we need to start acting now.

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Image source: http://www.azom.com/images/Article_Images/ImageForArticle_11577(1).jpg

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