Posts Tagged ‘bamboo bottle’

Sorry Oscar, but I HATE trash.  Case in point; marine garbage patches.  What exactly are these giant, floating messes?  Technically, these suspended litter heaps are concentrations of debris (usually consisting of small pieces of plastic) concentrated within a common area.  Contrary to popular belief, there are no permanent “islands” being created in the middle of the ocean that can be detected via satellite.  These collections of rubbish are, however, extremely harmful to marine ecosystems and enormously difficult to contain, clean and manage.

There are several massive known aggregations throughout the world, identified as the Eastern Pacific (between Hawaii and California), Western Pacific (off the Coast of Japan) and North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone (north of Hawaii) garbage patches.  There are also Atlantic equivalents to the Pacific concentrations (as debris will collect around major gyres, or large circulatory currents), although research is comparatively thin compared to those in the Pacific.  While these are not the only places flotsam accumulates from human activities on the mainland, they are by far some of the biggest and the subject of great concern. Since their size and shape changes daily or seasonally, estimates of location and span are at time difficult to pin down in exact terms.

The vast majority of the masses are made up of plastics.  From single-use bags to water bottles, plastics are responsible for chemical pollution through degradation, choking marine life who mistake objects for food (see the Guardian’s photo essay on Albatross death), and endangering entire ecosystems by disintegrating into tiny pieces which are taken up through the bottom of the food chain.

These  particles are then accumulated upwards into the tissues of larger organisms, eventually reaching top predators and human beings who consume animals lower down on the food chain.  Plastics are very hard to remove from the oceans as sunlight may reduce them into pieces unable to be captured by nets. Where trash collects, so does marine life, and attempts at skimming debris might also harm the creatures swimming amongst the junk.  Major clean-up efforts would also use a large amount of fossil fuels to locate, process and haul the detritus out of the sea.

Luckily, as individuals, we have the power to make decisions that can have large-scale effects.  Water bottles and plastic bags, who are common occupants of these floating landfills, can be replaced with multiple use items such as cloth grocery sacks (like Blue Lotus’s stylish produce bags), thermoses, canteens and reusable water bottles. At Bambu Batu, we dig the sustainable and attractive Bamboo Bottle. We also offer an attractive assortment of re-usable bamboo utensil sets and sporks, to further reduce your dependency on disposable plastics.

Reducing the amount of plastics we use, as well as recycling and properly disposing of what we purchase, can go a long way to stem the flow of trash making its way into our oceans and food chain.

Ahhh, summertime on the Central Coast. The season of Frisbees, flip-flops and beach volleyball. Wait a second… isn’t that all year round here? Yes, we are spoiled. We are never more than a half-hour’s drive away from some of the most breathtaking coastline that California has to offer. And as seasoned beach bums, we’d like to share a few tips to help you keep your shores clean, your bodies healthy, and all your seaside experiences fun and invigorating.

Wear sunscreen: Sunburns are bad enough without the added worry of possible skin cancer.  To avoid the pain and anxiety altogether, active Californians make sure to slather on ample amounts of sunscreen.  We recommend organic brands such as Elemental Herbs which we carry here at Bambu Batu in SPF 20 and 22.

These natural sunscreen formulas are a healthier alternative than those that contain chemicals such as octylmethoxycinnamate, benzophenone 3 and octocrylene, which can soak into the deeper layers of your skin.  These chemicals can leave top sections of skin vulnerable and also react with UV light to create damaging compounds called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).  ROS can cause cell damage, premature aging, environmental pollution, and hormone disruption.

Leave no trace:  No one likes stepping on a cigarette butt or discarded plastic Dorito bag when frolicking in the sand and surf.  When picnicking, we make sure to take what we brought to the sand back out with us.  This includes everything from bottles and cans to orange peels and liquids.  To help keep stuff organized, a reusable tote bag or backpack helps to consolidate and pack out our food, toys and trash.  To cut down on unnecessary waste, Bambu Batu offers stylish reusable bamboo bottles and to-go wear utensils for sustainable beach cookouts.

Play around: For some good exercise and fun outdoors, bring a football, kite or volleyball along with a couple of friends or four-legged buddy.  We particularly enjoy a toss of the Frisbee® with the Brothers Be’s genuine Wham-O Ultimate Frisbee, made from recycled polyethylene plastic!  You can catch one of these beauties here at Bambu Batu all summer long

Surfing, wakeboarding, building sandcastles, poking around tide pools and kayaking are all Central Coast favorite activities.  Local businesses such as Central Coast Kayaks and SLO Coast Kayaks offer tours and rentals throughout the season.  Van Curaza Surf School teaches lessons to grommets from Pismo Beach to Morro Bay.

Check out flora and fauna: Tidepooling is a wonderful way to get up close and personal with ocean life!  Check out cool new phone apps such as the Audobon Mobile Field Guides to identify birds and other critters hanging out by the water.  Be careful to keep your distance with marine mammals, like the California elephant seal and sea lion, as they are protected under the law and can become dangerous. If you see an animal in trouble, call the Marine Mammal Center for rescue assistance.

Where do you go for a little surf and sun?  What is your favorite beach activity?