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Funny Video Takes on Plastic Pollution

As scientists debate how the world’s ocean might be picked free of plastic trash (hint: no one knows), a European nonprofit is taking on the problem with humor. The group Seas at Risk has just released the video above to remind people that what we do on land can have an impact on the ocean. Seas…

The Ocean Comes to Sacramento

Sometimes California gets it right. When it comes to protecting its coast and ocean, the state’s citizens guarantee that. March 24 will mark the 7th annual Ocean Day in Sacramento with dozens of marine conservation activists from Environment California, Heal the Bay, Surfrider, Coastkeeper Alliance and others descending on the Statehouse from up and down…

South African Students Turn Trash Into Living Walls

We received an email from Hannah Allderman, a 17-year old student in Cape Town, South Africa, who told us she is “mad about going green.” Hannah did a recycling project with a friend, Ellie Simpson, turning discarded plastic bottles into urban planters. “We got involved in the community, taught people about sustainable gardening, and made many…

Filmmakers Document the “Weirdness” of Marine Garbage on the Gyre Expedition

On June 6 through 13, a team of scientists, artists, and filmmakers explored remote beaches of Alaska, to assess the impact of debris washing out of the great gyres, or currents, in the Pacific Ocean. Called the Gyre Expedition, the project was launched by the Alaska SeaLife Center and the Anchorage Museum. The multidisciplinary team…

Situational Awareness

Tonight, anchored along the western shore of Lanai Island, we’re reveling in the briny land smell beneath volcanic seamounts and mountain goat habitat.  Our scientific research is complete and all that remains is a final cleaning of the ship, a barbeque on deck, an alcohol-free swizzle party and another refreshing swim in the Pacific.  Strange…

Of Politics and Plastics

As we sail closer to port, mahi mahi fish have been hitting our lures and tropicbirds circle our masts.   We have not seen land for over a month but as I write these words, we’ve just crossed the EEZ (U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone) within 200 miles of Hawaii.  We’re now 34 days at sea and…

An Ever Shifting Sea

For the last few days, fully inured to life-a-tilt and the complex movements of the sea, we have plied south and southwest winds to continue sailing west.  We’re 1,500 miles and 25 days out from California, with 900 miles and 12 days left at sea.  Within a day we plan to turn south toward Hawaii. …

Ocean Plastic’s Mystery Ending

As we continue sailing west, we have more questions than answers about our plastic quarry.  We’re now more than halfway to Hawaii, with California 1,200 miles and 17 days behind us. While we’ve conducted more than 40 net deployments and counted close to 40,000 pieces of plastic in the North Pacific gyre, researchers at Sea…

Invasive Plastic Hitchhikers

We’re ten days and 690 nautical miles out from the nearest land in California.  In that time, we’ve conducted 21 net deployments to collect and analyze plastic.  We’ve counted a total of 3,190 pieces of plastic, most of it in the North Pacific subtropical gyre.  Here in this gigantic eddy-like “trap,” the concentration of floating…

Our Plastic Quarry and the Nets We Carry

Three days and almost 400 miles west of California, the rail is now free of slumped crew feeding the fish.  From my aft berth, I can hear the deck being scrubbed above. Even though we’ve passed beyond the shallow edge of the continental shelf, we’re still amid cold, northern currents.  With the exception of today’s…

2012 Mission to the North Pacific Plastic Gyre

In 1988, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers measuring pollution in the Sea of Japan predicted that plastic contamination would show up in much greater quantities in the Pacific Ocean.  Researchers had already confirmed the presence of a new, giant soup of plastics, which the media eventually dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In fact,…

BPA Linked to Higher Testosterone Levels

BPA’s in almost everything, it seems. The chemical is great for making transparent, nearly shatter-proof plastic, called polycarbonate, so it shows up everywhere–in CDs, water bottles, even eyeglasses. Now it’s in your urine, too. And if you’re a guy, it’s messing with your hormones. Researchers at the School of Biosciences at the University of Exeter…

Jane of the Jungle Gym Blogs Green Again

National Geographic Little Kids blogger Jane of the Jungle Gym occasionally blogs about being a green mom, and here are some recent green-themed posts: Paper Cuts: Jane discusses ways to green your kids’ doodling. Gray Matter: Jane tackles those pesky gray hairs and green ways to get rid of them. Bye-Bye Plastic Bottles: Jane discusses…

Eat In For Earth: The Hidden Costs of Take-Out Meals

Two large, grease-stained paper bags; one small, foil-lined bag; two paper wrappers; four plastic sauce cups, with lids; three cups, one plastic, two wax-lined paper; a handful of crumpled paper napkins; and a receipt. That’s what I was left with after cheeseburgers for two yesterday. I’m sure you’ve had this experience too, of surveying the…

A New Life for Filters and Food Containers

by Emily Main Earlier this week, we posted a blog about a new water filter, ZeroWater, made by the only company in the U.S. currently recycling its filters. Well, a day later we found out that they’ll only hold that distinction until the end of the year. Come January, Brita will start recycling its filters…