life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
2 pounds collected
717 pounds total
Excuse my almost unbearably artsy photo thru the fence, but I like it.
My friend Ronni sent me a link to today's post from, The Independent. "TRASH HOTEL OPENS IN MADRID." It is aptly named the Save the Beach hotel. This trashy hotel is constructed out of twelve tons of items found littered on Europe's beaches and is designed to "raise awareness of the plight of coastlines and seas around the world."
It was designed by a German artist - HA Schult. You've got to see this place!
Would you like to spend a night in the hotel? Well, you can! Book your stay here.
Garen and I were interviewed by a KTLA reporter on Tues. Our segment aired last night. I was pretty happy with it. It was the first time that either one of us had been interviewed for a TV station. If you would like to check it out, here is the link.
Harry, of the Flotsam Diaries in Northern Maine found a Toy Story Balloon. I found one recently on Day 181, which was on Dec. 27th. He has his posted for Jan. 19th, just less than a month after my west coast find.
He makes a very good point in his most recent post.
"All large pieces of plastic are trying to break up into countless small pieces of plastic. Given time, they'll succeed. Every balloon, bottle,measuring cup, shovel, glove, recycling bin, buoy, chunk of foam, or broken boat hull (!) that ends up in the ocean... it isn't really just one piece of flotsam. It's 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 pieces of flotsam, just biding their time."
I knew this, in fact I think about it a lot. I talked about it in our interview with KTLA that we can't go clean it up because these bits are too small to drag out. You'd take everything with it.
SO then I realized that the popular myth that there is a "floating island of trash" out there somewhere was what I would rather have. We could search for it, find it, break it apart, and haul it in. Afterwards, we'd wipe our hands from a hard job done well. The truth is far more insidious, and deadly.
The solution? We try to phase out as much single-use plastic products, and packaging as possible. It's a process, but one we are committed to. I have to. I see the detritus of our convenience culture underneath every beautiful pacific sunset on my beach. You may be thinking that these efforts are futile because the whole world isn't going to do this. Well, what if no one tried at all? What would the world look like then? And what if eventually, we all did? What would the world look like then?
My friend Siel, aka green LA girl, posted an interesting link to Freakonomics Radio: The Economics of Trash on her blog. The leading photograph in the article is of approx. 25 bags of bulging, black hefty plastic bags lining a NYC sidewalk on presumably, collection day. Underneath this image it says, "Trash: we rarely think about it - until we have to." In the post, you can find a podcast titled Trashed: How economics - and emotion - have turned garbage into such a mess." I haven't listened to it since we have a small-ish place and Garen, who got only 3 hours of sleep last night, is trying to get some shut eye as I type. But you can bet that this podcast is getting listened to tomorrow.
Garen took his Winter Session Marine Bio Class from SMC to Palos Verdes for a field trip yesterday. It is the dirtiest beach I have seen around Southern California. It also has the best tide pooling. Those little creatures must be tough! Most of the trash is pushed up onto the rocks and dumped there as the water recedes from high tide. The students couldn't believe how many straws there were! I'm not a fan of straws myself. I try to remember to say, "hold the straw." I often add something to the effect of, "I know it sounds funny, but please, no straw." The thing that really gets to me about finding them on the beach, is that they wash back up basically in pristine condition.
On Tues., Jan. 25th the Santa Monica City Council Members will pass, here's hoping, the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance. You can see it happen live. Come to the City Hall on Main St. in Santa Monica at 5:30. I believe that there will be time for public comments. I should go back through all 188 days and count how many days I found a plastic bag on the same stretch of Santa Monica Beach in only 20 minutes of looking. Hmmm...I think I will. Stay tuned.
I know that I take a hell of a lot of shots of the sunset on the same little section of sand. And often, these shots will include a sea gull. What can I say? I'm just mad about these little guys. They seem to me to be under appreciated, and viewed as pests on the picnic blanket. But I always feel like when I am out on the sand, that I am in their house.