The Tipping Point of Shark Week

Shark Week on Discovery Channel hit a tipping point this summer.  It’s become a very popular and anticipated media event in past years, and Discovery has worked to exploit that to the fullest. I do not begrudge Discovery Channel from trying to capitalize on sharks, but I do have a few problems with their technique, and I’m not the only one.

 

The twins out cruising-Sea in Focus, Michael Zeigler

The twins out cruising-Sea in Focus, Michael Zeigler

 

It’s no secret that Sharks have a Public Relations problem, and the exploitation Discovery uses to attract viewers is simply put, fear mongering. This year, more than ever, I saw scientists and divers alike speaking out against this fear mongering and blatant lying that Discovery Channel uses to attract views. We’ve reached the tipping point for shark week: enough people are sick of the lies and want truthful information spread instead of what we’re being fed.

How many sharks do you see like this Horn Shark represented on Shark Week? None.

How many sharks do you see like this Horn Shark represented on Shark Week? None.

Sometimes, they’re just flat-out lying.  (Read this excellent article on IFLS for more details) Scientists are being misquoted, and their words used against them.  As all reality shows do, words and phrases are used out of context and speakers are baited into saying things.  Like this “Will you please say “60 foot great white shark to the camera?” “Did you say 60 foot great white shark? That is unheard of my dear boy!” Can easily turn into SIXTY FOOT GREAT WHITE SHARK? HE ATE MY DEAR BOY. But why call a myth a documentary? Why put a myth on a channel called “Discovery” with the reputation of…..learning shit?

Dudley

Got my eye on you: Credit and copyright Dudley C McLaughlin

 

Fear mongering: Doesn’t it seem like everybody and their mother is bit by sharks on Shark Week? Shows that focus on the small amount of people who do get bit incorrectly tip the balance into making it seem more likely, more possible, more common. In reality, You are more likely to get in a car accident/bit by a dog/get malaria/think perms are a good idea than you are to get bit by a shark, but I don’t see sensationalist TV shows about THOSE monstrosities. Seeing “Top 20 Shark Attack stories” on repeat does make it seem like stepping into the ocean is akin to walking across a busy street.

Related: Humans kill 100 million sharks per year.  Due to shark finning, commercial fishing, trophy fishing,  and drift nets, sharks have a lot more reasons to fear us than we have to fear them.

The plight of sharks is a black and white problem, they don't need shark week coming in and confusing everyone.

The plight of sharks is a black and white problem, they don’t need shark week coming in and confusing everyone. Credit and Copyright to Dudley C McLaughlin

Because here’s the thing: Sharks are AMAZING on their own without lies.

Here’s some things Shark Week could focus on that sticks to the facts:

How sharks have evolved SINCE BEFORE  THE DINOSAURS.

The decline of shark populations in the ocean.

Illegal shark finning.

What happens to the oceans when sharks disappear: (hint, bad stuff)

Comparing endangered shark statuses to other more conventionally cute animals: For instance, Short Fin Makos (the fastest sharks in the ocean) are considered threatened. This is the same  status as Polar Bears.

If all sharks are maneaters, as Discovery would have you believe: how did this photographer get out alive? Credit and copyright Dudley C. McLaughlin

If all sharks are man-eaters, as Discovery would have you believe: how did this photographer get out alive? Credit and copyright Dudley C. McLaughlin

The Extremes of sharks: the fastest sharks, the slowest sharks, the biggest sharks, the smallest sharks, the sharks that dive the deepest or travel the farthest, the sharks that live in the coldest water, the sharks that can swim in both salt water and fresh water, the sharks that hunt together, the sharks that hunt alone. I’m not talking about mythical shark creatures here, like a 60-year-old hammerhead in the bayou (spoiler alert, false), I mean, using facts, the reality of amazing sharks!

Extinct sharks: lots of species have gone extinct, and continue to do so daily. Let’s see some shark fossils and artist rendering of awesome extinct sharks.

mz_lindsay_sharks-4

Cuz the thing is: people love sharks! People are fucking crazy for sharks! They’re big wild animals, they appeal to our basest survival instinct and our love of storytelling! They live in a place that we DO NOT.   They are EXTREME on the spectrum of apex predators! We don’t get to SEE THEM THAT MUCH! Why does the story even need to be fabricated to make it interesting? It certainly does not need to be.

This year, I watched one show on Shark Week.  Shark after Dark.  A talk show.   It consisted of two celebrities promoting a movie about being pretend cops and a very uncomfortable looking marine biologist who kept spacing out (probably because everyone was ignoring him). When they finally DID ask him a question, he looked so stunned at the attention, he botched his answer.  It was like “TOKEN SHARK SCIENTIST (SHARKENTIST?)” on a show that was named for sharks on a Channel that was dedicated to sharks for the week. I was forced to turn the tv off.

And head to the ocean in my personal attempt to humanely interact with the sharks that actually are left in the ocean.

Please, take Shark Week with a grain of salt, and encourage others to learn the amazing truth about sharks in the hopes that the Discovery Channel will shift Shark Week in the right direction.

-Merbabe & Tibby (Tiburon)

PS: Notes from Malcolm Gladwell, “The Tipping Point”. “What must underlie successful epidemics, in the end, is a bedrock belief that change is possible, that people can radically transform their behavior or beliefs in the face of the right kind of impetus. …

…that’s why social change is so volatile and so often inexplicable, because it is the nature of all of us to be volatile and inexplicable.

But if there is difficulty and volatility in the world of the Tipping Point, there is a large measure of hopefulness as well.  Merely by manipulating the size of a group, we can dramatically improve its receptivity to new ideas.  By tinkering with the presentation of information, we can significantly improve its stickiness. … Look at the world around you.  It may seem like an immovable, implacable place.  It is not. With the slightest push-in just the right place-it can be tipped.”

Afterword: All pictures stamped Sea in Focus are from underwater photographer Michael Zeigler at Sea In Focus.

Silence

All photos marked as Dudley are Credit and copyright to Dudley C. McLaughlin www.photographydude.com and on FB, Studley McDiver.

LP1 1

Dudley’s alter ego, photo credit to Dudley McLaughlin

Thanks to these amazing photographers for sharing use of their images free of charge in the movement to Tip the public’s perception in favor of shark conservation and in the general idea that Sharks are Awesome.

Amazing: sight on land and sea

Have you ever opened your eyes underwater?

Its not that you can’t see, but certainly that you can’t see CLEARLY. And definitely not clearly enough to hunt.  How do sea lions and other marine mammals do it?

Multi talented

Multi talented

Well, it’s definitely multiple factors.  Firstly, their eyes are proportionally larger than our eyes, so they are able to absorb more light underwater.  They also have increased light sensitivity, which is traded for color sensitivity.  Its believed that they can see colors on the blue and green spectrum, but with increased light sensitivity they can get more light underwater.

big eyes

big eyes

Secondly, they have a transparent THIRD eyelid! Here’s your word for the day: nictitating membrane.  Many animals have this third transparent eye lid when they live in diverse or adverse conditions.  Camels have this to protect their eyes from sand, and many marine mammals have it to protect and see underwater.  Except in the case of sea lions, their natural eye is what they use underwater: they use their nictitating membrane on land to protect  from sun and sand.

a blue shark closing its nictitating membrane.

a blue shark closing its nictitating membrane.

Unlike the upper and lower eye lids you have, these eyelids move horizontally across the eye.

Thirdly, their eyes are set in a cushion of fat, which offers a pillow for the eyes when our favorite “ocean dogs” dive and the pressure becomes great.

We have found ways to adapt to their underwater world, but sea lions and seals are naturally set! Amazing! Perhaps we should take a note from them in future scuba diving gear innovation.

This sweet moment was captured at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center

This sweet moment was captured at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center

xmerbabe

Other animals with nictitating membrane:

Polar bears (to protect from snow blindness)

Sharks (protection from prey who object to being eaten)

Beavers: to protect WHILE diving

Eagles: to protect their eyes while feeding chicks

Cats (and dogs) because cats are the boss of you and can do whatever the hell they want, include have third eyelids.

her true self: always with her nictitating membrane

her true self: always with her nictitating membrane

 

 

The Last Quiet Place on Earth

“In a world of seven billion people, where every inch of land has been mapped, much of it developed, and too much of it destroyed, the sea remains the final unseen, untouched, and undiscovered wilderness, the planet’s last great frontier.

photo.phpThere are no mobile phones down there, no e-mails, no tweeting, no twerking, no car keys to lose, no terrorist threats, no birthdays to forget, no penalties for late credit card payments, and no dog shit to step in before a job interview. All the stress, noise, and distractions of life are left at the surface. The ocean is the last truly quiet place on Earth.”-James Nestor, “Deep”

 

Have a nice week all

-merbabe

Gulls: Mine Mine Mine

Growing up on the coast, seagulls have been a part of my landscape always.  In fact, they have been so omnipresent that I almost ignore them.

Mine? Just try to ignore them.

Mine? Just try to ignore them.

However, they deserve recognition.  They are pretty large birds who provide more than ambiance to the coast.

Gulls are large, ground nesting carnivores.  They can be seen fishing or scavenging alike, and are known to many beachy communities as being bossy and sneaky, walking quite adeptly with their famous side to side waddle on big webbed feet. They are also accomplished fliers: they can take off suddenly (good for french fry thieving) and hover well (stealth opportunistic missions).

They nest in large colonies that are densely packed and loud, loud, loud.  (Could you imagine a seagull co-op house? Loud and messy!) Seagulls are monogamous and mate from the life of the pair, laying on average 3 eggs a year.  Chicks are born precocial, and are fully mature in 4 years.

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You probably already knew this, due to the awesome movie “The Birds”, but seagulls are intelligent and are known to work together, even mobbing predators or other animals that attempt to steal their food, eggs, nests, or eat them.

Here’s your word of the day: Kleptoparacitism.  Gulls are kleptoparasites: but you knew this, when they’ve stolen your french fries behind your back. They flourish by stealing, its a large part of their diet.  Like many birds, their ability to fly increases their menu availability: they can snack on the land, in the air, and from the sea.  Also, from your local In N Out. Some gulls will even land on surfacing, living whales and snack right off them! Pretty ballsy.

Noms.

Noms.

Some interesting tidbits:

They (many different species) breed on every continent.  Including Antartica (I don’t know why my high school thought they could banish them with those fake owls)

They can drink salt water and fresh water.

Although same pairs may mate for life, divorce is not unknown.  The social effects of the divorce are experienced for years after during the mating seasons.

Some gulls use tools: for instance, they may use bread as bait to catch fish.

Amazing!

Happy July 4th! I hope you are all enjoying your beachy, thieving buddies, the gulls, who are as American as apple pie, and as international as futbol.

xmerbabe

Marine Protected Areas, A Safe Space

1.17% of the world’s ocean is under protection, or considered a Marine Protected Area, which is basically a national park that lives underwater. Commercial or private fishing is not allowed.  Essentially, these areas have to be left alone to heal and regrow.

California passed a law in 1999 called the MLPA-The Marine Life Protection Act, which split coastal California into 4 sections plus the San Francisco Bay.  Those sections were allowed to create their own MPA zones and regulations.
There are different kinds of MPA’s.

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1) In a state marine reserve, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living geological, or cultural marine resource, except under a permit or specific authorization from the managing agency for research, restoration, or monitoring purposes.

2)In a state marine park, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living or nonliving marine resource for commercial exploitation purposes. Any human use that would compromise protection of the species of interest, natural community or habitat, or geological, cultural, or recreational features, may be restricted by the designating entity or managing agency

3)In a statemarine conservation area, it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for commercial or recreational purposes, or a combination of commercial and recreational purposes, that the designating entity or managing agency determines would compromise protection of the species of interest, natural community, habitat, or geological features

4)In a state marine recreational management area, it is unlawful to perform any activity that, as determined by the designating entity or managing agency, would compromise the recreational values for which the area may be designated.

5) A special closure is an area designated by the Fish and Game Commission that prohibits access or restricts boating activities in waters adjacent to sea bird rookeries or marine mammal haul-out sites.

California has had wonderful success with their MPAs.  Fish size and diversity have increased since their implementation, and in central california, lobster size has increased.

Follow the jump to read about more MPA success stories.

But I mention this because President Obama has promised to create the largest MPA in the world, which would more than double the size of all the world’s marine protected areas.  As quoted from the BBC

“The White House will extend an existing protected area, known as the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.

Fishing and drilling would be banned from an area that could eventually cover two million sq km.”

What happens when the ocean is allowed to regenerate? Well, a major food source is allowed to replenish, and recover during fishing intervals, and areas like tropical reefs can regrow. Keystone species like sharks find refuge, because even though sharks are movers and shakers and travel long distances, they are often captured within coral reefs, and protecting those areas protect all those who may be traveling through.

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In fact, I can’t think of an instance when protecting the ocean caused any sort of problem, besides not lining the pockets of those who consider the ocean an inexhaustible supply.  unfortunately that is how many people consider it, and its supply is diminishing.

Consider the Pantheon in Rome, Stonehenge, or the Mona Lisa.  Each item is protected because overexposure causes damage, and that damage deteriorates the item.  If we treat our ocean this way, its only a matter of time before its beauty is lost, and the relationship we rely upon with it is gone forever.

cheers to protecting our resources, to protecting our lifesource

-merbabe

my, my, what a few years difference makes.  Photo from http://www.theblackfish.org/

my, my, what a few years difference makes. Photo from http://www.theblackfish.org/

What kelp tells us about Fukushima

Kelp Watch 2014: Did you know that the same way your hair can tell the history of what’s been in your body, kelp can tell the history of what’s in our water?

Kelp Watch 2014 was started by Dr.Manley and Dr. Vetter  in an effort to measure the impact of radiation from Fukushima in our coastal ecosystem.  Radioactivity released during the Fukushima disaster is starting to reach our shore, and in order to measure the levels, they needed to find a good source of measurement.

Kelp is a good measurement for a few reasons.  It is located up and down our coast and radioactivity will first come into contact with the kelp forests before they hit our beach. It also grows quickly, and is easy to harvest, and easy to measure.

If you are interested in the findings of Kelpwatch, follow Dr Manley on twitter.

Here are his most recent tweets from June 10th:

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I think his findings are important; to balance reason and truth in the face of hysterical anecdotal evidence.
ciao bell0s!
*merbabe

Tentacle: Ocean Vocab!

What is a tentacle? In this week’s installment of Ocean Vocab, let’s explore what a tentacle is and why it’s SO awesome!

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Humans use five senses to measure and take in their surroundings.  While watching my young niece play, I noticed that she would take toys in her hands and then place them in her mouth, in order to get a sense of them. In a lot of ways, we have to combine multiple senses in different ways in order to get a feeling.

However, many animals use tentacles to combine their senses into one graceful appendage.  Tentacles can cover many things, but basically are described as sensory organs that can function like “muscular hydrostats” .  The comparison I will draw, and the closest thing we have to tentacles is your tongue: which is a muscular hydrostat because it manipulates food and is composed of muscles with no bone support. Most tentacles function to grasp and feed the animal.

Who are some famous animals with tentacles? Land snails were the first tentacles I discovered as a child, finding out that they had their eyes at the end of their tentacles was astounding! Also, these kinds of tentacles are retractable, which is also quite a feat.  They exhibit the common quality of tentacles coming in sets of two.

Merbabe with Geronimo at the AOP.  Gorgeous, red, strong, willful. TENTACLES

Merbabe with Geronimo at the AOP. Gorgeous, red, strong, willful. TENTACLES

But many sea creatures have tentacles because they are so convenient in water (also because tentacles are common on invertebrates and invertebrates are common in water).

My favorite tentacles are affixed to a beloved sea creature: the octopus.  Octopi have 8 arms, which of course many know to have suction cups on them, or hooks on them to help get a strong hold on things. Although technically they are “arms” they work similarly enough to tentacles to be called that.

 

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Tentacles are also found on cnidarians, like jellyfish or corals.  These tentacles are thin and hair like, and have cnidocytes on them, which we all know cause a STING. This helps to catch food and deliver this food to be digested!

Cuddlefish, giant squid, abalone, feather duster worms, anenomes, nudibranchs.  Sea creatures are KING of the tentacle.

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Reptiles and some mammals are known to have tentacles that can smell acutely, and some moss animals have tentacles around their mouths which pull food inside.

When I hold a fruit in my hands, I can feel the weight of it, but I cannot smell it unless I bring it to my nose.  I cannot taste it unless I bite into it.  I cannot see that it is red and ripe unless I look at with my eyes.  Animals lucky enough to have tentacles often multi task these feats.  They Taste as they Touch, They see as they smell.

Amazing Tentacles!

Merbabe

 

 

Hyperbaric Treatment

Last week, Southern California divers celebrated a staple in our community: The USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber.  For 40 years, divers and divers and divers have been treated and saved by the hyperbaric chamber.

Ads for this year's Chamber Day and Chamber Eve

Ads for this year’s Chamber Day and Chamber Eve

So what is a hyperbaric chamber and how does it work?

I guess we’d need to take a few steps back and consider the circumstances that bring scuba divers to chambers in the first place.

Scuba divers, breathing compressed air under increased pressure underwater absorb nitrogen in our tissues.  This doesn’t happen to folks on the surface, where under 1 atmosphere of pressure, nitrogen is breathed in and out again, exerting practically no influence on our bodies.  Under pressure, however, the body is absorbing nitrogen at a rate that prevents humans from exhaling it quickly enough.  It starts to build up in all our tissues: bones, organs, all your goodies, but we are especially mindful about the nitrogen build up in our blood.

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Consider a scuba diver’s blood like soda inside an unopened bottle.  If you gradually and slowly twist off the cap of that soda, the bubbles saturated in the soda will slowly escape without making the soda fizz up.  If you open that bottle quickly, the bubbles will all try to escape at once….causing the soda to fizz up and maybe out of the bottle.*  This is what happens when a diver ascends (or removes the added pressure of depth) from their body.  Their blood needs to slowly ditch that accumulated nitrogen, or else it will bubble up and cause some nasty problems.

Mistakes happen, and emergencies arise.  Sometimes, even when a diver does everything right, too much nitrogen will bubble up and cause problems. But luckily there is a way to treat these situations safely.

The USC Chamber, large enough to treat multiple patients comfortably.

The USC Chamber, large enough to treat multiple patients comfortably.

A hyperbaric chamber is literally like a sealed breadbox with medical professionals inside and outside.  A diver (or any person) requiring treatment is placed inside and thus begins their “dry dive”.

A dry dive brings the people inside the chamber to a prescribed depth by increasing pressure in the breadbox (chamber). This forces all the nitrogen in the blood (tissues) to become more compressed and the bubbles smaller. The blood is able to circulate throughout the body normally, supplying the body with delicious and necessary oxygen.  The chamber also pumps in increased oxygen percentages so that people in treatment can absorb more healthy and healing oxygen. Normal respiration functions begin to ditch the extra nitrogen.

Old school chamber, very small and claustrophobia inducing.

Old school chamber, very small and claustrophobia inducing.

Over a period of time,  the chamber tenders very very slowly decrease the pressure exerted on the body.  Because the body is naturally ditching the nitrogen, the slow decreases in pressure (or “surfacing”) does not cause anymore soda fizz bubbles.  After hours of treatment, nitrogen levels get back to normal and hopefully there is no lasting damages. I’ve heard stories of people temporarily paralyzed by DCS recover full function.

You may have some questions:

1) Why don’t you just go on a dive in the ocean and re-compress yourself: it’s cheaper?

Why its bad: You can’t supply yourself with pure oxygen from a scuba tank, and it would be a terrible idea to do so under depth without medical assistance (who do so only for prescribed times and depths to prevent oxygen toxicity).  Also, people may lose consciousness. also, you probably couldn’t do a dive long enough to treat yourself.

2) Is this whole big breadbox just for diving accidents?

No: Lots of things can be treated by the chamber. gangrene, strokes, carbon monoxide poisoning, abcess, anemia, burns, etc. High concentrations of 02 help a lot of things.

3) Have you ever been in a chamber?

Not to be treated, but yes on a tour! It’s really a modern marvel.

Previously I said that southern california was celebrating our chamber last week.  Every year, The hyperbaric chamber in Catalina holds a fundraiser.  Many in our community come together to dive, raffle prizes, and have a fancy “scuba prom” at the Aquarium of the Pacific, in order to help maintain and promote the services offered there. Now that you know how important a well maintained and funded chamber is to us recreational divers, I hope you’ll consider offering your support.

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stay safe! but plan for the worst: get DAN in case you ever need to be treated by a chamber, you’ll be covered.

xmerbabe

 

*this is Henry’s Law, AKA “At a constant temperature, the amount of a given gas that dissolves in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid.”

The Ocean’s Slowest Shark

Trivia time: what is the world’s slowest shark?

 

the world's slowest shark's teeth!

the world’s slowest shark’s teeth!

If you guessed the Greenland shark, you’d be correct! These sharks are about 10 feet (plus) on average, but they only move at the pace of a crawling baby.  Often described as “sluggish”, and very nearly blind, these sharks have been a mystery to scientists for years.

 

They are the only sharks that can survive in the frigid waters of the arctic, which perhaps explains why they swim so slowly (to conserve energy for keeping organs warm enough to function).

nom nom nom. cruising along slowly.

nom nom nom. cruising along slowly.

An excellent ocean mystery about Greenland Sharks is that they have been found with Seal remains in their stomach. Why is this a mystery? Anyone who has seen a seal knows that they swim quite quickly.  How could the world’s slowest shark catch up?

Previously, it was assumed they merely scavenged dead seals, but some seals showed no signs of being consumed by other scavengers prior to the shark (like brittle stars or the like). They were, in other words, freshly dead seals.

sleeping or awake?

sleeping or awake?

A new hypothesis is that the Greenland shark moves so slowly they are actually able to sneak up on sleeping arctic seals, who sleep in the water in order to avoid polar bears.

Amazing: the slowest shark using their lack of speed to their advantage.  Like Andy hitting Dwight with his silent Prius in The (US) Office, this shark is slow and steady and can win the survival race.

How do you evolve your skills for your benefit?

xmerbabe

information learned from:

http://ngm-beta.nationalgeographic.com/archive/greenland-sharks/

Earth Day: Recycling Your Scuba

Happy Earth Day! In honor of our lovely planet, I want to acknowledge the 71%, the amazing blue portion that gives Earth it’s moniker, The Blue Planet.

 

Our Blue Planet

Our Blue Planet

Oceana had a great post about 10 things you can do to help our ocean: I highly recommend you check out their excellent suggestions.  I decided to go into more detail about one of them: properly disposing of your waste so it doesn’t infect our ocean.

Any material that isn’t recycled is waste.  All waste goes to a landfill, which can then infect our soil, and by run off, our water, our planet.  That’s why its so important to properly dispose of your waste.  Things like batteries and light bulbs don’t belong in the trash: they need to be taken to a properly designated area.  Increasingly, places like Vons, Home Depot, or Lowe’s are accepting these products for FREE to recycle for you.

Ditto for plastic bags.

So what about old scuba gear? Where does the scuba gear go when you can no longer use it?

I asked myself this, as I looked upon my two dead dive computers, some old neoprene booties I’ve outgrown, and some varied masks and single fins I’ve collected from shore dives.  What to do with old dive gear? It too can be recycled!

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First, ask around if someone else wants it.  A lot of the time, the easiest way to get rid of your junk is to GIVE it away. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Your lone fin might make a good match for someone else’s lone fin.  Or re appropriate the fin straps. A found mask can be cleaned and a new strap purchased.  Dive gear is meant to be dived! If you’re not using it, let someone else love it.

Next, you find no one else wants it, or it’s unusable.  Ask yourself what kind of material is this? If it’s a dive computer with a battery inside, this is e-waste.  You can dispose of batteries at the same places you would dispose of an old TV, or paint. Whole computers, regulators and gauges can be returned to the manufacturer.  They will often strip it of any usable material, and use it in new products

If it’s something like a wetsuit, there’s plenty of options. Check this link for companies that can up cycle your old neoprene into a door mat, dog dish, or even if it’s good enough shape, find it a new home. But neoprene products can be used as padding or blankets, and if you’re the type of proactive person to sew, you may be able to invent something else.

Scuba tanks: first make sure that your SCUBA tank is actually donezo.  Well maintained tanks can have long lives.  However, if you have determined that you tank is no longer safe and usable, remove all valuable bits, and sell the main steel for scrap. Some people like to be creative with old tanks and make art projects.

a landfill. This is no disappearing act.

a landfill. This is no disappearing act.

It is easy to forget what happens to our waste.  In a first world country, waste is just removed and it seems to disappear: but it doesn’t ever disappear.  It’s important to reduce waste by reuse, and to recycle everything that can have a second life.

happy earth day merfolks!

xmerbabe