April 2012

Going plastic-free

The dirty truth about marine litter

Going plastic-free

In honor of Earth Day, here are some dirty facts about marine debris:

  • Plastic accounts for a large percentage of marine debris. Its durability, buoyancy, and ability to absorb and concentrate toxins make plastic especially harmful to marine life and people who use marine life as a food source.
  • The main types of plastic litter include cigarette butts (filters), food wrappers and take-out containers, bottles, cups, lids, caps, utensils, bags, balloons, fishing line, and six-pack holders.
  • Instead of biodegrading, plastics photo degrade, which means they break apart into smaller pieces or pellets, which eventually form plastic dust. Through this process, they release toxins into the oceans.
  • Fish and other sea animals eat the plastic pellets, which resemble plankton.
  • Shoppers worldwide use an estimated 525 billion or more plastic bags each year, many of which make their way into our waterways.
  • Plastic debris can entangle, suffocate and starve marine life, including birds, whales, seals, turtles and fish.

You can be part of the solution:

  • Use reusable grocery bags instead of disposable plastic or paper bags.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible.
  • Buy in bulk and avoid over-packaged products.
  • Think twice about buying disposable products. If you must buy disposable, choose paper instead of plastic.
  • Use reusable water bottles.
  • Keep plastic debris and other contaminants (leaves, pet waste, toxins) out of street gutters and storm drains.
  • Keep beaches and waterways clean. Pick up after yourself and participate in waterway cleanups.
  • Before you buy something, think about where the products will end up when you are finished with them.



Retrieve your keys from accidental dunking with a durable USPS-imprinted floating key chain.

Mastering Marlinespike

Japanese bowline

Primarily a decorative knot, the Japanese bowline forms two adjustable loops.


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