Talking Trash

Plastics in the oceans, fish and turtles choking on garbage, litter … what can be done? I strongly advocate for cleaning up the beaches, oceans and rivers. The cleanup schemes range from just individually picking up trash to complicated ocean plastic-collection systems. In the U.S. we’re also talking about banning plastic straws and water bottles. […]

What Broke The Camel’s Back

Maybe it wasn’t that last straw that broke the camel’s back, it was the long-term accumulation of straws and other materials that did it. Can we reverse things by banning straws? Undoubtedly, no, but maybe we can slow the damage and take a little time to fix the problems. Plastic pollution in the rivers and […]

Plastic, Plastic Everywhere, and Not Just Straws, I Think

As we walked into town for breakfast, up ahead I saw him rise from his spot on the planter in the shade to pick up an empty plastic water bottle that had blown down the street. He tossed it into the trash can and reclaimed his spot. As we passed, he avoided eye contact, but […]

Plastic (not so) Fantastic

I bent down and picked up a plastic six-pack ring from the ground, cut it apart with my pocket knife and tossed it into the back of the car. “What are you doing?” he asked. “Cutting it up,” I replied. “But why?” “Ever seen those photos of ducks or other birds caught up in one […]

The Web of Waste

And what was even more striking to me, and what I really got hung up on, was that the world inside the screen seemed to have no physical reality of its own. ~ Andrew Blum “It was just waste. Nobody wanted it and it cost too much to recondition, so we just dumped it.” He […]

Waste Not

“Whatever you do, don’t make any jokes about organized crime,” she said and gave us a serious look. It was just after the passage of the national solid and hazardous waste laws (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976), and companies that had landfills and other waste disposal facilities had to complete a ton of […]

There Oughta Be A Law!

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, Alone and palely loitering? The sedge has withered from the lake, And no birds sing. — John Keats “What’s the minimum we need to do to be in compliance with the law?” the client asked. Their groundwater contamination was only on-site and no one was using the water. I […]