Microplastics. Microorganisms. Microscopic details.
Micro means small.
On their own, micro things might even be considered insignificant. But they are far from that. As we know from everyday life, it only takes the smallest thing to change how we feel. Ultimately, it is the micro things that join together to form the bigger picture. Without these individual components, it is impossible to create something huge.
In the sea, there are trillions and trillions of tiny copepods that undergo mass daily migrations, often moving hundreds of metres up and down in the water column, perhaps for feeding purposes, or maybe to avoid exposure to damaging UV radiation during the day. Each individual copepod is so small, that on its own, would appear unimportant. However, the mass movement of all these copepods is so vital for the recycling of dissolved organic matter between the surface and the deep, that without these creatures, the whole ecosystem would likely collapse. The big, the beautiful, the breathtaking whales, dolphins and turtles we look at in wonder rely upon these micro mechanisms to live. This goes to show the power of the small to make a big difference.
And it is not only in nature that micro has the power to make a difference, but in our lives too. As you will undoubtedly be aware, plastic in the oceans is possibly one of the greatest environmental problems we have ever had to face. After years of individuals discarding rubbish without a second thought to where it ends up, we now pay the price, with huge aggregations of plastic greater than the size of Texas polluting our seas.
As overwhelming as this damage is, the great thing about the power of micro is that it works both ways. We, as individuals, have the power to make a change if we all work together. Look at the success of Earth Hour; it was the small actions of many millions of people across the globe that made something magnificent possible.
Today is the day that marks the announcement of the UK government’s plans to introduce a plastic bottle deposit recycling scheme. For every bottle returned after being used, the buyer will be reimbursed the deposit paid at the time of purchase. With enough people backing this new scheme, it is hoped that we can considerably reduce our plastic waste. Use this as inspiration to know that your actions, along with those of many like-minded others, are enough to make a difference. You may be a drop in the ocean, a speck in the universe, something micro, but, remember, you have the power to do something remarkable.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”