Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the foggy, rainy, warm island of Nantucket! Great to be with you and yours on this Sunday morning, the twenty-second day of April, 2012, EARTH DAY around these here parts and indeed all around the world. A day set aside by the corporate energy moguls to promote a brand new, renewable based green philosophy that addresses ALL of the most pressing issues mankind faces today–7 billion people living on this fragile and ever increasingly polluted planet, yes, that WE all live upon ‘at this juncture’, oh wait a moment, this just in, apparently EARTH DAY is not a day that was initially set aside by the big corporate oil and gas companies as I was led to believe, on the contrary, this day was, is and will be again, set aside by the good ‘little people’ of the planet earth, who sea “…this time we are here on earth is not just about US, it’s also about our stewardship of what we’ve been given.” A quote taken directly out of Ted Danson’s great book, “Oceana”, a fantastic journey into our world’s oceans and a critical review of the detrimental effects pollution, over fishing, and more are doing on a daily basis to the most important ‘body of water’, so to speak, in all of our lives today. A book I would highly recommend to anyone interested, even mildly, in our world’s overall state of health, i.e. THE ENVIRONMENT! “Living Blue” is one of the final themes in the great work, and the following is a ‘top ten’ list of everyday ordinary things you and yours can do to be on the right side of history, making lifestyle CHOICES that ‘can help preserve the oceans for ourselves and for generations to come…’, enjoy and please pass on! (suggestions taken from “Oceana”, by Ted Danson, pages 271-272). 1. Join a group that supports oceans, such as Oceana, ‘where they really get things done’, find out more at www.oceana.org. 2. Vote responsibly. Contact your representatives. Electing the RIGHT public officials is essential to having good ocean policy. Exercise your right to vote, and stay involved after Election Day. 3. Eat sustainable seafood. Global fisheries are on the verge of collapse. According the the FAO, 80 percent of the world’s fisheries are now over exploited, or fully exploited, carry a Seafood Watch card that identifies your best choices for sustainability, good alternatives, and which fish to avoid eating altogether, i.e. some of the fish from the GULF! 4. Reduce energy use. Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is making our oceans more acidic. One consequence could be the loss of corrals on a global scale, as their calcium skeletons are destroyed by the increasing acidity in the water. Here are some examples of using less energy, less is more as it were–drive a hybrid or electric car, maintain your vehicle properly, especially tire inflation, use mass transit, support the installation of light-rail systems, use a bike whenever you can (the health benefits are a bonus), combine errands to reduce trips, install a programmable thermostat in your house, set your thermometer a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter, turn off appliances when they are not in use, switch to more efficient lighting, such as compact fluorescent lightbulbs in your house, shop local farmer’s markets for produce, cheese, meat, and other edible goods to create a robust marketplace for food that travels fewer miles, which conserves fossil fuels and reduces packaging, cut down on the number of leisure air travel trips you take each year. Try a ‘’stay-cation’, such as a local hiking trip with family and good friends. 5. Use reusable plastic products. Plastic debris in the oceans degrades marine habitats and contributes to the deaths of many marine animals. Because floating plastic often resembles food to many marine birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals, they can choke or starve because their digestive systems get blocked when they eat it. Help prevent these unnecessary deaths. Do not buy bottled water–use renewable water bottles. Use reusable cloth bags for shopping. 6. Properly dispose of hazardous materials. Motor oil and other hazardous materials often end up washing into coastal areas because they aren’t disposed of properly. 7. Use less fertilizer. When fertilizers are used in gardening and agriculture, the excess eventually ends up in the ocean. One result (such as what happened in the Gulf of Mexico with spilled oil) is a ‘dead zone’–an area with very low levels of oxygen in the water. Since all marine life, including fish and shrimp, requires oxygen to live, creatures must flee the area or die. 8. Pick up litter on beaches. Much of the plastic and debris found in the oceans is first discarded on the beach. Don’t let your day at the beach contribute to the destruction of our oceans. 9. Buy ocean friendly products. Avoid products produced using unsustainable or environmentally harmful methods. For example, avoid cosmetics containing shark squalene and jewelry made of coral or sea turtle shell. These products are directly linked to unsustainable fishing methods and the destruction of entire ecosystems. 10. Share what you have learned. Spread the word, via Facebook or Twitter about ongoing issues. Don’t lecture (like me), but look for opportunities to share interesting information and fun facts about the oceans with family and friends, especially when you’re at the beach or near the sea. We’re learning in so many ways that we–human beings–can’t reengineer this planet, that it’s not here as a limitless resource for us to mine, log, drill, hunt, and fish to our hearts’ content. Mr. Danson concludes with, “…Probably the most important lesson we’ve learned is that everything is connected. The things we do to harm the oceans harm so many other things by extension, like ripples that spread when a stone hits the surface of the water. The same goes for the things we do to help. Never feel like the problem is too large to be fixed. And never believe that one person is too small to make a difference. Everything connects. Everyone matters. And each of us can learn to LIVE BLUE!”. Have a wonderful earth day and earth year folks, God bless us everyone and every’thing’… PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M
April 22, 2012
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