pollution

September is Recycle Glass Month

Photo: Trashy Beaches Are Everywhere

The beaches of Gatahan in Malaysia would be a far more beautiful sight without the plastics.

The beaches of Gatahan in Malaysia would be a far more beautiful sight without the plastics.

See the full Gallery.

A Very Different Kind of Beachcombing

Here in Bluffton, we’re right on the May River and close to our Atlantic ocean shores. Most of us love the ocean and we collect souvenirs like seashells, driftwood, rocks, and other momentos. And still, there are individuals working to clean up the beaches by combing the beaches for trash – the human impact on our shores. On Twitter, we follow @beachcleanup and @floastsamdiaries – interesting people who are showing us in very creative ways what shows up on our shores. And then we found this artist who took a whole year’s worth of trash from the beach and turned it into art.

Of Mice and Men: How BPA Makes Men Less Attractive

Today, the news was released from a very interesting study from researchers at University of Missouri – turns out the BPA (bisphenol-A), found in plastics, can make men less attractive to women. While the researchers tested the theory on male deer mice, we humans can learn quite a bit from their reactions.

The unversity study found that male deer mice exposed to BPA through their mother’s diet exhibited compromised spatial learning abilities, a dominant trait exhibited in males. So these BPA-exposed males had a harder time finding females in the laboratory. To quote the researchers:

The disruption of male spatial cognition and the supporting brain systems would severely compromise the ability of the male deer mice to find mates in natural settings, and even if they did locate females, such animals would seem to be less likely to be chosen as mates than males that had not been exposed to BPA.

And, perhaps most disturbingly, both BPA-exposed and control females preferred the clean males to BPA-exposed males. BPA-exposed males were rejected 2 to 1 by the females in the study. In very simple language, BPA makes male deer mice less attractive to the female deer mice.

We’ve seen BPA and plastics linked with breast cancer, infertility and early puberty in females. Now we’re seeing it affect men’s brains and our attractiveness as well.

Even noted author John Steinbeck couldn’t have imagined this link between mice and men.

The Carbon Footprint of Everyday Things

I like to follow the good blogs over at GE’s Ecomagination site.  Recently, they posted this interactive infographic that allows you to see the carbon footprint of everyday things – from diapers to ironing a shirt to imported wine, from all flights every day to the energy consumed in the U.S. every year.  It’s an easy infographic to use (I’ll admit, I spent most of my lunch time yesterday clicking through the chart) and it certainly has me thinking a lot more about my own personal carbon footprint.

It’s this kind of impact that focused BottlesUp to a commitment to having the lowest carbon footprint in the water bottle industry.  Our entire product is made in North America and much of the materials are sourced onsite, further reducing our carbon footprint.  Adding to our low carbon footprint is another fact – you won’t find a single ounce of plastic in our product or in our packaging.  We’re commited to creating a product better for your health and the environment.

The (Not So) Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Have you heard about it – the large patch of floating plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It’s there, it’s real and what you may not know is that it’s not made up of plastic bags and empty bottles. It’s made up of billions of tiny pieces of plastic, and it’s basically invisible unless you’re floating in it. While this might seem better to be in tiny pieces, it’s actually much worse for the environment—and for you. The great team at GOOD, develop this Transparency – a look at the Pacific Gyre and the plastic floating in it.

Gyre illustration by Jacob Magraw-Mickelson

What do you think? How can we help minimize plastic in our oceans?