Are you passionate about ocean recovery and fighting pollution? The Ocean Recovery Alliance has launched the Global Alert App that lets you instantly report and upload trash hotspots in or near your waters. Here’s how this incredible innovation works.
If the technological age has brought us one thing, it’s convenience. Think about it – instant correspondence, Internet banking, a quick Google search, online shopping… the list goes on and on. Could you even still imagine writing a thesis by hand, or living your life without wifi access?
Without today’s technology, you wouldn’t even have stumbled across this article. In fact, this article wouldn’t exist at all – firstly, because it has been published on a website, and secondly, because the topic of this article is an App – a prime technological creation.
Tech for Environmental Change
Since the convenience of technology is indisputable (well, maybe not when loadshedding and the wifi *ching* for your attention) we should be thinking bigger than using it solely for our own personal advantage.
It’s been a while since the first phone applications came out, and we’ve come a long way since Snake (the best game to play on your old-school brick Nokia) and other game entertainment for long bus rides. These days, phone applications go way beyond the categories of games and the likes. They can actually make a big difference in important causes, such as education and environmental change.
Given the fact that today’s tech generations pretty much live glued to their phones, tablets, and computer screens, an App is a perfect medium to use to create awareness and involvement with important projects.
The perfect example is the new Global Alert App, proudly launched by Ocean Recovery Alliance, a California and Hong Kong based NPO.
The Floating Trash Crisis
Have you ever walked past a river riddled with plastic bottles, grocery bags, and other countless objects that don’t belong there? Have you ever gone for a seaside stroll and marveled at the majestic wonders of nature only to stumble across a heap of rubbish left behind after a lagoon picnic? Those of you who are familiar with this will know that it’s a very disturbing sight.
This so-called floating trash is a massive issue, in particular because so much of it gets washed into rivers and oceans. According to the Ocean Recovery Alliance, about 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year. EIGHT MILLION. That is roughly the same as having 5 garbage bags of trash for every foot of coastline around the world – all 217,000 miles of it!
To give you a concrete idea of what we’re dealing with here, just take a look at this footage taken by the Ocean Recovery Alliance.
Saying that there is a drastic urgency to reverse the damage we have been causing with ocean waste is an understatement. The recovery of our ocean and marine life is an absolute priority for the sustainability and wellbeing of this planet and all living beings.
Global Alert – A Technological Solution
With a drive to tackle this issue, the team at Ocean Recovery Alliance brainstormed how technology could assist their cause, while getting as many people involved as possible.
The team explains how the App’s creators approached the problem.
“Floating trash has no geographic or political boundaries, so solutions must involve scalable international collaboration, yet be local in scope and reach.”
As it were, their approach resulted in the amazing Global Alert Mobile App.
How to Use the Global Alert
All it takes for you to get involved in this project is a few easy steps. If you stumble across a water area that is full of litter and pollution, here’s what you can do.
Download the free Global Alert App
Report and Upload the Trash Site – ‘See – Share – Solve’
Select the ‘Add Trash Site’ option in the app and follow the prompts – then click ‘Submit’ or ‘Upload Later’ (for example, if you want to get to a Wifi hotspot before uploading).
You don’t need to fill out all the fields. Here’s what the team notes.
“The minimum we want to know is who you are, what kind of trash you saw, where it was, and roughly how much. Anything else you can add, which would help people find the location and understand what you saw, would be helpful. But don’t just say ‘on the coral or on the reef’ as that doesn’t help us locate things too well in a big city.”
In other words – be specific. For example, don’t say “on Camps Bay beach” but rather, “Next to the tidal pool on Camps Bay beach, close to Pick ‘n Pay.”
Make sure you zoom in as much as possible and put the “Pin” right on the location where you see the waste. It is also very important to take at least one photo so that stakeholders in that community can see the size and location of the trash.
Pat Yourself on the Shoulder
Once you submit the trash site, the information gets sent to the nearest Community Steward who then takes further action to have the litter removed.
This is how “See – Share – Solve” works – your images, and sharing of information, greatly help others to better manage the environment to cleanup and help create preventative measures for the future.
Once the site has been cleaned, you can upload new images of the ‘Cleanup Site.’
Yay. You just helped get rid of an entire floating trash site and clean up a spot on our planet. All with a few simple clicks.
For any more specific questions about the App, feel free to contact Info@GlobalAlert.org
The 8th of June marks World Oceans Day. We’re curious to hear about how you get involved in bringing awareness to ocean recovery and sustainability? If you’re not involved yet, using this App is a good way to start!