Friday, August 31, 2012

Day 320 - August 30, 2012


As soon as I got out of my car, there it was. If you read The Daily Ocean consistantly, you may be tired of the plastic water bottles. Enough alredy, right? Since August 19 I have commited to sharing a photograph of a water bottle from every cleanup that I find one. Even though I've snagged them off the sand all summer, (I went back and looked at my cleanup posts) finding one as soon as I open my car door got my attention because this intention is on my mind. 


lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
2.1 pounds
1,211.3 pounds total

6 cigarette butts


Here are some of the facts I've learned about plastic water bottles that go through my head when I see one. In case you're thinking, recycle it already and be done with it! What's the big deal?

1. Many plastic bottles put into your "blue bin" (even in CA) end up on shipping containers to Asia where they accumulate in other county's landfills. (The Story of Bottled Water)

2. If you fill up the bottle about 1/4 of the way with oil, that's approximately as much of the fossil fuel it takes to make the bottle. 

3. Environmental pollutants spew from bottle plants into the air and water of communities around them, causing cancer in local residents (TAPPED - the movie)

4. If exposed to high temperatures (the back of delivery trucks get pretty toasty, so does the trunk of your car) and sunlight (sitting in the window of your local Trader Joe's) then chemicals from the plastic (like BPA which is linked to cancers, autism, diabetes and heart disease) leech into the water. (BAG IT)

I used to think about recycling these bottles when I saw them but see number 1 above. I used to buy them when I was thirsty, especially Smart Water. I used to drink a lot of Smart Water and still would if I didn't know 1 - 4 and more than there's room for here. 




A man walking his son asked as he saw me collecting trash, "Are you just picking that stuff up?"
"Yes, I'm just picking it all up." 
I smiled. 
Her looked perplexed and kept on walking. 




Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day 319 - August 29, 2012



"Who among us doesn't count those solitary, sun-washed moments-whether afloat on a boat or feet dug deep into the sand-as among the favorites of a lifetime?" - Jon Bowermaster, OCEANS



lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
3.1 pounds
1,209.2 pounds total

8 cigarette butts



In an effort to replenish my writer's well, since writing about plastic water bottles day after day can oddly enough leave you dry, I grabbed OCEANS off my bookshelf. One of my favorite non-fiction writers, Susan Casey has an essay in this compilation, "Plastic Ocean."
This exurpt recounts Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Researce Foundation first chance sail through what is now termed, "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch" sailing home from Hawaii to Long Beach in 1997...


"IT BEGAN WITH A LINE OF PLASTIC BAGS GHOSTING THE SURFACE, FOLLOWED BY AN UGLY TANGLE OF JUNK: NETS AND ROPES AND BOTTLES, MOTOR-OIL JUGS AND CRACKED BATH TOYS, A MANGLED TARP. TIRES. A TRAFFIC CONE. MOORE COULD NOT BELIEVE HIS EYES. OUT HERE IN THIS DESOLATE PLACE, THE WATER WAS A STEW OF PLASTIC CRAP. IT WAS AS THOUGH SOMEONE HAD TAKEN THE PRISTINE SEASCAPE OF HIS YOUTH AND SWAPPED IT FOR A LANDFILL."


We see only a fraction of the ocean from shore. Most of us will never sail where Capt. Moore has sailed, but more than most of us need to take heed of his message, his direct experience that even when our modern plastic detritus disappears from view, it is never gone. 

Like the saying goes, when you throw something "away" there is no away. 



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 318 - August 28, 2012



lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
2 pounds
1,206.1 pounds total 

8 cigarette butts



The first item I found last night - a plastic single-use water bottle





And the second item of trash I found...





But plastic water bottles aren't just bad for ocean health once set afloat, the chemicals leaching from the plastics into the beverages we drink does not do a body good. Here's a short video that explains one common chemical - BPA and how studies have linked it to heart attack, diabetes, abnormal testes development, autism and other behavioral problems. 

Know what you are drinking when you pay 10,000 times more than your tap water for a plastic bottle of water.  


(scroll down to the end of the Huff Post article to watch)

Monday, August 27, 2012

FREE REUSABLE BAGS FOR THE OCEAN!

My friend Teresa from GREEN BAG LADY (that has given away over 21,000 reusable bags) made some totes for the beach and some mesh bottom beach cleanup bags. She's giving them away to you! 

CLICK OVER TO HER BLOG - GREEN BAG LADY - LEAVE A COMMENT IN HER POST TO ENTER TO WIN ONE OF 12 THAT WILL BE DRAWN RANDOMLY FROM THE COMMENT SECTION. 


I use one of these bags every time I do a beach cleanup.

They are great! All the sand falls out, but the trash stays











My friend Danielle from It Starts With Me is also collaborating with this freebie give-away. She's collected over 45,000 cigarette butts from her local N.C. beaches and contributed over 200 pounds to The Daily Ocean's Community Count!


Inspired? Hope so! Now get a bag to help you continue or start your own beach cleanup efforts. 



Don't leave a comment here on The Daily Ocean, go to the link above.


Day 317 - August 25, 2012


lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
5.5 pounds
1,204.1 pounds total 

cigarette butts - 8




Labor Day Weekend is coming up in 4 days. To many, this is the "last chance" to get the family to the beach. With families come small flip-flops that get lost in the sand, broken sand toys, juice boxes, string cheese wrappers, sunscreen, water bottles....you get the idea. 



Why not pack a reusable bag to do a quick rubbish sweep (beach cleanup) as you leave?. I know it is hard to organize all the parts and pieces with sandy kids in toe, but if you set out to make it part of your beach day routine, then maybe your kids will get used to this and remind you next time?



Almost at the 20 min. buzzer I spotted another single-use plastic water bottle. 



I'M TAKING THE DAILY OCEAN ON THE ROAD!

I've nearly completed my 365 beach cleanup goal, so I'm pulling my toes out of the sand and coming to a town/school/aquarium near you! Do you want to hear me give a presentation on ocean health and my beach cleanup project? Would you like your kids to hear me? Let me know! 

Leave a comment or email me. thedailyocean@yahoo.com

I start in Jan. 2013 in Hawaii and then Vancouver to San Diego, Texas, Florida, the Southeast and Northeast coasts, Chicago and Colorado. I'm open to suggestions! I'll take to the road for a week at a time, come home, recharge and head out again from Jan. to the beginning of June. 

If you are a long time Daily Ocean reader I would love to meet you, but new friends are welcome too!






Saturday, August 25, 2012

Community Count Day 251 - Arleen McGlade


Today's Community Count post - and you are most welcome to do one too, HERE'S HOW - is a hefty story of my good friend Arleen doing a 20 minute cleanup along her local Martha's Vineyard Beach in Massachusetts. 

Arleen has done several cleanups on her own and with me in the past. Her skilled photography inspires me. You're in for a double treat - stunning photos and heroic tale. 
Read on! And thank you Arleen, always a delight to hear from you and to feel your constant support. 

Arleen, Squibnocket Beach, MV, Mass.
trash collected for 20 minutes
45 pounds!
Community Count total - 1,63.8 pounds off beaches around the world

The Daily Ocean Combined total - 2,262.4 pounds

OVER A TON OF TRASH KEPT OUT OF THE OCEAN IN PART THANKS TO YOU!


Well, wanted to take a walk last night on Squibnocket Beach at dusk to do a clean up.  Ran across the usual- water bottle,



 rope, shoe, hat, can, assorted plastic and styrofoam.  



Then I saw it...!  From a distance couldn't quite make it out, but I knew it was big and I knew I was in for a challenge.  


Wow.  Probably a dozen ropes intertwined with what seemed to be a hammock.  Passersby must have not wanted it to go back into the ocean so there were large, heavy rocks placed on top to hold it in place on the beach.  Had to have been about 40-50 pounds.
  





So, there it was- my challenge...to drag this dead weight about a 1/4 of a mile over sand and rocks and then up a stairway across a parking lot to a dumpster. It took quite some time.  Ok, I went over the 20 minutes, but I did begin the process while I was on the clock.



A surfer stopped to help me get it over some large rocks ( clearly, I was struggling) and then another person helped me get it up the steps as it was incredibly cumbersome and heavy!
What was amazing was who did ( and who didn't ) help.  Life lessons I suppose.

I thought of you the whole time - sang your praises and mentioned your blog to anyone who stopped to talk.  So thankful for what you've done and the number of people you've touched and educated.



So,for official purposes...the trash actually weighed in at 5.6 pounds, but since I couldn't weigh the mass I have to give my best guess.  I know that I could only go about 10-12 steps on the beach and then had to stop because of its weight...hmmm.  So, if we say 45 pounds for both I think that's fair.




Friday, August 24, 2012

Community Count Day 250

I have the privilege to connect with people from around the world that somehow find their way to The Daily Ocean. If you would like to join in, I've outlined how to do a very simple Daily Ocean style beach cleanup here
I promise to dedicate a post to your findings if you send me your beach cleanup results to: thedailyocean@yahoo.com 

My goal is to have 365 Community Count collections. You can go to your local beach, lake, river, or around the block and give us a report. All environments are connected, and inland counts so don't worry if you don't live at the beach.

Here's a report from Ewa in Italy. What a pleasure it is to hear from so many ocean lovers around the world, all wanting to make a difference, all of them inspiring those around them as they do. 


I live just next to the beach in Ladispoli, close to Rome, Italy and I go there almost every day.

 I can hear the sound of the waves when I fall asleep. 

I often walk along the beach for a few hundred meters south up to a fallen tree, washed and bleached by the sea. 

My kids love playing there. On the way back I often collect trash and I put it all into one plastic bag which I also usually find abandoned somewhere along in the sand. 



That bag is my measure, I don't weigh my trash. It's usually not enough to collect everything that is lying there but at least I do that much. 

My kids got so used to it that they also pick the trash whenever they see it, it's just become so natural to them it should not be there on beach. 




My wish is that everyone behaves that way so that there is not a single little piece of plastic flowing into the sea or remaining on the sand.



Thanks Ewa for taking the time to share your cleanup with us! I have the same wish.

Day 316 - August 23, 2012



lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
5 pounds
1,198.6 pounds total 

2 cigarette butts


Um, NO THANK YOU - Have a Nice Day.



It is easy to walk and talk along the beach, getting distracted by the beauty of the ocean, the gulls, the other folks out running. Picking up trash on the beach has changed my perspective. I'm capable of cleaning up the local beach, of inspiring others to change, of encouraging an open-eyed awareness to the larger problem at hand. There's no environmental problem too big that we can't make a positive impact with our choices, not yet. 



Cooler weather rolled in yesterday. The beach transformed into yet another color palette, reminding me of the steely grey tones of winter to come. 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 315 - August 22, 2012


lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
6.8 pounds
1,193.6 pounds total 

7 cigarette butts

Smoking is banned on the beaches in Santa Monica. 
I'm doing a comparative count with my friend Danielle who writes the blog, IT STARTS WITH ME who lives in North Carolina where you can smoke 'em if you got them on the sand. 
Do smoking bans work? 
Let the numbers give you the answer.

Santa Monica, CA - 53 beach cleanups (20 min. each) - 322 cigarette butts
Wrightsville Beach, N.C. - 32 beach cleanups (20 min. each) - 6,737

Danielle has collected 6,415 more cigarette butts than me and I've done 21 more cleanups.




About ten minutes into last night's cleanup I hadn't found a single-use plastic water bottle! I turned around right after thinking this to find a plastic cup. But I held out hope and kept my fingers crossed. 




Until the next item I found was...
The one in the photo above 
None is better than one 
I still prefer none 
Maybe you're the one
To take a reusable container to the beach next time?




Danielle from IT STARTS WITH ME, threw a big ole' party/fundraiser for Ocean Cure, a N.C. non-profit that gives free surf lessons to medically fragile and at risk youth. Her friend at BIG STRONG GIRL DESIGNS created a charity copper cuff for the event. 

Inspired by one of the best quotes to take action for the ocean,"INDIVIDUALLY WE ARE ONE AND TOGETHER WE ARE THE OCEAN," Danielle's friend printed,

"TOGETHER WE ARE AN OCEAN FOR OCEAN CURE." 

Action ripples out in so many ways. Danielle embodies this beautifully. 

Thank you Danielle.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 314 - August 21, 2012



lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
5 pounds
1,186.8 pounds total 

5 cigarette butts




Bottled water has an expiration date? 

High temperatures and exposure to sunlight leech BPA (a synthetic hormone in the plastic that damages the human endocrine system) into your water from the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) packaging in single-use water bottles. While bottled water is in transit in closed trucks heating to high temperatures, or stacked in the window at your local grocery store, both conditions are highly likely. 

Maybe we should reset the expiration date?




My summer average of 4 - 5 pounds of trash in 20 min. while cleaning the beach doesn't make me smile. 



The light changes were drastic last night. Fog rolled in, then the sun sunk below the cloud layer, blanketing us in a gold sheen. The first photograph of Tower 26 was taken last from the parking lot. One final look before leaving revealed a whole new beach. If I've committed to cleaning the beach, sunset is the very best time to be out here doing so. 




Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 313 - August 19, 201


lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
7 pounds
1,181.8 pounds total 

5 cigarette butts



Fab with the specially made mesh bottom beach cleanup bag from Teresa of GREEN BAG LADY

Three dear friends joined me to clean the beach last night after an intensive workshop with Nancy Bevers over the weekend. I should have warned them that Sunday night's are usually the dirtiest of the week. But they were really into it, bringing back their collections in two extra plastic bags they found and put to use. 

COMMUNITY COUNT COLLECTION - DAY 119
Fab, Nancy and Elena 
trash collected for 20 min.
7 pounds
1,017.8 pounds total 

5 cigarette butts

THE DAILY OCEAN TOTAL POUNDS COLLECTED FROM BEACHES W0RLD-WIDE - 
2,193.6


I've decided to be repetitive. For days now, I've picked up one or several single-use plastic beverage bottles. I've come to expect them. Summer brings people to the beach, and with people come their habits. Every time I find a plastic bottle on a cleanup, I'm going to post it. Sure, we both may get tired of looking at empty water bottles lying in different configurations on the sand, but that illustrates my point perfectly. 


Like I mentioned earlier, Sunday produces a big trash haul during the summer months. While collecting trash near one woman, she shook her head at me with a sympathetic look. 
"You're thinking, what a mission, right?" I said. 
"More people should be doing what you are doing," she said.
"My hope is that it is contagious." I smiled, laughed a little and kept at it. 



We see one another all the time, on the beach walking during sunset, at the grocery store, in traffic. All of these sightings make an impression on us. How can we use our visibility in service of something greater? How can we take these day-to-day activities and infuse them with a spark?