Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 101 - Feb. 28, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
3.5 pounds
408.9 pounds total
The high tide line was the highest I've ever seen it tonight. Coming up way past the life guard tower, it left a line of debris and trash, (most of it plastic), in its wake that kept me very busy for twenty minutes.

I estimate that I cleaned a 40 foot square area in 20 minutes. I never got past the life guard tower, and certainly stayed far away from the water because of all the trash to pick up at the high tide line.

Plastic can take a beating and still come out looking used, sure, but not too far from the condition it was in when it was bought. I doubt this lighter was dropped on the beach. Let's imagine that somewhere in the middle of LA it fell from a jacket pocket, sat around in the gutter for a day or so before getting kicked into the storm drain, and then washed down the miles of underground pipe all the way to the ocean where it then got pushed back onto the beach.

Did you know that it is estimated that 80% of all trash in the ocean comes from land?

My beach parking lot during a February sunset.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Community Count Collection Grows - Lane fr. R.I.

Community Count Collection - Lane Johnson, R.I.
40 pounds
196.9 pounds total

Let me catch you up on what the Community Count Collection is.
If you go to, or live by a beach, you can do a Daily Ocean style cleanup.
Collect for 20 minutes, take some pictures of the beach and the trash, write a few words, send it to me, and I will post it here on my blog.
I will add the pounds of trash you collected to my running tally, and highlight your cleanup.
You can find the the ongoing tally of pounds of trash collected around the world if you look to the right of my blog and scroll down.

Lane Johnson from Rhode Island wrote me to tell me about how he and his girlfriend collect 100's of pounds of trash off of their Atlantic Coast beach as they walk their dogs.

Thank you Lane for sharing your thoughts and photographs. I have added 40 pounds to the Community Collection Count in you and your girlfriend's honor. Stay in touch, continue the good work, share what you find, and thanks for inspiring me to keep going.

When I asked Lane, "How many pounds of trash do you think you have collected?" He replied:

The amount in pounds? OMG! Honestly, my girlfriend and I have been doing this almost daily for 2 years, I started taking pictures in March 2009, we've removed considerable more amounts than my pictures depict.

I initiated my photo quest a bit late, starting on Jan. 1 of this year. Its been soooo cold and miserable here. We still do our pickin up, but come spring I plan to set up a screen table to rinse off the stuff better, seperate out easier and photograph what makes up a filled bucket.

Sara, it is unbelievable. The amount of stuff I mean. We play a game. We have even gotten some of the other people in the neighborhood to participate. The game, find the tampon(the casing). I know, you must know. (I DO!)

Anyway, whenever ya find one ya give a yell and name the color. Green! or PINK! maybe a Pearl!. LOL. So now on occasion we will be out there with the dogs, buckets in hand, and a person on the beach will yell "Tampon Applicator" and wave at us signaling where the prize was! Sorta gross, I know. Hey, they get it.

Some people listen when they ask what are we doing ? What's with the buckets? And they get an earful about PLASTIC, the gyres, and the fish. Then they look in our buckets. Most can't believe all the little pieces. They've also noticed the cleaner beach.


Each bucket probably weighs close to 35-40lbs is my guess. With glass, metal, and all the small pieces of plastic. Another reason why the buckets work so well is that they don't bust under the weight.

Yes we use plastic buckets. They work great. Cat litter or pickle buckets work the best. Sharp glass and metal and plastic is a problem when carrying and filling a plastic trashbag.

I've even added a plastic container that hangs off the bucket for sea glass. Some pieces are a real treat! We have an incredible collection. A nice reward.

Most of what we pick up is small pieces of plastic. The size of a dime or smaller. All differnent colors. So many pieces. The big stuff fills the bucket faster, but alot of the buckets you see are mostly full of these small pieces.

My two 50 gal trash cans get filled to the rim with garbage and I recycle what we can and fill the big onesweekly with plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass. And that's just what gets brought home. Many times we go to a different area do our walk and dispose of it before we get home.

I want my pictures to have an impact when looked at. I want people, kids, politicians to look at this mess we are facing.

We joke that our beach is designed to catch this trash and we are human filters for the city and maybe making a small dent in the amount of plastic and trash making its way out to the Atlantic.

We walk our dogs on a beach near where we live about an hour and half in the morning, and often a quick walk in the eve after we return from work. We are just South of Providence, RI on the Providence River /Narragansett Bay. It's beautiful for being so close to the city. Hundreds of swan, ducks, heron, etc.

We just got a storm yesterday and this weekend. My beach is a mess again. Like we havent ever been there picking up for the last two months. So much new stuff washed ashore. So much. It hurt today a bit. Oh well. Gonna keep going.

(I understand how you feel. Bracing myself to go out today to see what washed through the city storm drains. With over 8 million people in the Los Angeles area, you can guess how much is out there. I try to show people with my pictures, but really there's so much more when you look out along the entire beach that is littered for as far as you can see. Doesn't leave me in a great mood when I'm done.)








Thursday, February 25, 2010

Community Count Collection - Claudia Kousoulas

THE COMMUNITY COUNT COLLECTION:

THE IDEA BEHIND IT? As Claudia says herself after picking pits of plastic up off the beach that don't belong there:

"I’m going to take a second look at some of my unconsidered habits and try to eliminate unnecessary plastic."

Let me catch you up on what the Community Count Collection is. If you go to, or live by a beach, you can do a Daily Ocean style cleanup. Collect for 20 minutes, take some pictures of the beach and the trash, write a few words, send it to me, and I will post it here on my blog. I will add the pounds of trash you collected to my running tally, and highlight your cleanup. You can find the the ongoing tally of pounds of trash collected around the world if you look to the right of my blog and scroll down.

This time the person sending in the information is not my friend Beverly, BUT it is the best friend of Beverly's sister! Who, if I have this right, heard about what Beverly was doing by sending me her beach cleanup results and decided on her own to do the same! WOW! I'm thrilled. Thanks Claudia. Read her thoughtfully written write up below. Consider joining in on this Community Count Collection I've got going. Let's make it a GLOBAL TREND, shall we?

1 mile - 1.5 pounds of trash collected
Surfside, Florida (north of Miami Beach)

At first glance, there’s not a lot of garbage on the beach in Surfside, Florida (which is just north of Miami Beach, on the same barrier island). There are no scudding plastic bags or oily slicks. The water is a bouncing aqua and the sand is smooth and white.

That’s because the beach is “cleaned” regularly. Every morning a tractor drags the sand, steering around early morning exercisers and churning bits of garbage into the sand. And beachgoers are pretty good about using the trashcans that are emptied every few days by a little truck with pincer arms which lifts the wire bins over the driver and into the holding bin.

But as you walk along, your eye adjusts and begins to spot little bright bits of plastic and worn but resilient lumps of Styrofoam. Some shards are recognizable—bits of sneaker, a fragment of beach toy, or things that no one brings to the beach—a pen cap, faucet handle, or plastic propeller.

In a walk of a mile, I picked up about 11/2 pounds of trash.

Most of the garbage seems food-related. The bottle caps from soda and water bottle that have been dutifully recycled pile up thick and fast, along with plastic snack bags and take-out containers.


All those bits of plastic get churned by the sea and the tractor, ground up and could eventually displace the sand on our beaches. As oceanographer Charles Moore, discovered of the North Pacific Central Gyre described it on the Colbert Report, the plastic is only a mess in the ocean and beaches, but it absorbs toxins and transmits them up the food chain to us.

We can keep hauling it off and disposing of it properly, but there are an endless stream of bottle caps and drinking straws. I long ago stopped buying bottled water and tote reusable shopping bags, but I’m going to take a second look at some of my unconsidered habits and try to eliminate unnecessary plastic.




Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 100 - Feb. 23, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
2.2. pounds
405.4 pounds total

I'm not even a third of the way through my 365 non-consecutive day beach cleanup mission, but I have to say it felt pretty good to be out there for the 100th time last night. 100 is a nice round number.

The beach didn't look so bad until I got halfway down the high tide line between tower 26 and 28 where I collect. Time was up soon after I arrived at the worst of it. Walking away from that mess made me frustrated, but only allowing 20 minutes works for me in part because I DO want to come back today to get more trash from the beach. It functions as an incentive. I know that what I saw last night will have washed back into the waves today, but unfortunately there is always more.

Wouldn't it be nice to come away empty handed?
I found a great website recently - LESS PLASTIC MORE LIFE. There is a website and a blog. Check it out! They remind us of a a powerful reality:

"Everyday animals mistake plastic bags as food, ingest them and die. Once the animals decay, the bags are set free and the killing continues." - This fact is perhaps the number one reason I do what I do.
OK - this is me on the beach in New Jersey in the early 1980's. Do you notice anything unusual about this picture?

After finding it the other day, I realized that there is not one piece of trash on the beach around me, behind, anywhere that I can see. I know that the oceans were well on their way to accumulating the trash and contaminants that we find there today when this photograph was taken, but I remember that it was RARE to find anything but sand, shells, and sea weed on the beaches of my childhood. Lets get back there.
Styrofoam, styrofoam everywhere. Santa Monica makes me proud that it has banned Non-recyclable Plastics as you can see below. It is a city wide effort that has a phone number to call, and a website to log onto where you can report restaurants that still use take out containers that violate this ban.
Inspired by their efforts, I unfortunately see the results of living in a city that is at the end of shared storm drains. LA and the surrounding cities do not carry this ban, so the result is a lot of styrofoam still washing up on the beaches.

The answer? Taking the positive steps in your community to other cities, states, and countries to affect further change. Perhaps not easy, but I don't really see other options. Do you?
In any case, hurray Santa Monica, now lets get single use plastic bags banned. Join Team Marine of Santa Monica High School and sign their online petition to do just that today! Thank you. We are at 172 people, our goal - 1,000 - WE NEED YOU T JOIN US!
Since Monday night when Team Marine invited me to attend the AVATAR fundraiser at FOX held by the NRDC and I heard James Cameron talk afterwards, I have been thinking about something he said, "What am I here to do with my little packet of energy?"

J.C. said that it took him a long time to figure out what that was for him. I relate to that. Writing my book, "Calliope and the Heart of the Sea," and committing to this blog feels like the beginning of what I am meant to do. It goes back to the core of what I loved as a child. Being a total water baby, it was difficult to ever get me out of the surf.

The picture above is of Hawaiian Spinner dolphins. I have had the privilege as an adult to swim with them in their waters many times off the coast of the Big Island. One morning after a long swim of an hour or more, I remember coming up for air and thinking , I have to figure out a way to repay them. Being an artist I have tried to do that with my creativity. Truthfully, I can never repay the debt I owe to them for opening my heart and reconfirming my connection and love for our planet, particularly the ocean with all its inhabitants.
Last night's sunset sent golden yellow light rays across the ocean in a perfect path to the shore.

Most days I don't feel like what I do is enough. But also like James Cameron said, "it is not an opportunity, but a responsibility." I think every individual could apply that to what they feel like is their purpose, their passion. All I can do is try the best I can in the day that I'm in.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

AVATAR, the NRDC, and Team Marine

Team Marine of Santa Monica High was invited to attend the NRDC fundraiser at FOX studios last night. The evening included 40 minutes of selected scenes from AVATAR, followed by a live discussion with Director James Cameron and Elvis Mitchell of KCRW's show The Treatment. What a night!

Devany, Eileen, Jacob and Raf taking in AVATAR with their Roy Orbison 3D glasses.
TM met James Cameron before the movie. I have to say that last night taught me about remaining open minded in my judgements of other people. I knew of J.C.'s reputation as a tyrannical movie director, inventor, ego-maniac, film genius but what I didn't know was that I would be nodding along to about 95% of what he was saying during his talk. I didn't expect to feel a connection with him because of our joint love, and fascination with the ocean. I didn't expect to feel the sense of hope, relief and resonance at the end of the night that I floated on down Pico Blvd. all the way home, and into this morning.

Listening to him reminded me of the scientific principle that for "every action there is an opposite and equal reaction." Newton didn't mean this in metaphysical terms, but I couldn't help interpreting his Law of Motion in this way. If we are experiencing an environmental crisis on our planet that targets all of our major eco-systems then a counter to the destruction could be an environmental action film that is the highest grossing movie of all time, directed by Hollywood's most notorious guy.....feel free to agree, or disagree. Remember I said an answer, not "the" answer.
Team Marine with the Directors of the Oscar Nominated Documentary The Cove. I hope that The Cove wins this year. It is a daring account of how 25,000 dolphins are slaughtered annually in Japan.
I got "Star Struck" when Frances Beinecke, President of the NRDC took the stage after the movie and discussion to say a few words. She said, "The oceans are imperiled...the NRDC has a strategy to address that." Team Marine is pictured with her above.
Actress Amy Smart, (in the white sweater), is a long time supporter of Heal the Bay. Volunteering since High School, she now sits on their Board of Directors. Amy graciously talked to us for a few minutes after the event.
And lastly, but certainly not least, (especially for Mel :D ) we got to meet Actor Brandon Frazier. Mel, need I say more?

So why did I rethink my assumptions about James Cameron? A few examples follow below:

- He realized that using Avatar to speak about environmental awareness was not, "An opportunity, it was a responsibility."

- J.C. is a self-proclaimed "nature geek" who has spent 3,000 plus hours Scuba Diving. But it was Deep Sea Exploration that reformed his "Diva-Director" nature and taught him how to communicate with his staff in a respectful and focused way....in other words, the ocean schooled him.

- He believes that we suffer from, "Nature Deficit Disorder"

- After asking himself, "What am I here to do with my little packet of energy?" (which took him a long time to discover.) He believes that using the venue of entertainment to elicit an emotional response in people to stand up for the environment is his true calling. That's so cool.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Teach & Test at SAMO High - Feb. 20

My friend and fellow Surfrider volunteer Lindsey Jurca participates in our "Ice Breaker" game to start off the day.

The Teach and Test club at Santa Monica High School, which is sponsored by Heal the Bay and Surfrider, invited four local middle schools to come join them last Saturday to test the ocean water quality here in Santa Monica. A little background first:

"Background on Surfrider Foundation Teach and Test Program at SM High School:

Last year, the Surfrider Foundation, in partnership with Santa Monica High School, launched the Teach and Test Ocean Water Quality Monitoring Program to engage students in hands-on research and empower them to affect positive change in their community. Through funding from the Surfrider Foundation, California Coastal Commission Whale Tail Program, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Jane Goodall Institute Roots & Shoots Program, Santa Monica Co-Opportunity, the Santa Monica Daily Press, and Bike Attack, the Marine Biology storeroom was converted into the “Samohi-Surfrider Marine Laboratory,” fully equipped with scientific apparatus to test bacterial levels in the ocean. On Wednesdays before school, Samohi students sample water at several local sites within the Santa Monica Bay. They then process and analyze the samples themselves in the lab, and share their findings with the local and international communities via newspapers and online networks, including the Surfrider Foundation and the Jane Goodall Institute Roots & Shoots Program."

- Ben Kay, Marine Biology teacher at Santa Monica High School

We walked from the school to the end of the Pico-Kenter Storm Drain. All drains lead to the ocean, and this one funnels right past one of the shwanki-est hotels in Southern California, Shutters.

So how much do people spend to stay next to water run-off laden with bacteria, trash and other diseases, (no exaggeration unfortunately), can you guess?

the average - $515.00 USD/night
for a 1 bedroom Ocean View Suite - $1,756.00 USD/night

ummm.....without tax. really?
Here's a view of the storm drain. It's bad, but just wait.
It rained the night before so all of the contents that had built up in the storm drains since the last rain spilled into the ocean without any filters, leaving some of it to flood back up onto the beach.
This is a shot if the pool of storm water run-off that collects between the beach and Shutters Hotel. Many sea birds were bathing in it this morning.
Raf, from SAMO high showing a middle school student from SMASH how to tie off a water sample.
Standing in ankle deep water, you dip the sterile bag into the surf, trying not to collect sand which is loaded with bacteria.
The trash I noticed had a few stand out characteristics in common.

1. they were made from plastic, or styrofoam (which is also plastic)
2. they we branded with major commercial company logos
3. styrofoam was in abundance today even though the city of Santa Monica has banned "Non-recyclable Plastics" "because they make up the 2nd largest amount of waste in the Santa Monica Bay and on our beaches." - Office of Sustainability and the Environment Santa Monica
A Curloo Bird taking a bacteria bath.
EXTENDED PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY - is a term that means:

"Extended producer responsibility" (EPR) means that the responsibility of producers for their products is extended to the post-consumer stage. In other words, under EPR, a company must be concerned not only with making the product and how it functions, but also with what will become of the product at the end of its useful life. In the case of consumer goods, this principle shifts responsibility for recycling and waste disposal from local government to private industry, thereby internalizing the costs of waste management into product prices. Under such a scheme, citizens pay for waste management as consumers, when purchasing products, rather than as taxpayers, through local taxes. EPR programs typically are aimed at increasing recycling and often contain mandated recycling targets."

- by Bette Fishbein, Senior Fellow, Sustainable Products and Practices, INFORM Inc.

I cringed realizing that I have the same container in my purse as I took this picture. Here's the thing. Plastic packaging is damn hard to get around. I reuse my Airborne container to carry my vitamins and supplements with me if I am eating out.
I'm sure that I have one of these in my purse too. Different brand, same convenience item.
"While EPR is intended to reduce the amount of materials going to landfills, it is also aimed "upstream"-- at product design and material selection. Its underlying theory is that if producers must pay for waste, they will have an incentive to make products that are less wasteful. EPR provides the missing link between product design and recycling: a link that is key for making recycling efficient and economic. The movement toward designing for disassembly, developing reverse logistical systems, and demanufacturing are strategies industry has used in response to the new incentives posed by EPR."
- by Bette Fishbein, Senior Fellow, Sustainable Products and Practices, INFORM Inc.

An idea worth fighting to implement even if the US is way behind other countries in the development of legislation that supports this.

Before my group was done with the beach part of our day, I had to leave to go get the pizzas that were so graciously donated by Pizza Fusion. This was my parting view before lunch. The day was a success. We passed on knowledge to people who will one day be left to address the mess we've made of our oceans. I say it was a success, but it was also a hard day for me personally to be out there on a beach that was literally covered in trash.

Success could also be in the courageous stance people take to cover distressing environmental problems. The blog post I have linked to below features a beach so polluted that I feel like I need to disclose the link with a movie rating. Maybe I've only made it more enticing.....here it is.

Team Marine Quick Science Challenge

This amazing group of eco-warriors pictured above is Team Marine.

I have the honor of being their "Volunteer Mentor." Really what that means is that I get to hang out with cool people who inspire me every damn time I see them. Like last Friday when we braved the 10 East freeway into downtown to make our way to USC by 5:00 to turn in their "QUICK SCIENCE CHALLENGE" project.

(A special thanks to their Assistant Coach Renee Klein who couldn't be there to join in the festivities, but met us for the BEST Thai food I've ever had afterwards thanks to Ben.)
They walk their talk, check out the bracelet.

The Quick Science Challenge is held by the USC Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island and sponsored by Quicksilver. Starting their work for this project back in the summer, it is hard to calculate just how many hours were put into their efforts.
We needed a dolly to get their project board delivered safely.

One aspect of their project that I like very much is their 10R concept. Most of us know the "green mantra"- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Well they take those 3 and raise it 7.

Here's a link to their blog and website so you can read the list. Before you click over, (and then click back right :)), can you think of 10R's?
This is Ben Kay their teacher, coach and mentor. He probably works just as much, if not more, outside the classroom time he is paid for by SMMUSD. Why? Because he's a passionate guy who wants to save the world. It's just that simple. His efforts are inspiring.
After late nights, long weekends, and countless hours outside school, Team Marine couldn't contain themselves and I don't blame them. Congratulations you guys. I see a week in Catalina in your future.

Day 99 - Feb. 18

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA

trash collected for 20 minutes

4.3 pounds

403.2 pounds total

I love the beach - surprise! Waiting for a fellow Santa Monican that I met thru Twitter to join me, I tried to sit quietly by the water, just to soak in the views. I couldn't. Why? Riding in on the waves where a bunch of balloons from Valentines Day. Try as I might to ignore them, I reassured myself that in ten minutes I would be picking them up. "Just chill out," I told myself.

Not being able to enter a state of relaxation I scurried to the water's edge to collect the many "I Love You" balloons floating to shore. This experience may reveal my neurotic nature. It tells you why I started the Daily Ocean that's for sure. But it also leaves me with a question. Why can people walk by so much trash on the beach and relax?

Surfrider answers the question that I posed above in their video, "Shifting Baselines."

This is NOT the first can in insecticide that I have found on the beach. Although the last one I took off of the sand was in Tulum, Mexico after a hurricane a few years ago. The bottle was in Chinese with a picture of a beautiful (I'm assuming) Chinese woman with the only lettering in English reading, "insecticide."
What does 4.3 pounds look like? It looks like that. Although a beach cleanup held by "Save Our Shores," in Santa Cruz reports:

"On Saturday February 13th, over 30 volunteers came to support Save Our Shores' river cleanup efforts. SOS hosted a cleanup on Branciforte Creek where volunteers collected over 1,000 pounds of trash and over 400 pounds of recycling! Volunteers removed everything from couches, chairs, a bed frame, vacuums, tarps, shopping carts, electrical wires, batteries, car parts, cans, bottles, and lots of plastic items. Thank you to those who showed their support for our local watershed and made this creek cleanup such a huge success!"

I won't argue the success of taking out that much garbage, but doesn't it strike you as alarming that there was that much there to collect? What can we do to stop the "Shifting Baseline" of beach/river cleanups?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 98 - Feb. 16


life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
2 pounds
398.9 pounds total


COMMUNITY COUNT COLLECTION: Tracy of Recycled Bride and Recycled Tyke
Day 25
.5 pounds
155.4 pounds total
Oregon is taking up the BAN THE PLASTIC BAG idea by introducing legislation to make Single Use Plastic Bags banned statewide: to read more

It is disheartening that the Plastic Bag industry is doing a great job of convincing courts, like the one in Manhattan Beach CA that just shot down 2-1 their proposed plastic bag ban, that PAPER BAGS are more harmful than plastic! There are many problems with paper too,

BUT THE OBVIOUS OBVIOUS SOLUTION TO PAPER OR PLASTIC IS NEITHER!!!!!!
GO REUSABLE!

I get so steamed thinking about their BS machine. Did you know there is a site called:
SAVE THE PLASTIC BAG? Really? I can hardly read it.

AND earth911 is fully funder/supported and written by The American Chemistry Council!
Why you may ask? Read on.....

Going to high light a few other friends of mine who are reaching out in creative, proactive ways to the world whether through their art, jewelry, blogs.

My professor for a semester at Cal State Northridge - Lynette Henderson
- incredible muralist and proponent of Art Education for all.

My friend from High School - Liza Curtis
- mom, fierce friend, ceramicist, muralist, painter, and now jeweler

My fellow blogger and friend - Kiss My Country
- got a killer interview with Roger Bayley - Design Manager of the Olympic Athletes Village in Vancouver, and guess what? It's 100% sustainable!
I know this isn't styrofoam but this came into my inbox so I have to pass it on.


some disturbing facts about how you can't recycle the stuff:

Less than 1 percent of the 165,000 pounds of Styrofoam we use in California every year gets recycled.

Why so little? A couple main reasons:

1) Once you get food on Styrofoam, you can no longer recycle it.

2) It's 95 percent air, meaning it's bulky and expensive to ship and store -- and then you need to degas it.

3) Processed, recycled Styrofoam yields a low-grade substance which isn't really much good for anything.

4) Very few facilities actually have the equipment to recycle Styrofoam in California.


RECYCLING RANT CONTINUED:

"We use 6 BILLION SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS IN LA COUNTRY ALONE EACH YEAR!" - Mark Gold, Heal the Bay

"What we have now is: out of sight, out of mind + hope for the best = back to the mall to consume some more.

Why is it our duty to "recycle" waste at all? Who makes the decision to create all this junk? Do you choose how your printer is packaged? Do you choose how your coca cola is bottled? Some make a profit by shoving that waste into our households, to the detriment of all. And then we need to worry about "recycling", cleaning up or banning that stuff.

How come producers are not resposible for the end life of their products? That should be a part of the product design an cost analysis.

I think it is really dangerous is to go on without asking the big questions.

Another big question would be what recycling means. For me recycling is when you turn something into something similar. One bottle into another bottle, one can into another can, etc. You know that none of that happens with the "good plastics" that now get "recycled". We are calling it "recycling" when we mean "recovering" and the best that can happen to a tiny percentage of what gets recovered is that it gets turned into... different items like
plastic lumber, fill, fleece.. which will end up in landfill anyway at some point.

So.... if we should ban styrofoam because it's not recycled..... How about all plastic? How about all
plastic bags? How about all toothbrushes? How about bubble wrap? How about milk cartons? Etc, etc etc

Recycling of plastics is a myth, designed to perpetuate a business built around the generation of waste." - Manuel Maqueda, Plastic Pollution Coalition, The BlooSee and Manuel Maqueda.

Help fight with the Sierra Club to gain protected habitat for our endangered Beluga Whales. They only need 300 more signatures!! SIGN HERE
Tracy came to meet me for a joint cleanup on Tues.. I had a lot of fun meeting someone else who lives in Santa Monica working towards sustainability in their own way.
We covered many topics on our walk as we bent to collect the usual plastics, STRAWS, and odds and ends (mostly plastic).

One part of our conversation sticks out to me that I want to share. We discussed how if you want to reach people with awareness about environmental issues that need to be addressed that it is counterproductive to approach them with any thing but kindness. People all have their own journey, so it is important to reach out to them wherever they are on the "green" continuum in a way that doesn't make them feel shame, or become defensive of their life style.

Like minds unite! Thanks Tracy - Looking forward to next time.