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The words I try to live by. Read more thoughts and ideas related to photography, camping and nature conservation. You can also find occasional news and art show schedules.

Happy to say that I will officially be at the Utah Art Festival in Salt Lake City, June 21-24. I attend this popular festival from time to time, the last being two years ago. I wish I could be there every year but then again, skipping a year gives me a chance to concentrate on collecting new images for the show. Hope to see you there.

I'm grateful for being able to see and experience all the amazing places that nature has presented to me. I have always enjoyed and shared her grandeur through my stories and my photography. I've also become determined in returning the favor by cleaning up trash as I hike through the trails. More recently though, I have been shifting my life towards trying to live with a smaller carbon footprint. Be less wasteful. Use less energy. Be less of a consumer. The biggest shift may be to use less plastic. Using disposable plastics has become such a huge part our daily lives that we don't even think twice anymore. The majority of plastics don't even get recycled. Most end up in a landfill and way too much get into the oceans. Life comes from the ocean and yet, we treat her like a toilet. As smart as we humans are, we sometimes don't act it. We choose some convenience for ourselves over a little tediousness for the world. Often times it takes losing something for us to realize how important it was. But in the case of the Earth, losing her would be too late. But you know what, she'll bounce back and survive. Humans, on the other hand, we will not.

Today I would like to share the results of a personal project of mine. The idea was to find out how much plastic goes through my hands during a span of a month. For a while now, I have been consciously trying to limit my use of plastics. I would use my own mug or utensils and would decline bags, drink lids, take-out utensils and especially straws. I HATE straws. I won't lie, it is shocking how much I have accumulated during the 30 days.

Here is my collection break down:

  • 2 kitchen misc.

  • 2 small plastic tie

  • 3 toiletry tube

  • 3 shipping packaging

  • 4 un-reusable shopping bags

  • 4 cup lids

  • 5 straws

  • 6 household jugs

  • 6 dry foods packaging

  • 7 zip-top bags

  • 8 household misc.

  • 8 water/drink bottles

  • 8 food containers

  • 8 plastic wrap sheets

  • 9 containers

  • 9 container lids

  • 9 spoon/fork

  • 10 cups

  • 13 food packaging

  • 50+ snack packaging

Instead of relying on plastics to go through the recycling process, why not just decline them? Decline the straw in your water. Decline the cheap plastic utensils you won't use. Decline the lid on your Starbucks.

70% of all plastics end up in a landfill and ONLY 10% gets recycled.

Let that sink in.

I can't say that I'm a role model when it comes to volunteering or humanitarian efforts but I have tried to make a difference in the lives of others. Some of them being friends and family. Others, people I have never met. For the past several years, I have been able to make a contribution, as little as it may be, to an organization called Get Up 8. They are a group of volunteers who have dedicated a lot of their time and energy to helping those in need get up onto their feet after falling on hard times. The next fundraising event will take place this coming weekend, Sept. 30, 2017 at Dave & Busters in Orange, CA. I have donated a small canvas of my "Blossoms of the Almond Field". Come check out the event and support the cause.

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