How our national parks are being affected by the gov’t shutdown

News Flash: Captain Planet was sighted doing park patrol last week at Yosemite National Park.  If you didn’t know we are now on day 33 of the government shutdown which is the longest shutdown in US history, and although there are many different things being impacted by this I couldn’t help but to take notice of how our federally controlled parks and properties were being affected. With the absence of around 21,000 furloughed national park employees it has left many of the areas unsupervised and subject to long-term environmental damage. After hearing about this I decided to take the opportunity to make a stop at one of my favorite parks during my move to LA, and to my surprise despite closures of all of the parks facilities it still remained very clean and free of any damage from what I could see 👍. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case for other parks though like Joshua Tree which has suffered vandalism in the form of defacing rocks with graffiti and trees being chopped down that have been around for centuries👎. Not to mention restrooms overflowing with human waste, as well as piles of haphazardly discarded trash🙈. It’s sad to think this is all happening just because of the shutdown, but I can’t help to think about the bigger picture especially in regards to the trash situation. As piles of it build up in parks and public areas around the country I belive it is a graphic demonstration of how our tax money has made us blind to the waste created from food packaging. To put it best our tax payer money essentially is subsidizing the food industry, which sells us the packaging (mostly single use plastics) and then takes no responsibility for dealing with it after the fact. As now seen, when you shut down the government that ecosystem breaks down in front of our eyes leaving piles of trash laying around. I believe this goes to show that just because someone isn’t there to remove the waste, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still exist. Perhaps we can use this shutdown to see that it’s time to not just start thinking differently but acting differently in regards to the way we purchase 🤔

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