First off, I've been learning some pretty fascinating -- and useful -- science. Did you know that with just water and 4 common household chemicals you can ID the vast majority of any consumer plastics you find? It's all about density. Liquids have different density. Going from least dense to most dense:
- Rubbing alcohol (70%)
- Castor oil
- Corn syrup
|Enter mad scientist|
Science experiments aside, I've been able to get Flotsam Diaries into the wider world, thanks to two guest-blog posts at the well-regarded "Scientific American" online! The first, on September 5, recapped my Year 1 of collection at Bay View beach here in Saco, Maine. The second, published on October 13, chased a too-perfect statistic often repeated in plastic-pollution circles, following the trail back 27 years into a now-meaningless void. As the recent lawsuit by plastic bag makers against ChicoBag shows, the plastic industry will attack wherever it feels it has a shot. Environmental orgs would do well to fact-check the numbers they use before picking that fight.
Last but not least, there's big news from Bay View beach, Saco, ME. At long last, working with the city council and the head of Saco's Parks and Recreation department, I've gotten a "Bait Tank" cigarette butt bin installed in the beach parking lot!
|A beautiful addition|
I'm also working a few more projects that will hopefully start bearing fruit as fall turns to winter. It's a pretty exciting time. A year and a half ago, a trip to the beach woke me up to a real problem in today's world. Since then, I've hoped most of all to learn about it, share what I've learned, and try to make a difference. And that's still the North Star that guides the what, how, & why of it all.