Earth Share Series of T-Shirts

May 29, 2009

Planet Protect Sportswear is proud to announce a new series of T-shirts designed with EarthShare Oregon’s goals and values in three eye-catching designs.  The series is on sale now at our web site PlanetProtect.com and be sure to visit www.earthshare-oregon.org  for more info about the 70 environmental charities they serve.  $3.00 from each shirt goes direct to the organization.ES-Group

 EarthShare Oregon executive director Trudy Toliver and Planet Protect founder Jim Beriault decided it was time to create a series of T-shirts representing the values of EarthShare.  The EarthShare series was designed by artist Brian Gurney of Creative Vibe and represents the three areas of action for EarthShare Oregon and its 70 environmental charities: Keeping People Healthy, Reducing Pollutants and to Preserving Resources and Natural Areas.


Butts on the Beach

May 21, 2009

I’ve been to a lot of beaches – across the US, on islands, Japan, and Central America. All them have one interesting commonality – butts, cigarette butts, and a lot of them. Its fascinating (and frustrating), to watch a smoker with little or no thought simply toss their cigarette butt on the beaccigarette 1h, but at the same moment put their sandwich bag and other trash into their cooler and simply walk off.

How did it become such a habit to toss that remaining half-inch of carcinogenic addiction toward the ground? They (smokers) almost all universally do the same thing. I decided to write this blog today because I was at a stop light and just happened to look over toward a patch of gravel and grass and there were hundreds of butts on the ground. Their damn ash tray is anywhere they stop! And that’s when it struck me, the world is the smokers ash tray, they really don’t seem to care who has to clean up after them, how the butts affect the ecology, if animals ingest them by accident or that someone else might be sitting on the sand next to their addiction excrement.

There was this one time on Maui when my wife and I were in Lahaina walking the boardwalk and this woman, smoking up a storm cloud, was next to us watching the sun set.  Just as the sun was going down she exclaims, “my God its so beautiful,” at which point she pulls the cigarette out of her mouth and tosses it to the beach below the boardwalk  and starts snapping photos.  I gave her this perplexed look of, “are you kidding?”  She looked at me like I was invading her space, turned and walked away.  If only Maui had a $500 fine for tossing foreign material onto public beaches.  Hmmm, not a bad idea, perhaps a letter to Maui’s mayor.  I’m at a loss on how to change this absurd and selfish behavior.  Perhaps its time to design a new T-shirt.


Swimming with the Sea Turtles

May 15, 2009

I’ve been going to Hawaii just about every year since I was a boy, and I have a comfort with the ocean, my old friend, one that I think about everyday.  The ocean inspires me, through art, through activism, music and much more.  My children are now old enough to appreciate the power and beauty and equally miss the warm waters when we leave.  As much as I love living in Oregon, the ocean water here is frigid, and unless you wear a wetsuit (of at least 4mm) you are freezing cold, very fast.

A few years back, just as I was starting Planet Protect Sportswear, my wife and I were snorkeling around Black Rock on Maui.  Its not suggested that you swim all the way around the outcropping, the current is strong, but the water deep and clear.  We had no problem swimming with the current, it was on the way back that was a challenge for good swimmers like us.  Adventure is always the lure!

Half way back, we were huffing pretty good, when we took a break.  Treading water and pushing against the current, we were able to conserve some energy and catch our breath, when the water right next to us broke and an enormous shell emerged from the depth.  It was an enormous Green Sea Turtle, coming up to get its breath.  She startled us for a second, but we just remained calm, only about a  foot away, her strong head turned and her eyes bore right into mine.  I’ve never been this close, and its unlawful to swim with turtles and bother them, but here we were enjoying each others company. 

I said hello, as did my wife, I think she called her baby.  For several minutes we floated together in the current, the warmth of the May sun caressed our heads.  The colors of her shell were startling, hues of dark green, browns, flecks of black, a true rainbow of color.TurtleW09MAIN

She drifted below the surface again, and my wife and I donned our masks and watched her drift toward the sea floor rocks, 40 feet below us, once down on the bottom, her natural camouflage hid her well.  My wife and I looked at each other and were touched by this communion.

Shortly there after, I had my good friend Brian design a T-shirt paying tribute to that moment.  Some people wonder why I am so adament about protecting our oceans.  How could I not?  I hope you’ll share your experiences here as well…


Mercury in our Oceans

May 13, 2009

Mercury in our oceans, air and water should be listed as a major threat, yet its only beginning to be known.  As an ocean activist and conservationist, a news story caught my eye – one where the Japanese were seriously thinking of limiting dolphin hunting due to high levels of mercury.  (see the story link below)  Ironic that the best way to stop hunting the intelligent mammals of the ocean is to make them poisonous.

Several environmental groups, including one of our charities – Oceana – is striving to limit mercury output in cement plants and chlorine plants (which are minor players, Coal plants being the worst culprits).  Their legislative and public pressure campaigns are working.  Another campaign is to start getting grocery stores to warn pregnant women about mercury dangers in seafood. 

Of course there are those who once again blame these increases on alarmist attitudes, the mysterious sea-floor, and not on our industrial activities.  There are even bunk web sites like: mercuryfacts.org (sponsored by the national restaurant association), who claim that a little mercury is just fine (patting you on the head while they quote their rationale).  Of course the dramatic rise in autism, neurological disorders in children and hyperactive disorders I’m sure they would say are also naturally occurring (maybe they can blame that on the sea-floor too).  Over the past eight years, 700,000 pounds of mercury were emitted by US Coal plants. 

We live in an interesting age, those who try to warn, those who create official looking websites to protect their corporate interests.  Its becoming increasingly difficult for consumers and the general public to know what to believe.  Science is constantly under attack, scientists with solid research and concerns are mocked, and activists are labeled.  Why would you defend mercury in our food?  Perhaps consumers need to ask more questions about motivations.


Toxic Mixing:Poisoning Our Oceans

May 13, 2009

It struck me the other day, why do we allow manufacturers and companies to dump billions of gallons of toxic waste into our waters? Last year, in my home state of Oregon, I learned about toxic mixing. The practice of dumping highly toxic waste into rivers and streams, allowed by environmental quality departments and not disclosed to the public. In short: companies allowed to legally poison us. Its a shocking and frightening mindset. The rivers surrounding my home are Superfund sites. Now here’s the part that really strikes me, each day I travel to work, I see dozens of fishermen harvesting trout, salmon or whatever is in season or allowed. These fish are living in the very sludge that is allowed to be dumped. This toxic mess is entering our oceans, and slowly by surely we are poisoning ourselves.  When do we finally say enough?  When do we finally take care of our water?


Ocean Acidity: The First Symptom of CO2 Excess

May 8, 2009

Its reported, its ignored. This seems to be the mindset of politicians, leaders, and of course companies involved in oil and coal. While the debate and analysis of climate rages on between the Science Community, University Researchers, Climatologists and those who think this is a liberal conspiracy at ending the reign of SUV’s. 

I’m perplexed by the complete dismissal of the first and probably most important symptom of dumping billions of tons of CO2 into our atmosphere – ocean acidification. Ask anyone where they think all this excess gas goes, and trees and plants will be the first answer. After the trees and plants have their fill, then where? You’ll get a blank stare.

Into the oceans.

I’m sure I’ll be labeled an “alarmist,” since this the new buzz label for the Right. So yes, I am alarmed when I read research about the levels of acidity increasing in our oceans, yes, I’m alarmed when I read research about what affect this will have on coral reefs, calcification of marine organisms, biological affects on marine mammals and ultimately our own health and dependence on our oceans.

For those interested check out the 2004 report (yes, five years old) submitted by the Royal Society, along with their dire concerns.  I have the link below.  Or simply search under Ocean Acidification.

Interestingly, the opponents are few and far between, some claim welling up of CO2 from the sea-floor, but just like the debates on climate change, they are blanket statements without any valid research.


Is Plastic Harmless T-Shirt Now on Sale

May 7, 2009

Our latest shirt features the reasons to be concerned about Plastic Pollution in our oceans.  The features stats such as 3 milion tons of plastic now swirl in the Pacific Ocean, million of marine animals are harmed or killed each year due to plastic ingestion.  Startling facts, and we developed the shirt to bring home the message in a strong way.  We will donate $3.00 for each shirt sold to Algalita Marine Research Foundation.

New shirt featuring stats on Plastic Pollution affecting our oceans

New shirt featuring stats on Plastic Pollution affecting our oceans