Jasmine Tara Photography

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“a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in”

-greek proverb


~ i just came back from an amazingly refreshing trip to the gorgeous and powerful waters of the Yucatan. this place in the world has an amazing energy all it’s own. it embodies a mysterious and yet simple beauty. it is a land of color and stories.

the first day i sat down on the beach, looking for shells and buried my hands deep in the sand. the weight and heat of the white powder in my palms was heaven, and i squeezed my fists tight letting the sand seep out. i felt something hard in my fingers, my heart lifted to find a beautiful shell.  as i opened my hands, i saw a small white irregular circle. a ragged plastic bottle top.  i put it aside and squeezed more sand in my hands. oh, another shell!  this time a deep blue plastic scrap. i did this over and over, every time looking for shells, and every time finding plastic.

these photos are a modest look at the plastic i saw. i spent most of my time trying to photograph around the plastic, not realizing i should include any of it for a potential blog post. these photos were taken at  Sian Ka’an, a biosphere reserve in Tulum. a place where scientists, fisherman, farmers and students work to carry out conservation projects. i was astonished how much plastic i saw on these awe inspiring beaches. it broke my heart.

the plastic i saw  and used during my travels, and also being more aware of how much plastic i use everyday at home astounds me. just one small example that struck me was that hotels & hostels in many parts of the Yucatan provide travelers with 1 – 2 plastic bottles of water for brushing your teeth. i cringed using these bottles perched on my bathroom sink everyday, thinking of the number multiplied by the thousands that visit daily, adding up to countless of empty plastic bottles with no place to go.

this number of plastic bottles is just observation of one area of the world, for one use, for one day.

an incredible documentary i saw about this very issue of “one use” plastic bottles, bags, cups, that we mindlessly use and throw away can be seen in Bag It. it address the concept that when you “throw something away” or even recycle it, there is NO away. it always goes somewhere. the documentary shows the painful truth that our oceans are FILLED with plastic. plastic is everywhere, mimicking sand on beaches, in record numbers in the stomaches of all marine life, on our beaches, gutters and everywhere in between.

as much as i have tried to limit my use of plastic, it is quite hard. but what will be harder is to see the gorgeous waters and country of this planet consumed by the insurmountable wave of plastic we create.

let us be more aware of what we use and how much we throw away.

let our legacy be one of beauty and integrity.



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