Plastic pollution is a hot topic these days as more and more people are becoming aware of this increasing problem that is threatening marine life. Microplastics are not visible to the naked eye, but they do show up in water tests that are being conducted regardless of the location. If you want to ascertain whether waterway near your home has plastic, then you can collect a sample using Babylegs – a trawl for monitoring ocean plastic.
As of right now, Babylegs has been fully-funded on Kickstarter. It was introduced by Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), a self-proclaimed feminist and anti-colonial marine science laboratory. CLEAR is working on the project in collaboration with another organization that is known as Public Lab – a community that is known for developing open-source tools to motivate the community and help it take part in such endeavors. Both groups are aiming to provide tools to the public that can be used for the collection of information regarding the environmental quality issues.
Babylegs have a simplistic design and is created using inexpensive and recycled materials. It is being offered as a DIY kit that you have to put together on your own before you use it. Keep in mind that this is not a product from a company that is focused on making profits. Babylegs is essentially a tool that the company wishes to bring to people so that they can use it efficiently without spending a fortune. Anyone can put together Babylegs using materials that are easy to source.
The basic supply includes baby leggings, a water bottle, sandpaper, a drill, scissors, rope, a plumber’s clamp, and a screwdriver. Using these supplies along with some other, you can easily create Babylegs for yourself and go out to the closest water body that you have in your area. Apart from providing Babylegs kits, the company is also working on educating about plastics in the water. The goal is to have an increased number of people taking and then evaluating samples, thus providing a bigger database of water quality information that can be used by others.
As per the Kickstarter campaign, ‘The activity guides included with this kit are divided into sections on building the BabyLegs trawl, deploying BabyLegs in the water, processing the sample in a kitchen, school or laboratory, where plastics are sorted from organics and finally forensically analyzing the microplastics so you can learn about pollution in your waters.’