More than 10 pounds, or 4.5 kilograms, of lakecity garbage was diverted from our oceans in celebration of World Water Day last Thursday.
“That doesn’t seem like much but read on and see just how important these little things are to the big picture,” says Mary Forbes of the Conservation Society, who worked with 20 children and three program leaders in the city’s spring break, Rec and Roll program to pick up the garbage around Marie Sharpe Elementary School and along the fence line to Rona across from 7-Eleven.
Forbes says the group picked up discarded granola-bar wrappers, zip-lock bags and bits of garbage. The pieces ranged from take-out food containers down to almost microscopic bits, most pieces smaller than your average plastic sandwich bag. She says a plastic zip-lock bag weighs practically nothing at about two grams each but using that measure the weight of garbage picked up works out to the equivalent of 2,268 zip-bags with each child averaging a pick-up of 113 bags (dirty, disgusting bags, Forbes adds).
To those who may be wondering what picking up pieces of garbage may have to do with World Water Day she points to the mess in our oceans.
With warmer weather and melting snow, she says water carries garbage — especially the tiny pieces of garbage into local ditches, streams, creeks, rivers and ultimately into the ocean.
“It can take less than a week for a piece of garbage from Williams Lake to get to the Pacific Ocean via the Fraser River,” Forbes notes.
“When we hear about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch you might think it is a world a way in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (the patch size is now calculated to be larger than the province of British Columbia) from a school playground or fence decorated with wind strewn plastic bags in downtown Williams Lake.”
She apologizes to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that won’t receive another 10 pounds of garbage thanks to the work of children here in Williams Lake.
For their actions Forbes sends a special celebratory thank-you to Zane Barr, Celena Brillian, Natasha Castro, Ashia Chustkoff, Marcus Deavsy, Rachel Folland, Ian Foster, Aiden Fullon, Sarah Lehar, Chance Loos, Nolan Lucas, Chloe Lutters, Alexis McComber Jeff Obexer, Jessilyn O’Neil, Wyatt Salmon, Kyle Wiggins, Lane Wiggins, Devlyn Inglis-Lutz and their Leaders Jen Pantaneth, Donya Vike and Malinda Gill.