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the power of one

Do you know that ⅔ of the plastic that enters our oceans comes directly from land-based sources, including litter, industry spills, and poorly managed landfills? Are you aware of the fact that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight? I was shocked by these statistics when researching the effects of plastic on oceans and marine life. The sea that once seemed so vast and beautiful is now turning into a plastic soup, as a result of the trash that we discard in the city, old fishnets, washing clothes, and brushing our teeth. While some of these causes may seem inevitable and unavoidable, I firmly believe that there are other actions that we can take to preserve the oceans. And what I perceive as the first and foremost step is to raise awareness in the community around us. 

Through this project, I wanted to depict the devastating effects that plastic has on marine life. Utilizing toys, a glass bowl, and food coloring, I created a  miniature version of an ocean that will be experiencing drastic changes after plastic pollution. I wanted to capture each process of marine life pollution as I record videos, starting from how creatures begin to flow into the ocean to contamination spreading throughout the entire ocean surface. To demonstrate these processes, I first asked a classmate to drop the toys into the glass bowl that was filled with water, while I record the process in slow motion. After several trials, I then asked my classmate to slowly drop the food coloring to the glass bowl that was now filled with different toys and water. I continued to shoot the video, allowing the food coloring to spread across the surface of the water gradually. After I completed the demo, I composed and edited the videos, indicating the dramatic shift before and after the pollution. The video starts off to be tranquil, with peaceful music, an alternation between toys dropping into the bowl, and beautiful scenery of marine life. However, as the peaceful music fades away, the video begins to present triggering footages of plastic pollution in oceans and how the food coloring in my demo is destroying the aesthetic of the miniature ocean setting. 



My main goal of this video is to encourage more people to start believing that everyone can make a difference. Just like how one drop of food coloring could make such a big difference in the glass bowl, one’s actions, on the other hand, could also make a significant influence on one’s family and friends. It’s easy to think that you, as one single person, can’t make a difference with an issue as overwhelming and all-encompassing as plastic pollution. But sometimes, the power of one is all it takes to make a change in our community. 

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