September 26, 2019
Howdy Jewelry Fans! The season has changed and many of us are tucking away our sunscreen for next year (although those of us in the South and Southwest have a bit more sun time on the clock). Does the beach linger in your mind as we slide into the reaping season? The endless churning of potential and actual, the edge of static and emotive, I’ve always loved to walk along the shore, finding life a balance of the future on the horizon and the amazing, beautiful mess of chaos at my feet all along the shore. I’m often stuffing my pockets with objects, transformed in the depths of the ocean and the edge of civilization. They’re secret treasures, their transformation to something else a reality of my journey through life.
I love the Ocean. The Lakes. The Rivers. The tiny bubbling Streams crossing properties and terra all around this great planet of ours. During my Navy days, haze gray and underway was always a soothing constant of change and routine, mission and sacrifice. I’m lucky to have seen dolphins playing in the bow wake of sailboat, cruiser, frigate and amphib. I’ve been in the middle of the Oceans of Earth where nary a light could be found, where humans mattered not to the towering 40ft waves of a northern Atlantic Storm. In these ways, I learned that we, humans, matter little to the churning waters of our planet.
And yet, there I was, in a construct of immense thought and steel, making way across the unending surges of water; defying comprehension and opening my soul to the silent, endless waters of our oceans.
But the Oceans are in trouble, Jewelry Fans. The endless churning waters are being particulated and poisoned by plastics. Plastics which have changed human lives for the better, saved babies in NICU, helped send humans into space, and enabled super computers to be in our hands. Plastics which are showing up in the stomachs of isolated sea birds on atolls unreachable by conventional means. Plastics which are churning in Great Pacific Garbage Patch which isn’t really great at all and is really the manifestation of our instantaneous, consumption practices.
Take the Plastic Pledge. Pledge to carry re-usable shopping bags, have a reusable water bottle, reduce straws, utensils and (shriek) Starbucks coffee cups.
I’m not gonna lie, when I first moved to California and had to pay for bags or bring my own, it was an adjustment. Several times, I made the California Walk of Shame, not where I slunk home missing a shoe after an all-night drinking binge, but where I rolled my cart out to my car with my groceries not in bags at all. I’d left them in the car and refused to purchase more bags!!!!
When we moved back to AZ this summer, I realized I had made the switch to sustainable, reusable grocery bags. One of the movers said they’d never seen someone with more reusable bags. I took that as a good thing!! Ha!! Now, I’m offended when a store tries to give me a bag. I’m like, “Ummmmm, eeeewwwww! I don’t need that Earth killing device that won’t even last until I get the items in the house.” I don’t want to use them for kitty litter (they are like tissue paper and have holes!!), and I don’t want to be responsible for them ending up in the ocean or landfills.
At first the switch was uncomfortable. And then I got out of my own way.
Living out west and at mild elevation, I also have a committed relationship with my reusable water bottle. For three years, I had one which didn’t seal and could therefore leak if tilted over. That was fun to keep track of!! But it wasn’t totally broken, and I didn’t want to add trash to a landfill to replace it. So. I dealt with it. It’s actually still in the cabinet over the drier, waiting for a multi-bottle Plan B Emergency. I’m ready.
I’ve honestly had family disagreements over cases of bottled water being brought into my house. I cringe about Gatorade bottles and most weeks my family has more recycling than trash. When we lived along the Gulf of Mexico and had to deal with hurricanes, yes, we had hurricane supplies including bottles of water. In some cases, we cannot eliminate our reliance, but we can reduce our reliance.
Does it make a difference??
I hope so. I hope that all of our individual actions add up to change the world, one bag, one bottle, one straw at a time. (I didn’t even tell you about my steel straws from Hard Rock Café!!) Join with me, Jewelry Fans. Take the Plastic Pledge, do what you can to reduce your reliance on Ocean destroying, species ending patches of garbage. Oh. And it may seem obvious—but place used containers in the correct Trash or Recycling baskets. Seriously. Clean up after yourself, your family and your neighbors if need be. We really are in this together.
There is no Planet B. And our Oceans need us.
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