Posted by: dharmabeachbum | November 11, 2012

Plastic stays forever Young, so leave it at the bungalow

Y’all should leave your plastic bottles at your homes, condos or bungalows when going to the beach. While I’m being a jerk, I might also suggest that the Styrofoam and plastic cups stay there as well. Why? Because too many are left behind on our golden shore.

The ocean is Mother Nature’s finest work and it’s awful to see plastic soiling the sand or awash in the waves. It also angers the ol’ beach bum to watch one person after another step right over junk. One in ten people — tops — picks up any trash. So, garbage ends up being ground into the beach or being washed out to sea.

Before I write anything further, I want to make something clear. This isn’t necessarily directed at tourists, especially the last paragraph regarding those who ignore trash as they nearly kick it down the coast. The beach bum (there I go with that nasty habit of referring to myself in third person again) sees many locals repeatedly ignoring plastic shopping bags, cups, bottles and cans during their daily walks or jogging routines.

We all know that plastic takes forever to disintegrate, so it all ends up in the sea’s eternal rinse cycle. One of my musical idols, Neil Young, a longtime champion of the environment, pointed that out while on tour this past summer.

“We’re down on plastic. We’re very down on it. There’s a garbage heap the size of Texas floatin’ around on the Pacific. It’s all plastic bottles,” Young said, while performing at the natural amphitheatre Red Rocks near Morrison, Colorado, on August 6, 2012. He hoisted a metallic drinking vessel, toasted the crowd and added, with all due sarcasm, “We (as a society) try not to think about it. It’s pretty far away.”

Amen, Neil. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

After his remarks, Young performed a song, Walk Like a Giant, in which he addressed his generation. The counterculture came so close to having a huge societal impact — making many changes for the good — and Neil wants to “walk like a giant” in the land to this day. He’s most certainly done his best.

What impact will our generations have? I hope we leave more behind than trash.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse jamming at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado, in August. (From left to right) Frank Sampedro, Billy Talbot and Neil Young. Drummer Ralph Molina was beating the skins behind his bandmates. Click the photo for enlargement. (Photo by Tina Hagerling,



  1. Once again, people really annoy me. I always pick up trash I find on the beach when I’m there. Of course, I don’t make a dent in what is there. I did once have a girl ask me if I was a local when she saw me picking up the crap that someone had left and when I told her yes, she thanked me. I feel as though I need to give back since the ocean gives me so much. I wish everyone felt that way.

  2. Cindy, that’s exactly why I pick up trash. I feel the need to give back to Mother Nature. It’s truly a labor of love. I’m working on a two-part blog on littering that will be published in 8-10 days. I walked up on a real mess two mornings in a row in front of the local large hotel in my ‘hood. Time to call someone out. The first part will be nice; part two won’t be, and I’m aiming it the hotelier.

  3. Good!

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