February 23, 2011

it’s what I can do . . .

It makes my stomach hurt when I see blue plastic dog poop bags flying around at the beach. What’s worse is to find a bag full of poop lying in the sand. I know that if I don’t pick it up it will most likely be snatched by the next high tide and taken out to sea to eventually join the rest of the plastic soup. So hesitantly, I pick it up.

Following the lead of my mentor, Beth Terry, from her blog, ‘My Plastic Free Life’, http://myplasticfreelife.com. I contacted Sonoma County Regional Park Service and began an email conversation with ‘James’. At first, 'James' politely gave me the brush-off with all sorts of facts about why they used the little blue plastic bags and that these bags are ‘biodegradable,’ and “thank you for your concern”, and have a nice day, leave me alone . . . that sort of email conversation.

But ‘James’ doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know that I’ve taken these blue plastic bags on as a personal mission. He doesn’t know that I walk the beach where I live several times a week and that I’ve developed a sort-of ‘ownership’ about this beach. He doesn’t know that it was not only my livelihood but my passion that had me doing years of research, writing, and educating about environmental destruction and animal welfare. He doesn’t know that I set up a ‘Rethinking Plastics’ table for CoastWalk, http://www.coastwalk.org/index.htm during Coastal Cleanup Day at one of our local beaches last September, and it was a huge success because people care about our beaches. He didn’t know all this but I think he’s getting it.

After my third or fourth email reply to ‘James’ his last response was enthusiastic and encouraging. He sees the possibility for change and I am thrilled!

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