Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 304 - July 8, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica
trash collected for 20 minutes
2.9 pounds
1,144.7 pounds total

0 cigarette butts

Watermelon is synonymous with summer. It's strange to think that from this spilled snack, one of the two items will never fully biodegrade. The watermelon might tempt local gulls, but this cup, if blown into the water will add to all the plastic which is:

"...the dominant material littering the ocean, and its proportion consistently varies between 60% and 80% of the total garbage in the ocean."

If set adrift on the ocean, this cup will break into smaller and smaller pieces because of wind, rain, and sun but will never fully biodegrade. It is easier to stop this cup from going into the water than to clean up the micro-plastic particles it will become. 

Because, "Going to the ocean to remove floating plastic particles is like standing on the top of a skyscraper with a vacuum cleaner to remove air pollution. 
It's a plastic soup over two-thirds of the ocean." - RISE ABOVE PLASTICS, SURFRIDER

Better yet, let's go back one step further and reduce our use of single-use plastic consumption. There's no better place to start than with plastic bottled water. Here's THE STORY OF BOTTLED WATER.  
I urge you to watch. It explains so much I didn't know about bottled water. For example:

Most bottles from the USA are shipped to Asia and melted in open-air facilities adding pollutants to the air, water supply, and bodies of the local workers.

Most bottled water is taken from a municipal water source and sold back to you. In other words, it is the same water coming out of your tap, but you are paying for it again. 

On a night like this, I think about why we come to the ocean, what people get from a day on the sand. I imagine that their sense of wonder gets renewed. Meeting the ocean where it joins the land lets you interact with an elemental place. The world underneath is veiled from your view. It draws back to reveal tiny critters, shells and treasures for a few moments. Another wave comes in, restoring its mystery until it recedes in a rhythm all its own. The beating heart of our planet. 

The ocean takes on the brilliant gold of the setting sun. It reflects the sky, creating shades of blue too varied to name. 

The ocean allows you to meet nature head on. While two brothers watched for the approaching surf, I remembered jumping the shore break when I was a kid. This place we all enjoy is timeless.