Saturday, November 24, 2012

Surfrider's RAP Training at Otis College of Art

 I'm proud to be a part of Surfrider's Rise Above Plastics Speaker Training. 
Here is the talk I gave at Otis College of Art this fall. 
Thank you to Juli Shultz for including me. 
And a HUGE thank you to all of the inspiring speakers-in-training
I had the opportunity to meet.



I am thrilled to be awarded this beautiful table. All of the designs from Upcycler are just as stunning. Please visit 

The "Persistent Environmental Excellence Award" is given to a person, or organization for their hard work and tireless environmental effort in their community. Often their work goes beyond local outreach, impacting a global audience. For their dedication, Michael Yonke, a celebrated eco-designer, awards them a handmade one-of-a-kind work. Michael utilizes reclaimed wood and metal materials of unique beauty and quality cast aside by society to create stunning eco-art and furniture. His works embody an energetic intensity from the creation process and meticulous effort. Michael shares these same qualities and transformative powers with the environmentalists he awards. His Functional Art is an award to be lived with, a simple way to say thank you, and one that will last generations. The 1st award recipient is Sara Bayles of The Daily Ocean. Sara has collected over 1300 pounds of beach trash off her local beach. She will finish her 365 day goal in December. Sara photographs, weighs and writes about her beach cleanups at Her photographs become powerful art that inspires, and educates. She’s inspired others world-wide and has shown us how one small section of beach is a snap shot of a global issue effecting coasts everywhere. Thank you Sara Bayles and The Daily Ocean. 

Recommendations for future awards are welcome.

Design notes : Oceanus -i m.Latin. [the ocean , the sea which encompasses the earth]; personif., [the father of the Nymphs]

Day 358 - Nov. 21, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
2.6 pounds
1,306.3 pounds total

9 cigarettes



1. "like my FB page - here's the link
2. answer a quick question there in the comments section

I will pick a winner at random from all the comments entered. Good luck!

Tip #7 to help the ocean - BUY LESS FOOD IN PLASTIC PACKAGING
Whenever you can, pass on the plastic packaging. This can be a huge challenge especially if you shop at Trader Joe's where this wrapper originated. 

But there are alternatives, lots of alternatives. I use a container from the salad bar to buy bulk nuts at our grocery store. 

When I am really on top of it I have some cloth fruit and veggie bags with me. They are easy to wash and I get to skip the plastic bag that's so readily offered by the roll at the bulk section. 

I have grabbed a plastic bag in the last year even when in my head I rationalized that I do enough, don't I? What's one or two bags? 

Remember my tip was to use less, not hold yourself to a standard of perfection that will make you want to throw in the towel so to speak. I am not perfect, but I grab for the easy plastic bag WAY less than I used to. 

What about even skipping the free mints wrapped in plastic on a co-worker's desk? It seems like a small contribution, but it is a choice and each choice has an impact. I wouldn't say to them, "I don't want your plastic wrapped mint because those wrappers are toxic trash spoiling the ocean!" 

But living by example is enough unless you feel inspired to say something in a way you'd like to be spoken to pre-plastic awareness. 

I try to remember that people love the ocean and that they may not understand the link between their day to day lives and the health of such a vast expanse of our environment. Can I make sure I educate someone to these issues in an inspiring way? Can I speak to them in a way that they will want to learn more on their own? Can I include rather than shame and alienate them? 

Day 357 - Nov. 18, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
1 pound (of soggy stuffed animal)
1,303.7 pounds total 

Kathleen, Paul, Romi, Sophia, Lisa, Herbert, Charlotte, Garen, and three more kids who joined us!
trash collected for 20 min. 
2.2 pounds
1069.5 pounds total 

19 cigarette butts


Last Sunday three of my friends flew into town for a pre-Thanksgiving visit. One of the first stops we made was the beach to meet up with my friend Kathleen and her family. Along the way three more kids joined us spontaneously. The more the merrier as far as I am concerned. As our group grew we found the usual liter along the sand. More eyes, more plastic to spot and pick up. 

Tip #8  to help the ocean - GET A GROUP TOGETHER AND GO CLEAN THE BEACH.

You never know what you will find! 

A big thank you to my friends and family who spared part of their Sunday to come care about the ocean, have fun together, and soak in the sun. 
From left to right - Romi, me, Sophia. 

Here's an article that ran on Thanksgiving Day on the Santa Monica Patch