earthday 2013

800-year-old tree in Galicia, Spain

I met this 800-year-old tree in Galicia, Spain

A short post for this year’s Earth Day.

The bad news according to Environment California 

There are 100 million tons of trash in the North Pacific Gyre.

In some parts of the Pacific, plastic outweighs plankton six to one.

DSCN6382

The good news:

Nearly sixty cities in California have banned throwaway plastic grocery bags.

Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to approve the ban (which will take effect at the end of the year)

To see what happens to your junk, please watch this four-minute movie taken earlier this year by Chris Jordan on Midway Island, an uninhabited, isolated spot about two thousand kilometers from any other land.

 

Next year I hope to tell you that all of California has banned plastic bags.

A statewide ban could keep 123,000 tons of plastic bags out of the waste stream each year.

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About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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44 Responses to earthday 2013

  1. dadirri7 says:

    hurray for you rosie … i have been posting about this subject too … and found this amazing encouraging project (by a young man!) that we can help support .. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-ocean-cleanup-feasibility-study .. check out his website too http://www.boyanslat.com/plastic/

  2. aFrankAngle says:

    A very powerful video … good find, and thanks for posting it.

  3. Thanks for posting. This is good news coming out of California. Most of my experiences in California are associated with good nutritional and environmental practices and initiatives. 🙂

    On a side note, I just wish ‘Earth Day’ was every day. People tend to congratulate themselves for being observant or cognizant one day out of the year. I say the same thing about Human Rights Day. It’s not like a birthday or anniversary – it has got to be an habitual, everyday mindset…

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m so relieved that my part of California will be a No plastic bag zone next year. At work on Sunday I felt *ill* every time I had to hand over a plastic bag! I’m happy to say not everyone wanted a bag!

      I totally agree with you Tara. Earth Day and Human Rights Day and even Mother’s Day shouldn’t just be one day of the year. I banned Mother’s Day from my house. I told my kids if they only loved me on one day of the year I would leave.

      • ‘ I banned Mother’s Day from my house.”

        Good for you!!! Regardless of how nobly these single days of ‘honour’ started, what they end up symbolizing, are commercialism and often massive guilt trips if you forget them or don’t ‘perform’ well enough. Nothing says “I love you” or I love the earth, etc. like forced participation 🙂

  4. bronxboy55 says:

    I can’t understand how all that garbage ends up in the ocean. Is it the collective behavior of many individuals, or are companies dumping large quantities of trash into the water? Obviously, cleaning up the mess is one important part of the solution, but stopping the flow of plastic and other garbage into the ocean is the other. It seems to be common sense. Is it really so difficult to dispose of trash in a responsible way? And why do we need so much indestructible packaging?

  5. If RWANDA can ban plastic bags successfully (almost 10 years ago) — then why can’t the USA?? Great post .. and Rosie, I remember your wonderful post on this same topic three years ago — it killed me then and it still stops me in my tracks to think of a vast trash bin in the middle of the ocean. I totally agree with BB above, too — why do we need clamshell packaging and all that plastic? It’s so wasteful1!

    • dearrosie says:

      My dear Betty,
      I humbly acknowledge that you’re my first blogging buddy and you’re still reading and commenting on my Earth Day posts. Muchas gracias amiga 😀

      Small steps… Imagine if we all stopped buying plastic bottles of water. Its not that difficult to fill a waterbottle each day. I’ve done it for years. I take my stainless steel bottle everywhere. Even when I’m traveling.
      if we don’t like clamshell packaging I think we simply need to voice our displeasure to the store managers. Each one of “I’m not buying that product because it’s wrapped in too much plastic…!” will add up to change and something will be done.

  6. Nessy San says:

    I found the video in youtube last week but forgot posting / sharing it because of my busy sched. Thank you for sharing it here! 😀

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for joining the conversation Nessy San. Its important than many people see the video because it shows exactly where our plastic is ending up: in the bellies of birds.

  7. Rosie, that’s a really sad video. I’m glad California has banned plastic bags. You wouldn’t believe how many of them I’ve seen tossed into landscapes and ruining them, all over the world. The worst offenders from what I’ve seen so far: India, Vietnam, Ethiopia. I even see them in Oman, but not as much as in other places. They really are a blight. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      Los Angeles ban on plastic bags will take effect at the end of the year. I always feel ill having to use plastic bags at work, and especially on Earth Day.

      I’ve heard of a woman who goes to villages in Africa and gives a free- reusable bag (the kind we get at conferences and supermarkets – which she collects in the US) in exchange for 5 or 10 plastic bags.

      • Good for that woman, Rosie. I try to always use my recyclable bags at the Lulu here in Nizwa, but the bag boys always want to use plastic bags for each individual item. I have to fight with them every time NOT to use them. Maybe someday Omanis will begin to care about their environment.

      • dearrosie says:

        One plastic bag for each item? Geez that’s scary.
        I wonder what it will take for the Omanis to care about their environment?

  8. Doris says:

    Happy earth day ;)! What a lovely tree, I have a thing for trees, will put on my list to go there. A friend posted that video and I re-blog it right away it is so sad what happens to our trash, we should be the change, about the bags I am glad they should do it here in Texas too. Will Tweet this have a great day Rosie!

    • dearrosie says:

      That tree was amazing – SO glad you noticed it Doris.

      This is a very important video for all of us to see because it doesn’t just tell people to stop using plastic – it shows where the plastic ends up on that remote island.

      Are you in Houston? I think Austin is bag free.

  9. nrhatch says:

    We celebrated Earth Day by taking a 3 mile walk on the beach . . . where we did not see any garbage washing up on shore. Yay!

    • dearrosie says:

      That’s my kind of Earth Day. What a shame you live so far away from me Nancy. I love walking on the beach.
      Yaay so happy to hear there wasn’t any garbage on your walk.

  10. I’m with Charles. I don’t understand how it ends up in the ocean. Who is dumping there or near there or anywhere that can wash up there? I rarely go into the ocean at many of the beaches because so much trash washes up that looks dangerous and not something I would want to touch. Yikes!!

  11. The garbage in the ocean doesn’t exaggerate the severity of the situation. I just bought a relatively new DVD called “Trashed”–I’m eager to see it and had hoped to have a review for Earth Day…fortunately, every day should be Earth Day. 🙂 Great information, here, Rosie. California gets a few things right!

    • dearrosie says:

      I agree with you Debra that every day IS Earth Day. I’ve been using my stainless steel water bottle for the past decade – even when I’m traveling! Along the Camino almost every village had a potable drinking fountain.

      I feel ill at the Museum when I have to put purchases into plastic bags. I’m so glad that next Earth Day will be plastic free. Yaay.

      Look forward to hearing your review of “Trashed”.

  12. sybil says:

    A couple of our major grocery chains last year said they were going to ban or charge .05 per bag coz they cared so much for the environment. When shoppers complained they dropped the initiative. I guess they don’t care that much.

    Good for California !

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Sybil,
      I’m still so upset to hear the story of that poor girl who was gang raped. Its a story you don’t expect to hear happening in Canada. (((sigh)))

      I don’t think you have to be big to be heard. The supermarkets listened to whichever group complained the loudest. You have a voice with your blog and could start a NO to plastic bags group. Share some of these videos…

  13. Tina Schell says:

    LOVE the tree and the video is SO powerful. Will post on my FB page. I had no idea.

    • dearrosie says:

      I didn’t meet many old trees along the path. This one was memorable.
      Its shocking that the video was filmed on an island 2000 miles from the nearest land. Thank you for your interest Tina.

  14. Rosie, the 800-year-old tree in Spain is amazing! Think of all the history it has seen… The size of the North Pacific Gyre is shocking, as is the video. What have we done? Considering this makes me want to redouble my efforts to live in a sustainable way and encourage other people and corporations to do the same.

    • dearrosie says:

      It was such a thrill to see that tree Barbara. There weren’t many old trees left in Northern Spain – Franco thought he was modernizing the country by chopping down the old trees and planting fast growing eucalyptus trees.
      I think each person who uses a refillable water bottle in place of a plastic bottle does their share. Small steps.

  15. Thanks for giving a tribute to mother Earth. A lot still abuse nature and think it will heal by itself. I wish plastics are banned in general. People want convenience for the inconvenience of nature. One day, what we do with our environment will come back and haunt us if we still refuse to do something. We all need to wake up and make a stand. Today is a great day to start.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi IT,
      I don’t understand why the US refuses to join the NO to plastic bags if small African countries can ban them.
      Just think of the number of bloggers on WordPress? I don’t know exactly how many but can say that there are many millions of us and we live all over the world. Right? Imagine if each one of us stopped using and buying water in plastic bottles …. that would be a great way to start cleaning up our act.

  16. Madhu says:

    Our supermarkets have started charging a nominal fee for plastic carry bags. I think the fee should be high enough to hurt, or it makes no difference. Great post Rosie 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      India’s already charging for bags? My goodness Los Angeles is behind the times.
      For the past few years IKEA’s been charging FIVE CENTS for each plastic bag and I’ve seen people staggering out with all their bits wrapped in their sweaters and skirts because they refuse to pay the FIVE cents.

  17. Robin says:

    The tree is amazing. The video made me sad. I wish there were a way to ban plastics completely.

    • dearrosie says:

      I love that tree. Wish I could have spent several hours sitting with it.
      If a small African country like Rwanda would ban plastic bags TEN years ago why cant the US?

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