No matter where you fall on global warming and impact on our oceans – acidification, loss of Arctic sea ice, and sea-level rise – it’s hard to negate existing gyres of marine litter. Trash swims side-by-side with plankton in the largest landfill in the world. The gyre has actually given birth to two large masses of ever-accumulating trash, the Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches, or collectively known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Recently, a Swedish company has created vacuum cleaners from plastic trash collected from these areas, and we find this an intriguing way to capture attention and provoke awareness about polluting the world’s oceans.

A less serious approach, this mocumentary explores the cycle of life of a curious creature, the plastic bag, on its migration to its home, the Pacific Ocean, and is the work of environmental nonprofit, Heal the Bay.

However, plastic pollution is no laughing matter. Ocean-loving activists, innovators, explorers, and artists gathered in Los Angeles on November 6th for TEDx:GreatPacificGarbagePatch, an independently organized all-day, live-streaming TED event, to talk about and explore solutions for reducing our plastic footprint. One inordinately simple outcome was the REFUSE campaign that encourages the “4 R’s”:
• Refuse: Say no to single-use and disposable plastics
• Reduce: Cut waste whenever possible
• Reuse: Reuse nontoxic containers (read: not plastic)
• Recycle: It’s the one next to the trash can

Innovative, individual boomer action is just as elegant in its simplicity. We’ve profiled several environmental, adventure travel options in our Progeny Experiences That Rock section. It’s easy to introduce kids and grandkids to the concept of the natural history trip through Natural Habitat Adventure. NHA was chosen by the World Wildlife Fund to be their exclusive Conservation Travel Provider and Conde Nast Traveler gave them its highest Green List Tour Operator rating, an award that rates environmental policies as well as guest satisfaction. The World Outdoors offers off-the-beaten-path active, interactive adventures with nature that will imprint a lifetime appreciation for our planet on our families. Eco-minded boomers can participate in Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society events and expeditions through the Ocean Futures organization. Set an example for our progeny by becoming environmental ambassadors for a sustainable future by participating in the OFS programs.

Who can resist doing well while having enlightened and meaningful adventures! Join the movement to eliminate ocean garbage. You just might be inspired to dumpster dive – oceanic style!

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