Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Our Bodies, Our Ocean

Our Bodies, Our Ocean

Is it just a coincidence that the ocean covers 70% of our planet, and our own bodies are 70% water?  Our planet is like a big beautiful wet body.  And our supposedly solid bodies have an ocean inside.

Look at the chart.  Our brains, blood, skin, lungs, and muscles are really wet!  If you are the average US weight, 155 lbs, you’re carrying around 13 quarts of water.

Why do our bodies need so much water?
It’s our basic building material. 70% (our favorite number) of all our body water is inside our  
Sweating and respiration.  Water regulates our internal body temperature.
Transformation and transportation. Our food gets metabolized and moved through our      bloodstream by all those bodily fluids.
Clean up on aisle 7!  Water cleans us out, flushing waste when we pee.
It protects us; we have liquid shock absorbers for our brains, spinal cords, and fetuses.
Water keeps our joints lubricated, so we can move pain free.
Spit! Saliva keeps us juicy and helps us digest.

Doesn’t that sound exactly like what the ocean does for our planet’s body?  The ocean is also a building block, our foundation and birthplace.  It regulates earth’s temperature, it’s constantly moving, it cleanses land and air, protects the deep, and in the water cycle it quenches all thirst. Reducing pain? Simply seeing the ocean eases my aches.  Our body, our ocean.

Today June 8 is World Ocean Day.  This year’s theme is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” with a special focus on plastic pollution and reducing single use plastics.  (Two weeks ago I mentioned the 2010 theme – Dr. Seuss, “Small fish can make a whale of a difference!”)

Just as we try to keep our bodies healthy, we’ve got work to do to return our wet planet to health.  By 2050 there will the same amount of plastic in the ocean as there are fish, by weight.  1,124 million tons of each, fish and plastics.  (2,248,000,000,000 lbs. Lots of fish. WAY too much plastic.)  Talk about unhealthy!

I’ve lived almost 70 years (there’s that number again).  A lot of the plastic I’ve used is in the ocean. I’ve even had plastic floating in my inland waters from eating fish who have eaten plastics.  Nothing compared to the 95% of sea birds who have plastic in their stomachs, but we’re all suffering.

But we small fish can make a whale of a difference.  Surely I can reduce my plastic use, especially single use.  Maybe by 70%.  A good wet goal.

Let’s get all these bodies healthier.

(Our Blue Theology youth and adult groups pick up lots of plastic doing beach cleanups and they all receive free non-plastic water bottles, bags and pens – doing our part.

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