OCEAN HELPERS - Let's all help the oceans!
Picking Up Plastic Is Everyone's Responsibility
P.O. Box 193
The Sea Ranch, CA 95497-0193
USING GLASS STRAWS
a Step in the Right Direction
Ocean Helpers strives to encourage and empower people to pick up plastic so it does not end up in the oceans. Ocean Helpers is a grassroots, community based non-profit organizations which provides free, easy-to-use trash grabbers (and supplies) as well as educational and community resources with the theme of helping the oceans.
Ocean Helpers goal is to give away trash grabbers so that everyone can pick up plastic and styrofoam everyday and everywhere.
Elementary level education and art programs promoting helping the oceans (S.A.L.T. Program).
Community action clean up days.
Free trash grabbers - so everyone can pick up plastic.
Put New Meaning Into Beach Combing
Take a walk along any beach anywhere in the world and washed ashorewill be many polythene plastic bags, bottles and containers, plasticdrums, expanded polystyrene packing, polyurethane foam pieces, piecesof polypropylene fishing net and discarded lengths of rope. Together with traffic cones, disposable lighters, vehicle tyres and toothbrushes, these items have been casually thrown away on land and at sea and have been carried ashore by wind and tide.
The very thing that makes plastic items useful to consumers, their durability and stability, also makes them a problem in marine environments. Around 100 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year of which about 10 percent ends up in the sea. About 20 percent of this is from ships and platforms, the rest from land.
A single one litre drinks bottle could break down into enough small fragments to put one on every mile of beach in the entire world. These smaller particles are joined by the small pellets of plastic which are the form in which many new plastics are marketed and which can be lost at sea by the drum load or even a whole container load. These modern day "marine tumbleweeds" have been thrown into sharp focus, not only by the huge quantities removed from beaches by dedicated volunteers, but by the fact that they have been found to accumulate in sea areas where winds and currents are weak.
The "Eastern Garbage Patch"
The North Pacific sub-tropical gyre covers a large area of the Pacific in which the water circulates clockwise in a slow spiral. Winds are light. The currents tend to force any floating material into the low energy central area of the gyre. There are few islands on which the floating material can beach. So it stays there in the gyre, in astounding quantities estimated at six kilos of plastic for every kilo of naturally occurring plankton. The equivalent of an area the size of Texas swirling slowly around like a clock. This gyre has also been dubbed "the Asian Trash Trail" the "Trash Vortex" or the "Eastern Garbage Patch".
This perhaps wouldn't be too much of a problem if the plastic had no ill effects. The larger items, however, are consumed by seabirds and other animals which mistake them for prey. Many seabirds and their chicks have been found dead, their stomachs filled with medium sized plastic items such as bottle tops, lighters and balloons. A turtle found dead in Hawaii had over a thousand pieces of plastic in its stomach and intestines. It has been estimated that over a million sea-birds and one hundred thousand marine mammals and sea turtles are killed each year by ingestion of plastics or entanglement.
Animals can become entangled in discarded netting and line. Even tiny jelly-fish like creatures become entangled in lengths of plastic filament, or eat the small plastic particles floating in the water.
The North Pacific gyre is one of five major ocean gyres and it is possible that this Trash Vortex problem is one which is present in other oceans as well. The Sargasso Sea is a well known slow circulation area in the Atlantic, and research there has also demonstrated high concentrations of plastic particles present in the water.
With so many threats to the world oceans including pollution like the plastic getting stuck in this huge trash vortex, overfishing and climate change we urgently need to rescue marine biodiversity in the most effective way possible.
You can help today by joining the call to pick up trash on your beach walk; or better yet properly dispose of your trash before it reaches the creeks, rivers and oceans. You can choose not to shop with plastic bags or use styrofoam cups. You can drink your hot or cold drinks from hand made coffee cups created by local potters or choose reusable glasses or cups to drink your cold drinks from. And you can contact and work with creative problems solvers like OCEAN HELPERS. Water - is a precious resource and so are you and all the life your purchasing habits affect. Shop with your heart and mind connected. Do the right thing - it really is in your best interest.
Picking up plastic should NOT just be once a year or just on the highways . . .
GLASS STRAWS -
A STEP IN THE DIRECTION TO ENDING PLASTIC POLLUTION
Hello, my name is David Leonhardt.
I've been a lampworker (glassblower) for over 10 years. My wife, Gail & I recently moved from the Sacramento, CA area, to our dream of living on the Mendocino Coast.
I started doing some work for a local glass shop in town and noticed that the owner had glass drinking straws for sale. I had never heard of these before and I am always intrigued by something made out of glass that I hadn't thought of. I was struck by the unique elegance in such a simple item.
I immediately recognized that here was a partial solution to our "plastics problem". Now, granted, there are a lot more plastics in our world than just drinking straws, but bear with me a minute and let me put things in perspective ... As of March 2008, McDonald's serves an average of 52 million meals PER DAY! (Per their website) How many of those served do you think were given a plastic straw? I hope it is becoming obvious just how big of a problem these pesky little plastic straws can be. Remember, this is just from McDonalds!! Get the picture??
I created the GlassDharma line of glass drinking straws and this website to contribute one solution to the misuse of plastics in our society.
Everyone that has seen these straws are filled with delight. Not just because they promote health and are environmentally friendly, but that they do these things with elegance and style.
Plain and simple, here's how and why they work:
Glass straws don't leach toxins into your food as you drink.
Each time you use your glass straw equals one less plastic straw ending up in your landfill.
One glass straw replaces thousands of plastic straws. (How many times will you use a straw the rest of your life?)
Using your glass drinking straw adds a feeling of beauty to your day.
GlassDharma glass drinking straws are:
Made of borosilicate tubing and is the strongest glass commercially available.
Means that we have spared no expense in bringing you the strongest, most durable drinking straw possible.
Annealed to Corning, Inc. specifications (a process that strengthens the glass).
So you can have confidence you are purchasing the highest quality glass straws available.
Made of glass which does not leach ANY TOXINS into your food.
So you can use your non-toxic straws with confidence.
Created with the beauty and elegance that only glass can give.
You'll feel like royalty with a touch of "glass".
A great environmental addition to your kitchenware.
Great for hot or cold drinks, microwave and dishwasher safe!!
Are fully backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
If they don't meetyour expectations, return for a full refund.
Covered with our unbelievable Lifetime Guarantee Against Breakage.
Means that if they ever break, we'll replace them - Free,
Hand-made in the U.S.A.
Buying from GlassDharma means that your dollar is not going off-shore
- it stays right here in the U.S.A.