Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Simple Things to Make a Difference

Here I am posing with Nemo, the clown fish. OK, so it's not the real Nemo, but I do LOVE fish.

I did NOT view the Michael Jackson memorial service today, but I DID attend the Dive Club meeting at ECO Dive Center in Culver City, CA and we listened to a volunteer speaker from Surfriders. She talked to us about plastics and their negative affect on the ocean and marine life. I already knew most of the information, but I thought I'd take a few minutes to share what I know and hopefully inspire others to make conscious choices about our ecology. Hey, Michael Jackson loved animals, right? He even sang that Free Willy song, right? See, I'm not a total social deviant. It's still all about Michael...

Seriously though, it's a big problem and while I believe big corporations need to do their part since their greed is kind of screwed everything up anyway, we can all do a little something. And if you think I'm full of doo-doo, then look at this... and now keep reading...

Here are several simple things we can all do in our everyday lives to make a difference:

- Stop buying/drinking beverages in plastic bottles (only 12% of plastic bottles are recycled in the US and the caps are always trashed).

- Get some stainless steel water bottles and a home water filtration system. Two very popular choices are: Klean Kanteen and Sigg.
- Use cloth shopping bags and if you can, refuse bags when offered (only 1% of plastic bags are recycled)

- Always cut up plastic soda can rings and make sure bottle caps and plastic rings from milk jugs, etc, end up in the garbage - but even better, STOP USING THEM!

- When getting take out food ask them to leave out the plastic utensils, straw and even extra stuff like ketchup and soy sauce packets, if you're not going to use them. I know mine usually end up in the trash and I have a junk drawer in the kitchen full of plastic forks wrapped in napkins with rubber bands! Stupid.

- Pick up plastic! If you see plastic trash on the beach, park, etc, pick it up and get it to a recycle bin if possible

- Reduce your seafood consumption and only eat sustainable seafood, if you must. Lots of great info at: The End of the Line site.

- If you need to use disposable utensils and plates, use corn, bamboo or paper products. Just Google it and you'll be amazed at how many products are out there!

- Start channeling Nancy Regan and just say NO! Not to drugs! Do all the drugs you want! To styrofoam and plastics. Actually, did you know that styrofoam is just another form of plastic? Start bringing your own reusable food containers and travel mugs along with you and most food establishments are happy to use them instead. Some food establishments will even give you a discount (Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf are a couple)!

So, there you have it people. There are a million more ways you can make a little difference starting right now, so why wait? At least, do it for Michael.


  1. I'm a counselor at an adolescent drug treatment center. We treat 13-18 year old kids in a 3-5 month inpatient program. In the past four months I've been to two funerals for former patients who relapsed and od'd. I should be telling my surviving patients what - do all the drugs you want, gang, just make sure you use a biodegradable crack pipe?

  2. Hey Echo4USA - I think you missed the point. Did my statement, "Do all the drugs you want!" sound like I was actually dispensing authoritative, professional drug counseling advice? This post has nothing to do with addiction or drugs. I'm a comedian - I have plenty of friends (and relatives) with substance abuse problems, trust me. The statement was about using Nancy Regan's overused, anti-drug campaign slogan in yet another hack and overused way in order to draw attention to a serious subject. I am not a doctor, and I don't even play one on tv. Most people know this.

    It's very sad when people die from their own addictions, particularly children, and I'm sorry to hear of your losses. But I hardly think this blog post pushed anyone over the edge. Especially since most people understand not to take it seriously.

  3. I understand you're a comedian, one of the best actually, and as such you shouldn't have to follow a PC playbook, but sometimes fighting the headwind of mixed messages, from all quarters, gets frustrating. Especially after failing to convince too many young people to save themselves.

  4. Yesterday, Slate also had the following recommendations:

    "For an easy way to cut your seafood-related emissions, try to shift your diet toward farmed oysters, mussels, and clams—these shellfish don't require any processed feed. (They eat plankton instead.) Many experts also recommend that you make like a European and learn to love smaller, schooling fish like sardines, anchovies, and mackerel."

    For the full article, go to http://www.slate.com/id/2222746/

    Personally, I've replaced canned tuna with canned sardines (sold in bulk at CostCo), which are even better for you! With a little mayo and relish, maybe even some diced celery, it make a great "tuna" salad sandwich.