Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hey there! My name is Sebastian Cabrera and I participated in the FOLAR River Cleanup this past Saturday the 22nd. I am currently a second-year student at Cal State LA and attended this service under the supervision of English Professor Ximena Hernandez. Although I have participated in multiple clean up services before, this was my first time attending a service regarding the LA river and thus I was quite excited. Upon arrival I was directed to acquire a trash collection bag and gloves. Almost immediately after, the cleanup commenced and we were directed towards where we could enter the river and begin collecting the trash below. Trash was littered all over the river, which wasn't surprising since it looked exactly how I imagined. Although there were various types of trash from broken cell phones, to ragged and torn articles of clothing, I was more focused on picking up anything that was plastic. Reason being that in my class, Professor Hernandez had us read an article discussing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In short, its a massive "island" of plastic in the Pacific Ocean that seems to only grow bigger every year. It is sort of depressing considering not much can be done about the decomposition of plastic. This moved me to focus on removing every piece of plastic I could find from that littered river. I found plastic covered trees that had more plastic bags than leaves. Ironically my group that I was with uncovered a plastic bag that read "Don't Trash California". So much for keeping California clean if trash like that ends up being cleaned up by people who want to prevent something like that. The service lasted roughly about 2 hours and we managed to leave that place cleaner than we found it which was quite enlightening yet saddening at the same time. However, I will not let the sadness aspect of it take over. Instead this service really opened my eyes to be more conservative and limit the trash output I can in every way. Hopefully everyone else can have the same realization and we can all contribute to the reduction of trash from this littered world so we can all live happier lives.

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