This theme will challenge you to remember data and facts. Pull that off and your audience will have some truly eye opening moments.
The trouble in our waters.
I am a man-made monster, floating over an area of 1.8 million sq kms. I disgust you, drown you, even decimate you and yet you feed me every day like wood to fire. What am I?
In 1997, researchers discovered an area in the Pacific Ocean almost half the size of India that was full of floating debris. It consisted of particles of plastic, oil sludge and other chemicals all totaling to approximately 1.8 trillion pieces. They named it The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Here is the more dreading part. Such garbage patches have since then also been discovered in the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.
Despite spreading over a humongous area, these patches are not visible from Google Earth or even space due to a very appalling phenomenon. The sunlight, oxygen and cool temperatures of ocean come together to break them into tiny parts, as small as 0.5 cms that lurk just beneath the surface forming a sludgy soup. Guess what happens to these small lurking pieces – they are ingested by marine animals. As per current estimates, one in three fishes and one in 2 sea turtles have plastic in their stomach. And by 2050, the number of plastic in oceans will exceed number of fishes.
2050. I think I got a little ahead of the time. So let’s get back to the present for a while so that I can tell you how a Toastmasters meeting functions. Any Toastmaster’s meeting is divided into three parts. The first part consists of prepared speeches where members prepare in advance for a 5 to 7 minute speech, get it mentored and deliver the same. The second part is the fun filled Table Topic session where anyone from the audience can come up and give a 1 to 2 minute speech on a topic given by the Table Topic Master. And the third part is the most important evaluation section where our GE or General Evaluator for the day will give a report on the entire meeting today. Having said that, let me invite on the stage our GE for the day – TM Name. Can we have a big round of applause everyone please?
After the General Evaluator is done explaining his role, you can start the first session of the day by calling the prepared speakers. Once this session is over, continue with the theme as under.
RELATED: As a TMOD, appreciating the Prepared Speakers is one thing you should not miss. Look here for more on this.
What do you think makes up these garbage patches? Industrial waste or perhaps sunk ships and aeroplanes? You may be in for a surprise here. Let’s dive a little deep to look the top 5 things that make up these garbage patches and what can we do about them.
1) Straws – One of the most common plastic items found in ocean. And while it may be tough to dissuade a kid from using them, can we adults not avoid them when we have cold drinks in movie halls and cold coffee in cafés. That alone would save 1000s of straws every day.
2) Cigarette – Cigarettes rival straws in their count in oceans. It is just negligent unregulated disposal that cause them to reach oceans. So we may either avoid them totally as they are bad for our health or at least dispose them properly as they are bad for ocean’s health too
3) Tooth brush – Plastic tooth brush flood the oceans in abundance. A little expensive but easy solution – use bamboo tooth brush.
Before we move ahead with this list, let’s brush up our energies for its time for the most fun session of the meeting – the Table Topic session. Please join your hands together for TM Name.
Once the Table Topic session is over, you may continue with the theme.
Let’s continue to see the next two items on that list.
4) Food wrappers – Coco Cola, Nestle and Unilever are the top 3 companies whose plastic wrappers and containers make the garbage patch. So while the world governments may request them to change their packaging, the least we can do is to recycle them properly.
5) Plastic utensils – The plates you are served noodles on, or the cups for you coffee. Plastic ones harm the oceans and paper ones harm the forest. So the only option is to carry a reusable one with you or just avoid them at the best.
As you can see, it’s the things that we use in our day to day life that reach the oceans. And if you want that to stop, the formula is simple – recycle, reuse, and reduce. Recycle what you can, reuse the rest and just reduce everything else.
On that note, I would now like to invite the General Evaluator to present his report. Please help me welcome TM Name.
Once the Evaluation session is over, you may conclude the theme as under.
A fish with its head stuck in plastic. A shark with plastic objects in its belly. At some point in the recent past, these are some images that must have appeared in your social media feed. In fact a simple Google search will yield thousands of similar pictures of dead marine animals. Needless to say the time for humans to mend their ways was yesterday. Because believe it or not, but our meeting has been going on for about 90 minutes now and during those 90 minutes an additional million kg of waste has found its way into our oceans.
It’s time now for the awards.