Rhea Campbell of The Ursuline Convent School won an Honorable Mention in Ages 9-13 in the recent Canada-Barbados Environmental Essay Contest. Here is her excellent essay…
Journey Of The Corn Curl Wrapper
The bell rang signalling the end of break. While Jenny and Kurt were walking back to class, she noticed that Kurt threw his corn curl wrapper on the ground without a second thought. Jenny scolded him about the harm the wrapper could cause; but Kurt just shrugged it off and continued walking to the classroom.
Now Kurt lived next door to his school. All that afternoon the wind was high: one gust blew the wrapper over the fence and into his mother’s garden bed of exotic Heliconia seedlings. A few days later, while Kurt’s mother was tending to her young plants, she noticed that a small bunch of seedling had withered. When she took a closer look, she saw the base of the stems smothered by a corn curl wrapper. On removing the wrapper, she realized the trapped heat had caused a scorching effect on the tiny stems. In her haste to save the little plants she forgot to discard the corn curl wrapper properly.
The next day there was a squall. The strong winds blew the wrapper into the garden bed beneath Kurt’s bedroom window. Soon rainwater filled the wrapper and in time, the deadly dengue mosquito bred in the dirty water. Within a week Kurt became seriously ill with dengue fever.
Their gardener’s blower blew the dried out wrapper into a gutter. Rainwater eventually washed the wrapper through the drains and out to sea. It floated for months among the seaweed, plankton and debris.
During her summer vacation, Jenny often strolled along the beach. One morning, she spotted a young turtle struggling in a mass of fishing net. Its head was trapped inside an old corn curl wrapper. Immediately she called Turtle Hotline for help. The turtle rescue team freed the turtle and carefully discarded the corn curl wrapper.
Just as this single wrapper became a threat to many aspects of Barbados’ environment because it was carelessly thrown away, pollution on a larger scale can cause major harm to our plant, animal and human life.
In order for our plants to flourish and photosynthesise effectively, generating oxygen for us to breather, they need a non-toxic soil.
Garbage, detergent and petroleum liquids washing into our ocean damage our sea life. Coral reefs die from algae formation and fish migrate leaving a shortage of food and underwater attractions.
If harmful refuse and sewage are not properly disposed of they can affect the population with serious illnesses and diseases like dengue fever, leptospirosis and cholera.
Litter takes away the natural beauty of Barbados, making the island less attractive and pleasant for us, who live here, and the visitors to our shores. If fewer tourists come to Barbados this would have a harmful affect on our economy.
That is why we should clean up our surroundings, protect our environment, help save lives and assist with the Barbados economy.