Pictures at an Aquarium (or Why I Went Plastic-Free)

Last week during spring break, my daughters, a friend and I headed down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. My journey to plastic-free living, followed by zero-waste living (basically the same thing) began with my concern over the plastic pollution choking our oceans and its inhabitants. I decided I had to get plastic out of my life. It was easier than I think most people realize.

Sadly, my camera began to act possessed the day we hit the aquarium, but between my daughter MK and me, we managed to take some good shots. I hope you like jellyfish…

Chris Jordan Gyre 2009
Chris Jordan Gyre 2009

One section of the aquarium focuses on the plastic pollution problem in the oceans, with artwork made from plastic trash. Artist Chris Jordan created the above Gyre. The plaque on the right to it reads:

If you look closely at this photo collage, you’ll find toothbrushes, buttons, combs and other plastic items. Inspired by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and Hokusai’s woodcut The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Jordan’s image uses 2.4 million pieces of plastic—the number of pounds of plastic estimated to enter the world’s oceans every hour.

big tank 1
Deep sea tank
Brittle star
Brittle star
Mr. Krabs
Mr. Krabs
Skate fish
Skate fish
Blackeye goby
Blackeye goby
Lookdown fish
Lookdown fish
jellyfish 1
jellyfish 2
Jellyfish underside
jellyfish 5
More jellyfish
disco jellyfish
Disco light jellyfish

jellyfish 8

jellyfish 4

I really like jellyfish...
I really like jellyfish…
MK and the jellies
MK and the jellies
jellyfish 6
Yet more jellyfish
Tiny jellyfish
Tiny jellyfish

Beth Terry book

At the gift shop, we spied Beth Terry’s book. We have this at home and love both it and Beth’s blog. MK has a blurb in there on how to make almond milk.

We didn’t buy anything at the gift shop. If you want to help the oceans, consume less stuff and when you do buy, buy second hand. We stumbled upon thrift shop heaven just up the street from the aquarium.

thrift shop heaven second hand kitchenwares

Clothes were 75 percent off! My daughters and their friend bought about 15 items—t-shirts; shorts; hoodies; silk (!) pants; a few decks of playing cards, including one dating to World War II—and spent less than $15 combined. After playing some scales on a $250 piano, I felt physically ill about how much I paid for my new piano in 2000. Oh well, I was more of a consumer back then. I consume much less today, spend less and am so much happier.

I’ll leave you with a short video of Monterey Bay.

7 Replies to “Pictures at an Aquarium (or Why I Went Plastic-Free)”

  1. Great pics and such a beautiful part of the world (I studied in California many years ago). I recently read that if we do nothing there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 🙁

    1. Thanks Kathryn. The weather here is incredible and California is so beautiful. Where were you in CA? I saw that stat too. The problem is mind-boggling and I think most people are still unaware of the magnitude of it.

  2. Those jellyfish…all I think is Nemo! People spend a lot of time cleaning zoos and aquariums, making the, presentable to the public. I sure wish everyone took the same effort for the natural world, as that is the one that needs our attention the most.

    1. I’m glad I wasn’t swimming with the jellyfish, Nadine! I agree with you about making this all presentable for the public. As I was walking around, I thought to myself we all need to actually get outside in nature, and see the ocean up close and gain a better appreciation for it. It needs our help.

      1. Yes! Especially our kids need time with nature. I frequently mention in my posts, as my teacher self, that we need to keep getting kids interacting with nature, because they are much more likely to care for something that they have a real life connection with.

  3. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post. Love your blog!!

    1. Thanks for reading it Jan 🙂

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