Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 187 - Jan. 18, 2010

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

One of my favorite things about being plugged into a piece of the the environmental community on twitter is that it leads me to great new blogs like this one: UNCONSUMPTION

The definition of their site goes as follows, "Unconsumption is a word used to describe everything that happens after an act of acquisition...Unconsumption means the thrill of finding new use for something you were about to throw away." 

And it goes on. Their most recent post is about a couple who live in Northern California who have literally collected tons of trash from their tiny stretch of beach and turned it all into art. I've come across them before, and they are amazing. 

To read more about the Judith Shelby Lang and Richard Lang's plastic artwork, check them out on their website: BEACH PLASTIC

"The plastic we continue to find is not left by visitors; it is washing up from the ocean. Back in our studios we clean, sort and categorize the pieces according to color and kind. We use the plastic to make artworks including large sculptures, installations, photo tableaus and jewelry."

Reminder: There is a film screening at the Electric Lounge this weekend called Sea Pulse. The screening starts at 1:30. There is a suggested donation of $5-$10 dollars at the door. More details here.

Next Tues. night the City Council of Santa Monica will vote on the long awaited Single-Use Carry Out Bag Ordinance. Find the details of the when and where of the meeting on the Office of Sustainability and the Environment's homepage.

Just to refresh on some of the issues against continuing to use the "free" plastic bags....

  • Only since 1982 have retailers provided “free” bags to consumers (retailers pass the cost of the “free bags” to shoppers).
  • The average “free” single-use bag is used 12 minutes before being released as pollution in the environment or waste into the landfill.
  • 19 billion (19,000,000,000) single-use bags are used annually in California.
  • Less than 5% of these bags are actually recycled. - courtesy of OSE website

Take the above snap shot of the high tide mark in the sand at the beach last night, and multiply it so that it stretches down the length of the entire beach in both directions. 

It might not look like much at first, but there were patches that were a lot denser than this picture. It was overwhelming at times to try and sift our the tiny bits of styrofoam, plastic nurdles, and bits of hard plastic. A plastic water bottle top looked big compared to what was out there. 

All of a sudden, 2.5 pounds seems like a whole lot more....

Here is SAVE OUR SHORES response to the recent OSU press release that the size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is grossly exaggerated. 

A taste of what they had to say, and I agree one hundred percent: