The Gyre, a plastic littered site in the middle of the ocean, inspired me to promise to consume 10 pounds less plastic this year. The Gyre is so out of sight, it is so easy to ignore, it is so simple to forget and not care about. This weekend, as I walked to the marina at Lake Pleasant, I took this photo of a local mini-gyre. The environmental disgrace is so near my home I have to take it personally.
Spring winds have whipped Lake Pleasant and it rained several days ago. The lake’s water level has risen to capacity. This combination pushes floating material windward into compacted surface mats, mostly along Pleasant’s shorelines. These mats are for the greater part brown mulchy organic material; dead leaves, swollen twigs and rotting cacti with still-dangerous barbs. The sad fact is the organic matter is punctuated with plastic; bottles, wrappers, even flip-flops.
While the likes of Ellen MacArthur, Sharon Sites Adams, Amanda Clark and Gail Hines have contributed so much to sailing, to have a woman on the water, fully and undeniably in charge of a sailboat, is still very much out of balance with the number of women sailors. Even when I am declared skipper of the day, I am likely to defer or even relinquish my charge to Ed if the going gets rough.
For the Pancake Breakfast cruise, though, I could not be deferential. Ed would not be on the boat as he usually is, nor would he be shore-side to launch or retrieve Bliss. He was 1864.19 miles away when I told my mother I was going sailing for the weekend.
“Where?” she asked, the pitch of her voice raising an octave.
“Oh, Lake Pleasant, on Bliss.” I answered as nonchalantly as possible.
“I thought Ed was in Florida?” She paused, waiting for me to tell her she was wrong.
“What? Are you stupid?” Read more
I’ve been avoiding writing about cancer. I’ve been avoiding thinking about it too. I chase it from my mind each time it dares to enter. With the fifth anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis just around the corner, I am finding it difficult to accept it ever happened to me. I’m in a weird delayed state of denial. Read more
On my last trip to the grocery store I found myself planted in the middle of an aisle agonizing over a purchase of white cider vinegar.
Each visit to the store makes me smarter about what is a reasonable use of plastic and what is not.
Both Ed and I have become very good at avoiding unnecessary packaging, especially if it’s plastic.
I’ve come to the conclusion there are a few foods, tofu for example, that only come in plastic. Period.
I accept now that some packaging is not only not so bad, but actually the only pragmatic choice.
Am I selling out because I buy tofu, cheese or a few veggie burgers? Maybe, but they only come in plastic, so I excuse myself.
But the vinegar was another story. I had a choice. Read more