STOP THE INVASION!
Surfrider Foundation Europe has an awesome campaign for 2013. Stop the plastic invasion. The scene reminds me of Normandy, or Dunkirk, or some other significant event on a beach during WW2. We are beyond lucky to not have to bear witness to a war like that, but we do have a war against plastic on all our doorsteps.
Normally, I don’t like to use terminology like ‘war’ and ‘invasion’. In the case of plastic, I’ll make an exception. The havoc being wrecked on the very ecosystem services we rely on is extensive and unnecessary. We do not need so much plastic, and it’s so easy to throw a cigarette butt in a bin. Fortunately it’s also easy to take part in a clean up.
To my European followers - there’s a handy section of the website listing the when and where of all the coastal cleanups! Check it out.
Of course, you don’t need an event. Take some friends to the beach, bring music and beer (if you are allowed) and compete for how much rubbish you can collect.
Coco Grove Beach Resort
Siquijior Island (Philippines)
The Ocean Conservancy, which organizes an annual International Coastal Clean-Up, has published its results in the 2012 Trash Index. You’re not imagining it: as the global population swells, tankers continue to leak oil, and plastic water bottles continue to be our favorite way to drink tap water, the world’s beaches are getting dirtier.
Nearly 600,000 volunteers worked in multiple countries to pick up and record the over nine million pounds of trash listed in this report. Check out their trashy findings, download a helpful pocket guide to recycling and if you’re inclined, donate to help their efforts. And for the love of all things oceanic, if you smoke, find a better place than the ocean or ground to throw your cigarette butts (the number one piece of trash found on beaches)!
Image: Ocean Conservancy
So much ocean trash! Of course, what’s key is finding ways to prevent trash from reaching our waterways in the first place. From looking at the above chart, reducing our use of single-use, disposable items could make a difference.
With so much trash washing ashore, it’s no surprise to come across artists who use beach debris as raw material. We’ve highlighted a handful of them on Unconsumption here.
Glass Beach – The Dump You’ll Want to Visit
Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California is the incredible result of human wastefulness and the resilience of nature. I’ve been trolling around for lesser known landscapes to road trip to and explore, and stumbled across this chunk of multicoloured west coast paradise. These days, Glass Beach is a protected part of MacKerricher State Park, but in 1949, it was the site of an unrestricted dump. For 18 years, people drove out to the scenic expanse of ocean cliffs, marveled at the beauty of the natural world and the majesty of the depths, and then threw all their shit in.
Eventually, California realized that dumping automobiles, appliances, toxic substances and razor sharp shards of glass into the water was probably a bad idea, and looked elsewhere for a dumping site. The beaches under the cliffs lay polluted, cluttered and ruined, and were basically treated as a forgotten ‘mistake.’ Despite our obviously brilliant handling of the situation, Mother Earth had a few tricks up her sleeve, and spent the next 30 years tumbling away the jagged edges of our insensitivity and leaving behind brilliant pebbles of polished glass.
As the shores grew into glimmering beaches, the state realized that people were visiting to collect the glass and to see the rainbow sands reflecting the sun, and quickly annexed it into a national park. The result? We finished up what nature graciously started, spent a few years cleaning up rusting metal hulks and all sorts of wonderfully dangerous debris (nothing says sandcastle fun like getting tetanus from a lead-filled 50s throwback), and Glass Beach is now a protected treasure
Good morning Tumblr…this was my breakfast view this morning. Tasty!
You’re jamming to your favorite tunes at the beach when your iPod suddenly dies. Next time, wear the solar bikini and charge your electronic devices while you tan.
Looks SO comfortable!
Pompano Fish and Feet, US Virgin Islands by David Doubilet
Hermit crabs, taken on a beach in the Wakatobi Islands, Indonesia :)
submitted by pseudorca