Dying Paradises of the Philippines

The Philippine waters are usually full of beautiful fish and colorful, live corals. Taking a look back it can change your views on a lot of things. You could have discovered a variety of different colors, shapes, and sizes. There were such a great amount of schools (of fish) you could see as you swam around and had your sunset walks. Everything might have looked great on the outside with shimmering light blue water which seemed so perfect you couldn’t believe your eyes. But, the real story is within. You can’t always see what’s happening on the outside so we have to really dive in and find out. And, while there are many other beautiful utopias (^_~), we will be concentrating on the Philippines waters.

Philippines waters: Some are protected… Some aren’t

Because of the Philippines bountiful amount of marine life, 100 scientists have claimed it (the Philippines) to be the world’s “center of marine biodiversity”. That is a pretty great achievement. So that means 100 different people (that are scientist!!) have all agreed on the fact that the Philippines is full on boasting with underwater sea creature…… cool! And, if you go scuba diving, in some areas, you would feel like you were just transported into a new world. We need to learn to take care of this.

Intro to the Coral Triangle: Underwater heaven 

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Did you know that the Philippines is part of the Coral Triangle? This (the coral triangle) is a marine area stretching far across six countries which are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor – Leste and Solomon Islands. Others say that it’s nearly the size half of America.coral_triangle_map_final_081211_0Anyways, the Coral triangle is mostly famous for its astonishing amount of corals ranging from 500 to 600 different species of reef – building corals.But, that is not all! This (slightly broken) triangle supports, nurtures, and maintains more than 2000 species of reef fish!! It was on 2007 that the WWF started its Coral Triangle Program. The WWF has taken up the challenge to protect the Coral Triangle and develop sustainable solutions to help the inhabitants of the region. With the help of the USAID, the Conservation Internation, The Nature Conservancy, and the WWF are all working together on policy, fisheries management, marine protected areas and climate change adaption.

Donsol bay: Sneak peak of the biggest fish in the world

Also, the biggest fish swims within the 2000 species of reef fish.This fish is called the whale shark! If you haven’t heard of one or seen one you could watch (the awesome film) Finding Dory. 17-hang-out-with-the-gentle-giants-of-donsol-bay-whale-shark-divingAnd, yes, this type of fish is called a whale shark. If you want to see and swim with these big fishes, you could go on an adventure to Donsol bay which is also connected with the Coral Triangle. This is one of the many Paradises of the Philippines where you could go to enjoy the bar, hotel, restaurant and more! And, don’t worry….. Whale Sharks, the biggest fish in the world, eats the tiniest living organism in the ocean…. you are safe (most likely) just follow the rules and regulations of not touching them, riding them and chasing them (there is still more). Also, these creatures are very gentle and curious (so they will most likely try to approach you) but you should avoid making any physical contact with the oils on your skin may harm the Whale Shark. And, the good thing about this bay is that it is a marine protected area and that is why you could only snorkel with the Sharks (fish, remember they are fish). Although there is another place called Oslob (in Cebu) where you could find these fish but I advise not to go because it is a huge tourist attraction which has destroyed most of the forms of environmental awareness.

Also, if you are planning to visit, the beach is alluring.

Tubbataha Reef

The Tubbataha Reef is one of the 240 protected areas in the Philippines. It is located at the center of the Sulu Sea. This reef was once a very peaceful, filled with color and life area but it is currently suffering from overfishing, exploitation, and destruction. When other fishing grounds started declining of its fishes, sailors went to Tubbuataha in hopes of more fish in their motorized boats. Some of the problems that evolved over time (very quickly), was that the sailors started using (very, very bad) techniques for fishing like utilizing cyanide (extremely toxic salts that contain anion CN) and dynamite fishing (the practice of using explosives to kill schools of fish). Also, because the boats they (the sailors who started filling up the Tubbataha Reef) used were motorized which polluted the reef with a lot of oil.

explosion
Dynamite fishing === Bad…. just bad

This was too much. Explosions?!? This is illegal.

The decision was made with the help of some scuba divers and environmentalists who campaigned to turn the Tubbataha Reef into a national marine park. On August 11, 1988, with the aid of the President, Corazon Aquino, the Proclamation no. 306 was signed, which helped the establishment of 2 (not 1 but 2) Tubbatha reefs into a national marine park of 82,000 acres. Because of this (big) step, Philippines had just done a first time for declaring a marine area into a national park. This national marine park was then being properly taken care of by rangers sent by the Presidential Task Force.

Throughout their (the rangers) early years of protecting the park, they had a few problems. One of their struggles were that in 1996, sliding and shifting sand caused the unstableness of the rangers wooden structure tents. They overcame their problems (yay!) and the marine park rangers are now settled in a styrofoam-reinforced concrete structure. Their location is found on the Southeast Islet on the Tubbataha’s North Atoll. And, they have got their cool equipment with them such as patrol boats, utility boats, radars, radio communications, geo-positioning system (GPS) units, and basic research equipment. 24 hours/7 days a week is the times that the natural park is being guarded by (armed) rangers.

There are plans made by the World Wildlife Fund (or WWF) to make a modernized ranger station that was announced during the 25th anniversary of the Tubbataha’s Reef’s national park declaration in 2013. And, as the WWF says, legendary heroes need great hideouts – Batman had his Batcave, Darth Vader had two Death Stars and Voltes V had Camp Big Falcon.WWF, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park boasts of unparalleled biodiversity levels. Over 360 hard coral and 600 fish species inhabit the park, which continuously seeds the Sulu Sea with life!!! And, this reef is also a UNESCO World Heritage.This means that this park was listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a special cultural or physical significance.

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Future “bat cave” envisioned by the WWF

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just wanted to say thank you to the rangers that are helping guard the Tubataha Reef against exploitation. Thank you for caring about our environment here in the Philippines. Because of the rangers that make it their job to watch on a daily basis, the Tubataha Reef is properly being taken care of. Also, thank you to the strong campaign composed of scuba divers and environmentalist (people who really cared and spent time in the ocean) who made it possible for this reef to be protected and noticed, more!

Trivia: Did you know that on the back of the 1000 pesos bill you could spot the Tubbataha? Now you know!

 

Going there: “Are we there (the national water park) yet?” 

If you are planning to visit this heaven, you will have to take a plane ride to Puerto Princesa. Then from there, it will take about 10 hours to get to the park from Puerto Princesa. That’s a pretty long time but I am absolutely sure that it will be worth the time that was taken. Maybe you could bring some board games or books on your 10-hour trip. Also, the best times to go there would be around mid-March until mid-June…. the waters are calmer at those times. You could also check this, http://www.gopalawan.travel/travel-info/tubbataha-reefs-natural-park, website for more info to book.

Coron: Almost got destroyed by Nickelodeon

“Excitement is something that could blind people from seeing the true about how it could destroy life.” ~ L.O.A.S.H

This was a direct quote from me ^_~. When I wrote “Excitements” I was referring to the one that Nickelodeon was planning to set up. Just recently, Nickelodeon made the plan and announced that they were going to make an underwater theme park in Coron. For me, this sounded so fun I mean I love theme parks but what it also sounded like was that this park was going to be the very thing that would destroy Coron.

In case you haven’t heard of Coron I will be giving you guys a “short” introduction about it. In Palawan, Coron is a first class municipality (a city or town that has corporate status and local government). It’s beach and waters are usually quite and calm. The view is spectacular and the water seems to be crystal clear. After 742 steps of hard – earned sweat, you could watch the sunset in a beautiful angle.

Anyways, proceeding about the theme park. There was a report on January 13-14 where Nickelodeon retracted from building the park because…

 

That was all just a glimpse of what is happening here in the Philippines. There so many people and netizens who are trying to bring a change and help. The Philippines has helped countless people in providing them food and livelihood. But, recently due to the overheating and climate change, more and more fish are dying and more and more people are having a difficult time. Before, if you were to be catching fish you would just take a few hours and barely exert any hard work and your boat would be overflowing with fish. But now, the workload would be longer, harder and less fish would be brought home. This affects all of us. For example, in the market, since it’s become more difficult to catch seafood, the prices will be raised.  We all have a chance to change this. We are all in this together. If you want to help and make a change you can. When you go swimming or have a casual afternoon stroll, you could help by picking up trash. You could teach your local neighborhood more about this. You don’t need millions to help. You. Can. Make. A. Big. Change.

We all have a chance to change this. We are all in this together. If you want to help and make a change you can. When you go swimming or have a casual afternoon stroll, you could help by picking up trash. You could teach your local neighborhood more about this. You don’t need millions to help. You. Can. Make. A. Big. Change.

Yours truly,

L.O.A.S.H

Water Levels are Rising

Water levels are rising. When the water level rises, it affects us. Why the water levels are rising, affects us.

What causes the water levels to rise???                                                                    

One of the main reasons to why water levels are rising is because of global warming. Global warming happens because of the overload of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). The overload of Carbon Dioxide is the effect of when we burn fossil fuels like coal and oil. Once more and more Carbon Dioxide seeps into our atmosphere, it acts like a large blanket wrapping around the earth and slowly (and quietly) warming everything and changing the weather in different places while slowly becoming (a) thicker (blanket with) the more carbon we release. When the earth warms up, the polar caps melt which leads to the rise of water.

After the global warming helps to melt the ice, thermal expansion comes in. Do you know what thermal expansion is? It’s one of the primary causes of rising sea levels, too. Thermal expansion in water is the process of when the water gets its temperature increased and it expands (happens with ice melting as well).

What happens when the water level rises???

Well, you know that polar bears live on ice, rights? So their homes are pretty much melting which leads the polar bear sin a very difficult position which sometimes means risking their lives.

Have you heard of Greenland? It’s known as one of the largest islands in the world to have its land all covered with ice and snow. Funny, huh? Greenland is covered with snow and Iceland is all covered with everything just sunshine? That’s another story for another time. Anyways, back to the topic, Greenland is slowly melting! They almost classify Greenland as a continent can you imagine if that whole place melted? Plus, there would be thousands of people who would lose their homes and have to move out of Greenland, approximately 56,239 people.

How about the beaches and other cities? Water will rise up and eat away the sands. Water will rise up and destroy homes of people. Have you seen Venice?! There are already a few roads slowly being flooded with water. We might be swimming to work!

What’s being done

Maybe we could refreeze the ice caps or the glaciers. What I’m really amazed about is how people are preparing for the ‘big flood’. One of the inventions that’s been made is concrete which takes in a certain amount of liters every second.

Anyways…

Here are a few ways to slow down the sea level rise, according to TakePart:

The simplest solution remains simply to burn fewer fossil fuels. A new study by the Scripps Institution for Oceanography, NCAR, and Climate Central, says curbing emissions of certain pollutants can help prevent the sea level rise.

The study highlights that by reducing emissions of four specific pollutants—methane, tropospheric ozone, hydrofluorocarbons and black carbon—we could possibly prevent the rate of sea level rise by approximately 25 to 50 percent.

Which means less fracking, cutting back on motor vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions and chemical solvents, including windshield washer fluid, creating fewer CFCs and cutting back on anything that creates smoke or soot.

Does it sound simple? We’ve got to try…

Yours truly,

L.O.A.S.H

 

Disappearing Sea Creatures

Have you swam in the beach or gone snorkelling? Have you seen the schools of fishes which comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes? Have you seen a dolphin splashing around or whales sharks being fed with plankton? Some of these I’ve seen mostly through photos and videos but the things I have seen made me feel like I never wanted to leave them. Being underwater with a helmet on your head and the fishes just doing what they do is stunning. Being underwater brings you into another world which seems, sometimes, unreal. This shouldn’t ever leave.

Do you like sushi?

Somewhere in the early 20th century, our ocean held thousands of marine life which included plants and animals which were easy to find and much, much cheaper than today. Some fishes being the most popular and easiest “catch of the day” are now becoming rarer. And, according to a research by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund),

The evidence, analysed by researchers at the Zoological Society of London, paints a troubling picture. In addition to the plummeting number of marine vertebrate species, populations of locally and commercially fished fish species have fallen by half, with some of the most important species experiencing even greater declines.

These findings coincide with the growing decline of marine habitats, where the deforestation rate of mangroves exceeds even the loss of forests by 3-5 times; coral reefs could be lost across the globe by 2050; almost one-third of all seagrasses have been lost.

And, recently, there have been a lot of fish die-offs. Most researcher, who are on the case to find out why fish keep ending up on the shore, lifeless, report that the reason for this terrible event is because the fish are being suffocated as the oxygen levels in the ocean is depleting. Our living blue planet is dying. Did you know that 71% of the earth is covered with water? And, did you know, that 91% of the 71% of water is in the ocean?  We’ve discovered 1,000,000 types of species in the ocean, while scientist speculates that there are 9,000,000 more species that await their discovery. Can you imagine if we’ve removed the life of the species we’ve never even seen yet?

Unfortunately, the Green Bumphead Parrotfish and the Humphead Wrasse just two of the biggest fish that have swum around the corals and waters of Philippines are declining over the past years. And, sadly, according to TakePart, the oceans elephants are dying.

The marine life dying is a result of prices of seafood rising through the roof, fishermen work hard and longer while receiving usually less than usual.

We need to help our planet. We need to help our ocean. We need to help our marine life. Let’s start by:

  • Spreading the word
  • Prevent oil spills
  • Stop littering
  • Stop dynamite fishing
  • Stop illegal fishing
  • Stop microbeads
  • Support organisations which help the ocean
  • Educate others

Yours truly,

L.O.A.S.H

A PROBLEM: ITALY AND SWITZERLAND

At lunch time, we met a businessman from Switzerland who was explaining to us about the active problem with Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Syria, Nigeria and more. Things have been very intense recently. Huge amounts of refugees from Syria and Nigeria have been trying to enter Switzerland or cross through it to enter Germany or Holland. Every since the war that occurred four years ago, Switzerland has taken 9,000 Syrian refugees! But now, the people of Switzerland are deciding to slow down the flow of refugees and immigrant entering to have control.

Hundreds of people from Nigeria have been trying to get through Switzerland but they have been denied for the access because of the lack of papers needed.imgres.jpg So as a result to this, the refugees are getting more problems, they don’t want to go back to their country as to the danger that awaits them there and they are having a major problem being stuck in Italy as they cannot get jobs either  because they cannot speak Italian or they don’t have the papers which allow them to work. Even the Italian people want to leave and work abroad because a lot of the young generation of Italy don’t have the proper papers to work either.

Going back to the refugees who are having conflicts in their original country, they are starving and some don’t want to go to the asylum. While those who are waiting to pass through Switzerland are waiting in lake Como a supposed ‘hideaway’ for celebrities, the swiss authorities are still on guard. How will these hundreds of refugees survive waiting sleepless nights on train platforms in such bad conditions? What will be the final decision for the Swiss? Will they allow more immigrants and refugees in? Wait for my next blog to learn more! And write down what you think about everything that is happening and how can people make things better.

Global Warming: “I got to see snow… before it all goes….”

I watched a documentary called ‘Before the Flood‘ where Leonardo Dicaprio goes to the different places around the world meeting locals, Pope Francis, president Obama, scientists and more talking about global warming and its effect. When he went to Greenland, he saw the state that it was in. Almost everywhere was in a melt mode andimages.jpg large patches of water were found just slowly transforming from ice to water. Leonardo was surprised by the sudden, and violent, formed rivers leading to the ocean. Also, what touched me was all the animals and people living in Greenland, and what will happen to them. Imagine, a portion of the narwhales, polar bears, wolves and more will lose their homes and most likely not survive. This is just one of the many damages and problems that global warming brings us today. Leonardo even mentioned something like, ‘If they took global warming more serious before then these problems wouldn’t be so harsh’, these were not his exact words. And, did you know that if the whole of Greenland melted then that can cause the sea to rise by almost 20 feet!!images.jpg

While in a conversation with president Obama, they mentioned to each other about how they want their children and grandchildren to see the glaciers and snowy mountains. And then I think to myself “I want to see snow too…”. It would be very terrible if everything melts. Everything, in my perspective, will be chaotic. The people living near the shores will have a very difficult time and a lot of people will lose their way of making money from fishing. What solutions do you think they can try?

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Robots are taking over(?)…

Have you seen the countless movies when the robot or AI (Artificial Intelligence) takes over? Well, that may be happening soon because many jobs are replacing human with robots. I guess it may sound cool as if we are transforming our world into one of those futuristic movies but there is a big downside to it.

BRIGHT SIDE & DARK SIDE:

Our robots or machines are usually labeled “perfect” by most and when doing a job it won’t mess up….right? Also, since a robot stays a robot that means no quarreling at work! There will be no affection that will take place and robots don’t need sleep which means they could work 24/7, which helps a company or hotel or something to earn extra money with the same staff without any added payments to shifts.

I guess it wouldn’t be so bad to have these robots to slowly start becoming our receptionist to our librarian to our doctors. Aside from the fact that robots perfected the serious face and move in a different way we humans are normal too, I think that the idea of making robots aid us in our progressive society to up our game.

Unfortunately, we have to reconsider the idea of replacing all jobs with robots. Because those people who work day and night would lose their jobs to these perfect smooth metallic-faced machine which might just end up in fights. If more people lose their jobs, a lot of men and women will have an even harder challenge in finding a way to support their family.

There are a lot of people who don’t get the education to learn programming, astrology or to become a doctor and sometimes those people choose to do more simpler jobs. And, those simpler jobs, could be a receptionist, which robots have already taken over.

There are now a few farms which are being replaced with robots. And, even just one small farm being taken over by robots make huge differences to farmers. If people want to use robots, they should use it to do dangerous jobs like mining or construction.

We need to find a way to help our people, first.

Yours truly,

L.O.A.S.H

Our Ocean is Dying

You know that saying “there are plenty of fish in the sea”? Well, that saying is on the verge of never being used again.

Our large blue waters and everything in it are dying. We are slowly killing our marine life both from pollution and literally hitting them. Just recently, a ship in Santa Barbara hit a 12 year old blue whale which they found washed up to shore with an estimate of 9 centi-meter long earwax made with a combination of 16 pollutants.

 | Planktons |

It’s getting worse and worse every day. An article made by Daniel Boyce (quantitative marine ecologist), Marlon Lewis (oceanographer) and Boris Worm (Marine Research Ecologist and Associate Professor) states the importance and what has been happening to our oceans:

“In the oceans, ubiquitous microscopic phototrophs (phytoplankton) account for approximately half the production of organic matter on Earth. Analyses of satellite-derived phytoplankton concentration have suggested decadal-scale fluctuations linked to climate forcing, but the length of this record is insufficient to resolve longer-term trends. Here we combine available ocean transparency measurements and in situ chlorophyll observations to estimate the time dependence of phytoplankton biomass at local, regional and global scales since 1899. We observe declines in eight out of ten ocean regions, and estimate a global rate of decline of ~1% of the global median per year. Our analyses further reveal inter-annual to decadal phytoplankton fluctuations superimposed on long-term trends. These fluctuations are strongly correlated with basin-scale climate indices, whereas long-term declining trends are related to increasing sea surface temperatures. We conclude that global phytoplankton concentration has declined over the past century; this decline will need to be considered in future studies of marine ecosystems, geochemical cycling, ocean circulation and fisheries.”

Our Planktons are decreasing by the second. You need to know the importance of planktons because they change our oceans in a large but good way. First, let’s get to know what a plankton actually is….. well, it’s defined as a “small and microscopic organisms drifting or floating in the sea or fresh water, consisting chiefly of diatoms, protozoans, small crustaceans, and the eggs”. As small as these planktons are, the ocean living without these microscopic organisms would be different, it would show a huge difference. Now that you understand what it is time to explain what it does. Okay, so, these small plants help give nutrition to sea creatures such as: Whales; Shrimps; Snails and Jellyfish!

The big roles small planktons do:

(According to Reference)

  • Responsible for 1/2 of the worlds photosynthesis
  • Remove approximately 100 million tons of carbon dioxide from the earth (daily!!!)
  • Scientists use plankton as indicators to check out the changes in the ocean

(According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency)

  • Helps regulate temperature of our planet through the global carbon cycle
  • Important food source for large animals (AS LARGE AS WHALES!!!)
  • First link in the food chain
  • Primary producers
  • Help estuarine fish and shellfish in their survival

(According to NASA Earth Observatory)

  • Foundation of aquatic food web
  • Feeding everything from microscopic, animal-like zooplankton to multi-ton whales

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Can you see the importance this one small specie of plant could do to thousands and maybe even millions of sea creatures that swim around in our big blue bodies of water? If we were to compare planktons to our body then the ocean would be the the life blood and the planktons would be the red blood cells. We are not only putting thousands of animals at risk by our pollution but also ourselves.

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3 sperms whale; washed up on shore

Here is a paragraph explaining and sparking up the idea of how important and strong a plankton could be, written by David Biello when he wrote for Aeon:

Plankton is our planet’s most prolific life form, and the food it generates makes up the base layer of the global food chain. The variety of shapes among plankton species shames plants on land, showing more range in size than the difference between moss and redwood trees. There are more plankton cells in the sea than our current count of stars in the entire universe. Indeed, it is precisely this abundance that leads Smetacek to suspect that plankton could be used to change Earth’s environment.

If these planktons decreases even lower there will be consequences (just like how a person would be in a terrible state if they had too little red blood cells; no living thing should be going through this), such as:

(According to Science Daily)

  • Reduction of fish bio mass
  • High thermal stratification [usually, thermal stratifications relates to the temperature change in oceans]
  • Reduction of primary production
  • Pelagic Species decreases [dramatically]
  • Less absorption of Carbon dioxide [More climate problems!!]

Can you believe that this small plankton can affect us in such a big way? We are all part of this, you can’t be left out because when our oceans get affected, food of other animals get affect, which eventually leads to our table. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is only one of the problems that our pollutions cause.

 

| Deadly spills into the ocean |

Do you know about the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant? Well, the information on knowing about what happened in Fukushima Daichi will help you understand the situation of how it is related to the water pollution better, so, let’s have a small recap:

To keep it simple, the Fukushima was an accidental explosion caused by overheating of the nuclear plants. But, it wasn’t just *poof* then the nuclear plants cooler suddenly stopped working, no, it all started with an earthquake. On March 11, 2011, an earthquake struck in the same area of the Fukushima plant. As soon as the earthquake started, the sustained fission reactions were immediately and automatically shut down by the active reactors which meant good news. Since the reactions were shut down, that meant nothing was going to start overheating anytime soon, but they assumed wrong. Unfortunately, the emergency generators used to cool down the reactors completely broke down as the tsunami came over making the reactors get insufficient cooling treatment. The following three days later, 3 plants blew up by the overheating, which led to huge amounts of radioactive water pouring out into the ocean.

Okay, maybe not such a small recap. But, very important details to know.

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Six years have passed and you may be thinking with all the brilliant scientists and minds who have the potential to bring us all the way to the moon and back have thought of a way to solve this problem by now, but, it might take quite more time. Anyways, while we sit behind out books or on the bed or whatever you normally do, every single day 300 tons of contaminated water is, to this very day, is mixing with our sea.

| Fix what we still have |

The people who started the problem may not know how to fix it, but, we (you) can do the simplest things to help out [Change starts with yourself]:

  1. Don’t throw oil, pills, fats, grease, trash or micro-beads into the toilet/sink.
  2. Educate others | Teach other on what not to do
  3. Beware of the chemicals that you throw and drain down your toilet/sink.
  4. Stop littering [Honestly, I see these signs almost everywhere…. just listen]

 

You have the chance to help, take it.

 

The Microbeads

What are micro – beads, you may wonder, they are small plastic bits, basically 0.5 to980x 500 in diameter, which is mixed into our body scrubs, facial washes, toothpaste and other cosmetics. And, according to Plastic Free Seas, for the companies that have decided that they want to add this micro – beads into their products, for every 130 grams tube contains 1.476 million plastic micro – beads, that is a humungous amount of plastic, and, that is also proof that these micro – beads are tiny enough to fit a million of these into one tube.

Plastic has been the main topic recently on this blog, I admit, but it’s a big problem that we’ve got to stop using. First, it’s almost everywhere, in our houses, schools, and groceries. Then, It goes to our food, such as rice. Now, we will be concentrating on what has companies been mixing up and sneaking into our cosmetics! We have to get to the bottom of this. Stay with me guys.

To expound, what happens when you wash your face with these small deadly poop shaped plastics? Well, the facial wash, mixed with the micro – beads, goes down the drain, passes through the cleansing system (as it is too small to be stopped or seen) then goes free to sea, unbelievable. Unfortunately, micro beads act like a magnet, pulling in the toxics around it and making it even more dangerous. But, that’s not all. The micro beads then get eaten by plankton which gets eaten by fish which then eventually end up on our plate! Unlike big plastics which can be seen and get eaten by fish and other marine animals, you can’t see the micro – plastics and you won’t know it’s inside of that fish you’re eating right now! Trust me, you don’t want to eat plastic.

We need to ban these beads!!!

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Also, you guys need to know that a lot of the micro – beads are found in exfoliators. This wrong doing was done because the people who thought of smuggling micro – beads into their products were being blinded by money. Here are a bunch of companies which have allowed their product to be contaminated with micro – beads:microbeads3cartoon

  • Acne Free
  • Aveeno
  • Biore Skin Care
  • Bliss
  • Clean & Clear
  • Laura Mercier
  • Neutrogena
  • Rite Aid
  • YU – BU

[THESE PRODUCTS ARE USUALLY LABELLED RED BUT OF COURSE THEY DON’T PUT IT ON THE PRODUCT FOR PEOPLE TO KNOW, THAT WILL RUIN THEIR REPUTATION, DUH.]

These are less than half of the products which still have micro – beads. And, if case you’ll be shopping for new exfoliator or facial scrubs, I suggest you watch out for Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene in the ingredients. Also, you should also be suspicious with the super cheap prices -___- (pssst, be suspicious and spread the word).

You may have used most of the products up there and don’t know what to do or use anymore, well, we’ve got a solution (I’ll tell you in a bit). Here are the companies that do not want people faces to be rubbed with plastic:

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The picture is from beat the micro – beads | Labelled GREEN, like, good to go!

 

Now, onto some of the countries that have them:

 

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hawaii
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • New Zealand
  • United State

Most of these countries and companies that stay in these places have tried banning it in their product and country but it might take a while. “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein. It’s true, it’s also easier to mix a needle in a haystack but finding it and separating it and stopping it from harming someone who might suddenly start playing with the haystack will be a different and hard quest.

Time to fix this!!!

Ways to help our environment and ban micro – plastics!:

  • Warn Others
    • Prepare a school speech
    • Tell your neighbors
  • Join the fight against micro – plastics
    • Support organizations that stop the use of plastics!!!!
  • Download the Beat the MicroBead app from http://www.beatthemicrobead.org/ (this app works like this:  Scan the barcode of your item and it will tell you if it contains micro – beads (pretty cool app (creds to BEAT THE MICROBEAD)))
  • Avoid products which include polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or nylon (Bottom line, it’s all plastic – message from ban the bead)
  • Boycott products which use micro – beads (when you do this you discourage these companies which use micro – beads to stop)

 

Yours truly,

L.O.A.S.H

 

Fake Rice: Efficient Assassin

Plastic is being involved with something it shouldn’t be. It’s turned rice into something deadly, honestly, you could just call it toxic rice, same thing anyways. It’s so difficult to detect if plastic rice has been snuck into our real rice as it looks so real.

Living in a rice country makes hearing the news about fake rice gravely terrible.

Yes, I know, dreadful. China had the mind to actually create plastic rice. We are already killing our animals Capture1.JPGand when you expose certain kinds of plastics to the sun they release heavy metals which lead to hormonal imbalances!? Remember? But, no, for some reason China decided “hey, what if we start squashing these plastics and forming them in to rice looking things”. ~~~ EXPLODING MOMENT ~~~ This operation fake rice has been going on for 4 years and is still on the market. It’s like a deadly invisible person, or something.

A woman reported that her rice started melting and transforming into goo instead of the typical warm, steamed, hot and delicious real rice she expected. There was another incident when a woman was videoing herself cooking vermicelli, a kind of long pasta made with rice, for her workmates but, unfortunately, something terrible happened. Her vermicelli started melting together and sticking like marsh mellows heated, she petrified and very angry with the discovery of mixed in plastics with her food. An important detail, they label the rice (made with plastic) Wuchang rice. But, they are slowly starting to spread it around with real rice.

If you just see how these fake rice are from, you’ll be disgusted. Various sizes of plastics are stuffed into this small squarish hole which crushes the plastic and poops out long strings of so  – called “rice” which they then cut in to groups and squish into another hole and the result is rice which is possibly impossible to identify it with real rice. But, we can’tarticle-1342795900393-141b55da000005dc-975011_568x452 let fake rice be representing the whole of China. China is a huge city counted in as one of the top high tech cities in the world. The person who thought of the idea of creating this isn’t looking for solutions but just trying to make money. With the type of technology that China holds it gives me a feeling they could solve big world problems, they just have to try harder. And, after all, China produces about a third of plastic waste polluting which ends up either being burned or thrown to sea. I guess with all the chaos now with “where do we put plastics?”, “how can we recycle them?”, “it takes more than 700 years to decompose plastic”, an idea emerged. But, honestly, it’s the worst idea. Lives (a lot of lives) are put on the line.

We have just got to understand and know that how much we squish and break down plastics its still won’t be possible to digest. Plastic stay plastic, no matter how much you stomp on it. If you’ve read my blog on the plastic problem then perhaps you would remember that plastic gets stuck inside animals stomach and stays there until the animal starves to death. They starve because they don’t feel hungry as the plastic stays in their stomach deceiving them and making the animal think they are no longer hungry until they die. How about us?! How do we get affected?!?!?

According to Natural News, we are affected by:

“Eating just three bowls of this fake “Wuchang rice” is thought to be the same as consuming an entire plastic bag, causing serious and even fatal digestive issues, especially if consumed daily as is often the case.

In fact, most people in China consume over half a pound of rice every single day, and recent health controversies have brought into light the question of whether or not it is safe to use plastic packaging in the food industry – let alone eat plastic rice!

Research has found potentially serious health risks associated with bisphenol A and a class of chemicals called phthalates, commonly found in plastics. Bisphenol A has the ability to disrupt the functions of our hormones, particularly estrogen. It has been linked to effects on reproductive development in several animal studies.”

Just so you know, Wuchang Rice is what they call their plastic rice. You might not have heard of estrogen but here are what they can do if you mess with them:

If you make your estrogen levels low, here is what happens:

  • Belly fat
  • Mood Swings
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Hot flashes

High estrogen levels:

  • More weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Depressed
  • Anxious

Did you know that alibaba sells the machine to make this?  Below is the link:

http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/artificial-rice-making-machine.html

This machine, ranging from $2000 to $37,900, is used to make artificial rice and sold at alibaba. But, this machine is shouldn’t be meant for making harmful or fake rice such as the ones made with plastic. This machine can be used to make artifical rice made with sweet potatoes and other human consumable product. But, there’s a huge possibility that they use this kind of machine to create plasticised rice.

Also, I found at Quora, eating plastic in general is a bad idea, melted or not. Small particles could get caught up in your intestinal track, disturbing your digestion and releasing toxic chemicals due to interaction with bile and stomach acid.

Extra info by Korean Times:

“This ‘plastic rice’ is made by forming potatoes and sweet potatoes into rice-like shape, then adding industrial synthetic resins,” said a food expert. “Since the rice is different from normal rice, it is hard like stone even when cooked. Moreover, the synthetic resin in it is very harmful to the human body.”

Now that you are aware of the dangers that lie with eating fake / plastic rice, let’s get on to the solutions and how can we avoid eating this type of rice:

  1. If you squish the rice and it turns into “fine” sort of powder then it’s real
  2. If you cook rice on a pan and it starts to smell of sweet corn and looks like it’s melting then it’s fake rice
  3. If you are washing your rice and they all float it’s plastic because real rice sinks

Be careful with what you eat everyone!

Yours truly, L.O.A.S.H

Hi elo

 

 

Fight Against Human Trafficking

“Human Trafficking is Modern Day Slavery” – The fresh quotes

Just recently, in Boracay, we had our local intel about some 50 year old American who proposed to a 14 year old girl. Unfortunately for the teenager she had no say as her mother approved it.

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Yes, we had, an American 50 years old guest last year who proposed to a 14 year old with her mothers approval… I called the police… nothing happened for weeks… then I call ECPAT then DSWD                    finally took action…

Being in the 14 year old girls shoes would be horrifying. I can’t imagine being forced to marry someone almost 4 times older than me. I would be in great repugnance just sitting there as if I’ve been robbed from my say and my life. It seems as though the mother didn’t care and it just feels like she’s been betrayed and lef

 

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There are innumerable people looking for a new life or a fresh start but get lured into a trap. A trap that most would say impossible to escape. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. State Department, an estimated 600,000- 800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders every year. That is a lot of people tricked into an inhumane and almost inescapable life.

childlabormap What is human trafficking, you may ask, well, it’s defined as an “action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another, typically for the purposes of forced labour or commercial sexual exploitation.”.

Definition of human trafficking explained by the United Nations:

“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”

Definition of human trafficking explained by L.O.A.S.H:

“Bad people smuggling other innocent people so that they could use them for forced labour, sexual exploitation and sometimes to steal tissues, organs, cells. Human trafficking, probably one of the worst types of crime. These unsuspecting people get lured in with promises of a new life and happiness but they instead encounter violence and unjust treatment.”

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An example of human trafficking:

Have you seen the documentary called The Dark Side of Chocolate?  If you haven’t then I will explain. The documentary is made by a journalist whose pretty much risked his life to expose the dark side of chocolate. Kids are being smuggled from buses and are forced to do hard labour under the sun with barely anything but food scraps just to make chocolate. Children as young as 5 years old are under hard labour and slavery just to make chocolate for some of these companies:

  • Nestle

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  • Mars

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  • ADM Coco
  • Godiva
  • Fowler’s Chocolate
  • Kraft

I know, nestle, it’s betrayed us. Aside from the fact, these companies know they are “exposed” and people out there, including you and I, are aware and dislike the fact that they are using child labour, they aren’t stopping. After watching this documentary, it was hard to enjoy these companies chocolate the same way. I mean I love chocolate and knowing that with every bite that I take supports Nestle, I can’t. At least there are still some humane chocolate companies that actually care and know that its terribly wrong to use child labour, for example:

  • Clif Bar
  • Green and Black’s
  • Koppers Chocolate
  • L.A. Burdick Chocolates
  • Denman Island Chocolate
  • Gardners Candie
  • Montezuma’s Chocolates
  • Newman’s Own Organics
  • Kailua Candy Company
  • Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company
  • Rapunzel Pure Organics
  • The Endangered Species Chocolate Company
  • Cloud Nine

Maybe you haven’t heard of half the names of these chocolate companies ever, like me, but, at least you have an idea of what chocolates you can eat while not being so guilty.

The documentary I was just explaining to you was filmed in Ivory Coast. If we want to stop this, images-2.jpgwe have to warn others, educate others to stop eating these brands chocolate or join the campaigns that are struggling to stop these big companies from child labour andslavery. I’m pretty sure with the loads of money coming in from the thousands of buys, especially Nestle and Godiva, they could afford machines to make their chocolate instead of smuggling and forcing young children to work. Let your voice be heard. And, spread the word…

This is just one example for human trafficking and its used for chocolate. Chocolate! Imagine.


 

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Escaping these trafficking rings is like trying to get out of a strong current in the ocean. The longer you stay, the deeper you go. But, when you do escape joy might be the first feeling you get but then you know that fear soon catches up as you know that they threatened you saying that they will harm your family. Only of the escapees that fled from the trafficking rings have had the courage to speak up and tell their stories. Here are a few examples:

A man who escape A.K.A a survivor | I found his story on CBC :

This man was lured into what has been called the largest human trafficking ring in Canadian history  was forced him to work in deplorable conditions. He was falsely lured with 9 other men to Canada by the Domotor – Kolompar criminal organisation with the promise of work in the construction industry and thousands of dollars in pay. Instead of their “new” life promised to them in Canada, they were kept in basements, forced to work from dawn to dusk and fed table scraps. On Christmas, they were forced to watch the bad people who lured them outside in the cold while they had a feast. This was a very difficult and rough time for them. When this man escaped, he had some problems trusting anybody, although, he is working on it. Fortunately for him, the individuals who forced him to work from dawn to dusk, were deported as he was afraid they would go after him again.

So far we’ve only covered one of the types of human trafficking which is called forced labour. The two main types of human trafficking are:

  1. Forced Labour
  2. Sex Trafficking

Everyone is a target for sex trafficking, men, women, children. They describe being in a trafficking rings like a circus. Women which were brought into the trafficking rings were forced to go to different men nearly everyday. They were treated as if they were animals. They didn’t have a say in anything.

My suggestion on how to fight against human trafficking are the following:

  1. Spread awareness by:
    1. Prepare a speech in school to spread the word
    2. Form organisation to educate others about the human trafficking
    3. Post on FB, Twitter, Instagram and other social networking platforms about the new on human trafficking
    4. Tell your neighbours
    5. Tell your friends to tell their friends to tell theirs friends and so on…
  2. Speak up!!!
  3. Make an App to inform more people
  4. Post signs and put everywhere to let more people know

Human Trafficking, as we might all know is terrible. People get robbed from their lives locked away from humanity, pretty much. And, children (children!) are forced to work under such pressure and unhealthy conditions barely with breaks. If you just think about it or talk about with your friends or family and make then not only know but care and understand. You might just have read about human trafficking and the way they abuse other people but what counts is how you care and how you take initiative to really make sure everyone else cares. Cause if we, the people of this earth, really want to change something, we can. We just need the courage and the strength to stand up and speak up. Also, aside from educating others about just human trafficking, we need to educate others on their rights. Because most people who get sucked into that vortex of evil don’t know their rights and are treated like robots, literally robots. I don’t want to keep you much longer and starting writing a whole manuscript on what to do and what not to do, but, I just want you to understand the great importance and effect that spreading the word can do to others.

– Yours truly, L.O.A.S.H