Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 180- Dec. 22, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
7 pounds
704.4 pounds total

After what felt like weeks of rain, it cleared for a time yesterday so that I could get down to the beach. That is, until the thunder rolled in, but I had already collected for 20 minutes.

The rain provided a small chunk of time to withdraw from the outside world. I chose to hunker down inside with my dogs, cat, and husband (when he wasn't at SMC wrapping up the semester). I also chose to unplug from my online activities for a spell, electing only to check my email for a quick scan of essential business to be addressed. That was all. Instead, it felt wonderful to sink into the slowing down of holiday time at the end of each year. This is the first post in more than a couple of days, and it will be my last until the 26th. I'm going to live off-line. Happy holidays to all.

Makes me wonder what happened to all of the toothbrushes that I've used in my lifetime?
There is a brand that you can buy that comes in a mailer so that when you are finished with the life of the toothbrush, you pop it back in the original wrapping and mail it off (postage is covered by the company) to be recycled into another toothbrush. PRESERVE
The end of the year is a time for donations to non-profits that can be included in this year's taxes. Let me suggest one of my absolute favorites - HEAL THE BAY. I find enough of these to know that they need all the help we can give them to revive AB 1998 and get a statewide ban on single use plastic bags who have a long life after their one time service.
The beach was a mess. My 7 pound collection put me over the 700 pound mark for total Daily Ocean collections.
Today is the first full day of winter. If the weather persists, we are going to see plenty of skies that look like this for the next few months to come.
Wait, didn't I already include this photograph? No. This is another plastic bag that I found. I've included shots of two that I picked up off of the beach, but I know that I must have collected upwards of 10.
That's 1 plastic bag every 2 minutes.
Houston - we have a problem here.
A ray of sunlight broke through towards the end of my beach cleanup. OCEANA is another non-profit ocean conservation organization that shed some light on many of the diverse problems that have our oceans in peril, and they made some serious headway. Congratulations to them and my heartfelt thanks.
Yes, more sea gulls. If you have read The Daily Ocean before, you know that I have a strong appreciation for these birds.
I am going to echo the email that Blue Ocean Institute sent out about this time of year,
"May the holidays bring you inspiration, hope and renewal."


  1. I just got back from a trip to Latin and South America and when I was in Costa Rica, a huge storm had passed through just days before I arrived.

    The beaches were absolutely covered in debris, 90% of it was driftwood, ripped up trees, and palm fronds which made me think; that if the same happened here, what percentage of the debris would be organic?

    After this recent storm, I would have to say it would be 10% seaweed and kelp and the rest, some form of plastic.

    I say that because Redondo Beach Harbor has more trash floating around on an average day than what I saw on rainy day in the shipping and container port of Cartagena, Colombia two weeks ago.

  2. That comment packs a punch. What you saw in Costa Rica is what I would term Marine Debris. It is natural detritus that ends up in the water. What we see here in SoCal that's made from plastic is Marine Plastic Pollution

    thanks for sharing!

  3. Hadn't heard of the Preserve company before, thanks so much for that link! What a great idea for a company.

    Merry Christmas to you!

  4. That is a shame that Redondo Beach harbor is laden w/debris...I wonder if any effort is going to be put to get rid of it? Sara have u been up to Refugio Beach? I have to admit even tho its somewhat private it was one of the rare ones along the coast that only had rocks, driftwood, seaweed on the shore.. No trash to speak of... and yet there were loads of people there.. Locals I think.. NOT A SINGLE PIECE OF TRASH...tho there are still evidence of oil that gets washed ashore..Refugio is my favorite one...the rock formations remind me of a Star Trek set... its unbelievable...

  5. Photos are just beautiful...

    I'm really wanting to spearhead a plastic bag ban here...after talking to a local business owner about how he's going to phase out plastic bags... I think that it's something that can definitely be done and be supported :)... SO...that's going to be my next line of business once we get this cigarette butt issue under control ;)

    and I'm totally digging that you posted about Preserve... we went to the dentist yesterday and said, "No Thank You" to the plastic bag filled with (near) single use dental products... including the toothbrush!! We've been using Preserve toothbrushes for over 3 years now... and I love knowing that they have a life that won't end up in a landfill. :)

    Wishing you, Garen and your furry family members a Christmas filled with love... and echoing your sentiments... inspiration, hope and renewal throughout the New Year.

  6. Hey again Sara. Wanted to put something on your radar. Here in Maine, more & more of our grocery bags are now #2 plastic (high-density polyethylene, HDPE), rather than #4. The ACC has been doing this very quietly & under-the-radar. I can think of two reasons:

    (1) HDPE has better overall recycling numbers, so that can be used in ACC's marketing. It's pure greenwashing - the ability of recyclers to use HDPE bags is no greater than LDPE bags; they still gum up the machines and are hard to work with. So the percentage of #2 grocery bags that actually become new #2 film will still be very low.

    (2) By moving from #4 to #2 quietly, the ACC can pop up and say, "These enviros don't even know what they're talking about; grocery bags are mostly HDPE, and look at these great recycling numbers for HDPE." They'll try to make the anti-bag crowd look ignorant. We shouldn't let that happen.

    In the new year I'm going to do a follow-up "Triangle is a Lie" post with this info and some other goodies. But I wanted to get it to you while it was on my mind.

    With that, um, Merry Christmas!!!!

  7. Harry -

    I love this new info. I think perhaps there should be a blog called "The Triangle is a Lie" or "The Truth about Recycling" This is all such great info to compile in one place. It is even more specific than plastics... and with that ummm... Merry Christmas back! keep the great comments coming in 2010 and thanks for all the support!

  8. Danielle -

    I love it! "After we get this cig. butt thing undercontrol." Such a good attitude. It's just like, "NEXT" -- checked that off the list. :) and you will I am sure of it. When you are ready to spearhead a bag ban, I'll help. There are plenty of people in CA to put you in touch with and I have more back emails on AB 1998 than you probably need :)

    SO glad I met you in 2010 - here's to teamwork, and inspiration in 2011!

    love to you and your amazing family!!

  9. Kalei's Best Friend -

    You know, I haven't been to Refugio! I like the description of the Star Trek set though. I spent the night at a beach down the way from there a couple of months ago for my b-day. And while there was an absence of trash, there was an excess of fisherman on the pier with plenty of monofilament. Stories I heard from the campsite host were terrible. You can imagine. Here's to consciousness of our fellow feathered, aquatic, and sea mammal friends that depend on the ocean for their home in 2010!

    thank you SO much for following The Daily Ocean so closely and for all of your insightful comments. You, Danielle and Harry make my day with your consistent feedback.

    Happy Holidays in Hawaii!!