Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 190 - January 27, 2011

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
1.7 pounds collected 
718.7 pounds total

looks like a boogie board leash to me if you can't tell

This week there was a lot of stirring the pot around reusable bags. BEWARE OF REUSABLE BAGS SCARE it could be called. A study was covered by the San Fransisco Chronicle that some reusable bags that had been tested had high levels of lead and other toxins in them. 
Well SAVE THE BAY - a San Fransisco based non-profit - came out with a statement in response that I will copy in part for you here.

"The State of California has laws in place to protect consumers from dangerous levels of lead in products and these laws must be enforced. Even so, very few reusable bags on the market actually contain lead, with the best choice being reusable bags made of canvas or cloth. Meanwhile, plastic bags – with their average use time of 12 minutes – litter our neighborhoods, clog our storm drains, and end up in San Francisco Bay where they degrade water quality and entangle and poison Bay fish and birds. Now THAT is something that should worry consumers." 

Go check out Project Green Bag. Bags made from organic cotton with very cool graphics by a man who really, truly cares about the environment. I think they are even made in San Fransisco....

I really love Chico Bags too. Andy Keller - the company's founder - had this to say about his bags.
I might also add that this man is someone who really, truly cares about the environment too. 

"ChicoBag is a leader in upholding rigorous lead testing standards, exceeding government regulations, to ensure consumer safety. ChicoBag™ utilizes third party testing on every single order. In fact, our products are lead tested three different times before they ever enter your home or business. We adhere to testing standards even more stringent than those set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for children's toys. In addition to the CPSIA standards, we go one step further to ensure our products also adhere to the more stringent lead standards for children's toys set forth in ASTM F963-07"

In short - know the company that you are buying the reusable bag from. We'd say that about any product, wouldn't we? Get a bag from either of these guys and you are good to go!

But to be extra clear on this issue Andy also clarifies one more thing for us regarding the article on lead in the bags.

"The current CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) standard is 300 PPM (Parts Per Million of lead).  This number will drop to 100 PPM on August 14th, 2011 if technically feasible.  So, most of the bags mentioned in the article are below 300, but above 100 (Within the legal limit).  The few that are above 300 are not compliant and should be recalled.  These bags are made by companies with insufficient or nonexistent testing procedures."

With two bag bans passing in CA cities this week, does any one else think the release of this study is rather timely??  

I had the privilege of watching a pod of dolphins playing, and fishing at sunset tonight very close to shore. This is the only photograph that I captured one of their fins in primarily because I wanted to watch them with my eyes, and not through the lens. 
The sky really was this color.

This is a shot of where I was standing to watch the pod. It reinforced my desire to get the trash off the beach so that these local dolphins weren't gulping it down with their meal. I want to make sure that no marine animal has to eat the plastic detritus from our throw away culture ever again. It's a big goal, but a girl can dream big can't she?