Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Save a Dollar Now...Eschew Plastic


                                              Jeannette's three dollars  worth....

It is often true of me that I don't bother to look further into many issues of life.  This  morning  Nature ID  featured a "California Sand Dollar."   As she says,  " I'm assuming most people are okay simply knowing it's a sand dollar and don't bother to look any further as to what kind of animal this is. I've included the best links I could find..." 
So for me, as for many people, a sand dollar is a sand dollar by any other name, but today I  read further and learned that the diet of Dendraster excentricus, aka, the Pacific sand dollar, includes "particulate detritus. "

Thinking of the mineral rich soup of the ocean  reminded me of reading I have done off and on about plastic. What happens to plastic when its short life of convenience to us is over and its long life of degradation begins?  One place plastic keeps showing up is in the ocean; not only in visible floating pieces that beach combers can pop back into the garbage when bottles and bags and plastic parts wash up....but in teeny tiny confetti, alphabet soup down to microscopic molecular goo size pieces that ocean life ingests when they are after the mineral rich organic detritus that is their right fare.


So I have been trying to eschew plastic.  You know, eschew as in abstain from, refrain from, give up, forgo, shun, renounce, steer clear of, have nothing to do with, relinquish, reject, forswear...
( aren't dictionaries fun books?) 


It isn't easy, and all I can claim is to have made some progress...but  I keep having experiences that remind to be more careful what I create a demand for by being careful what I purchase. 
   This trip to the local dump...it was a good reminder.
As their common name implies  Pacific sand dollars can be found from  Baja California to Alaska.   


  For many people it is a bit of thrill, a touchstone, a reminder of creation's beauty and mystery to find a fragile ornate exoskeleton  in the tide line on a sandy beach.  


 So think about saving a dollar...I don't have any gold dollars to photograph for you, but I have many golden moments in life courtesy of nature's beauty and bounty.
From land's perspective we see only a hint of all the life in the sea.  When I think of how ubiquitous  plastic is  becoming in the world's waters, it spurs me on to keep on reducing my use of vessels and objects that I'll some day have to throw away.


And by the way...where is "away" anyway?  





10 comments:

Rosannah said...

YEAH! where is "away" anyways??? :) :)

GretchenJoanna said...

Out of sight, out of mind, I'm afraid. (that's where "away" is)

Sarah Beth said...

I love love love this post! Beatiful pictures and beautiful thoughts. Love you too!

John said...

A very nice reminder of how we as caretakers of our world need to actually take care of our world. Thanks, John

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Again, thanks for the mention, Jeannette. Nice lead in and theme.

It's difficult to reject plastic entirely as it's everywhere. I'm still not sure if our dump recycles the ubiquitous thin plastic wrappings, like around rice and toilet paper. I collect it in, what else, a plastic bag, and am amazed at how quickly it accumulates. I toss the bag into the recycling with hopes they do recycle it.

In the end, "away" is in all of us, I think quite literally (I have no scientific basis for this claim - it's just a thought). Shellfish, fish, calamari, seaweed (nori/lavar)? Given enough time and the way the food chain works, we probably end up ingesting the chemical components of many throw-away items in some form or another.

What I wonder is how all our human medications flushed through our systems and into the world's waters affect other living organisms. Hmm, now you've got me thinking...

Celeste said...

I love this. The beaches of Georgia's coastal islands were my childhood playground. Sand dollars were plentiful. I loved the various stories of the symbols (the cross, the nail holes, the "doves" inside, the lily on one side and poinsettia on the other, and so on). And I knew never to break one open to find the doves. So I treasured finding the broken sand dollar who had not spilled all of her doves. The whole ones we made into Christmas ornaments. They are translucent in front of the lights...bleach and varnish, sometimes decouping bits of old cards onto them, with a ribbon through the opening. Thank you for reminding me of my real treasures: rich, priceless memories and all the pearls beyond price.

DavidDavid said...

When sanddollars are alive, they have like purple tiny legs for fur, and sit in the sand on edge in colonies--one can see this donning snorkel, mask and flippers--oh, maybe wetsuit too!-- at a sandy beach with quiet surf.

Jeannette said...

Kind commenters all. It is wonderful how each reader adds dimension with their insights...

Thank you.

Marfa said...

Plastic...oh yes, we all need to try to use alternatives, reuse glass bottles or jars AND refuse plastic bags, it's not hard to use a fabric bag to carry items!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Hi, Jeannette. I saw this blog post and thought of yours: http://normalbiology.blogspot.com/2012/01/marine-debris-one-huge-problem.html