Saturday, April 6, 2019

"Just one word"

If you're of a certain age or just a buff of classic film, you remember the scene from "The Graduate" in which a very serious looking adult takes a very young looking Dustin Hoffman aside with "just one word" for him.


Here's the clip if you wanna relive the moment.  It's pretty funny. (and no, I don't own this, this is a reference for educational purposes only, so there)

I remember laughing my butt off at the scene, the sheer seriousness of the well intentioned elder, Hoffman's polite but baffled response, and the weird inappropriateness of it all.  But lately, I've come to realize that the guys that DID take that message to heart are doing a real number on the waters in which I live, and I find it's not so funny anymore.

It seems every day I'm seeing articles about floating islands of plastic crap in our oceans, of whales washing up dead with fifty or more pounds of plastics in their guts, of MolaMola floating belly up from eating plastic bags ( they mostly feed on jellyfish, so you can see the similarity).  We can't take a walk around the river without coming across seagull cadavers.  The skin and feathers and bones are rotting away, but the pile of plastic in their guts seems immortal.  And, to be perfectly blunt, I'm tired of fishing the crap out of the water.

This crap is everywhere.  You know it and I know it.

In response to communities trying to actually. . .I dunno. . .DO something about this, the industry and their pet legislators have scattergunned a plethora of laws designed to make it ILLEGAL to ban plastic crap.  My favorite is  Florida Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini's bill which says that “a municipality, county, or other local governmental entity may not adopt, enforce, or implement any ordinance, rule or law that would further restrict a food service establishment from distributing single-use plastic straws to a customer."  Great. One wonders how much in contributions he pocketed for that.

So, rather than driving from state to state and punching these legislators (and the lobbyists that hold their leashes) in the face (the wife disapproves for some reason), we decided to do something about it, at least in our own lives.  I thought I would give you a small list of some of the things we've been trying, and thus far, it's been no hardship at all.

First of all, we dug out all the cloth carry bags we had accumulated from stores, events, publications, holidays, political campaigns, conventions, LARPs, marine suppliers, orgies, pet stores, boat shows,  and shopping centers, cleaned out all the old receipts, candy wrappers, bottle caps, washers, and illegible grocery lists, and actually started USING them.  Living on a boat and having limited storage, we tend to do what's often called "market shopping," that is to say we go and buy pretty much what we need for that day or that weekend, use it up, and then go back for more.  It's really a great way to keep fresh foods around, to know your grocers, and to get exercise (we walk when we can), but it does have  the effect of sending you home with five or more plastic bags every day.  Now we come home with none, and it's made the galley a bit more tidy.
Admit it, you've got about 12 of these carrybags stuffed in back of a lazarette somewhere.

We also give preference to things that don't produce waste.  Given two products of equal value, if one has a box and a bag and another box and a pouch and a billboard attached to it, and the other is just a bag, we go for the bag.  Pretty simple.

Our marina, sadly, doesn't recycle, but an organic grocery we occasionally visit ("Moms" in this case) does have a recycle center.  So we dump our remaining recycles in a couple of buckets in the back of the car and dump them whenever we're out that way. 

We yell at our favorite bartender when they give us straws (who USES those little things anyway?), we make the inattentive clerks take BACK their bags that we asked them not to give us, and, in general, we make a nuisance of ourselves for the sake of the fish and the birds and the aesthetics of where we live.

It's not a lot, I'll admit.  But if we all did it, and if we all refused to put up with shennanagans like those of Rep. Sabatini and company, there would be a lot less of this crap around with which to deal.

Just sayin.
Yes, the humans make me correct their spelling.  Sad, really.

It's spring, finally, and we're making the boat ready to travel, re-staining and varnishing the wheel house, changing out some cushions, and getting the drive working properly.  Hopefully my next missive will come from us out on the water.

Stay Tuned
Enjoy the Spring
And, dammit, pick that up.  You know better.


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