Successes for Oohla, Rita, and Sarah

Truffula trees swaying in the breeze at Universal Orlando, FL

I’ve been keeping tabs on a number of topics covered in previous posts here at WaterNotes that I wanted to update:

Rita, one of the celebrity manatees released so far this year, continues to make progress out in the wild. Her satellite tracks show a steady movement around the immediate area near her release point and into larger habitat zones such as Lake Monroe, just outside of Sanford, FL. The Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership also continues to update the status of other released manatees.

Oohla, my intriguingly designed squid, continues to cavort about the interactive pages of the Colossal Squid Exhibition. He’s 85 days old, 25 kilos, and has traveled an estimated 410 kilometers since he hatched. Recently he had a fight with an elephant seal. I don’t know how he survived because southern elephant seals are massive creatures. Males easily reach 20 feet in length and can weigh upwards of 11,000 pounds.

Last week I declared independence from Diet Coke and I’m happy to report that I’ve continued down that path. (It’s almost been a month!) I also started using tumblers for my Starbucks treats and began cutting down on the sugar in my life. I’m not sure if there’s a direct link between sugar and the ocean, but I figure it can’t hurt. So far I think I’ve kept up to 26 two-liter bottles out of the landfill. (And easily 16 aluminum cans.)

This reminds me of a friendly email debate I engaged in earlier in the week. Does a green lifestyle mean that we become ascetics that give up the things that we most enjoy? Should all Diet Coke drinkers kick the habit for fear of the plastic waste? Should we likewise give up anything in life – even if its pleasurable – if it impacts the oceans?

I don’t entirely agree. We need to shift how we do things, make products, and consume resources to make it healthier for ourselves. I didnt give up seafood wholesale, I just began eating ocean-friendly seafood. I’m not counting out every last element of plastic in my life – I like wearing contacts for instance – but I am making a very conscious effort to limit it. (And if you want great ideas and thoughts on the plastic reduction conundrum, definitely read Beth’s Fake Plastic Fish.)

Being green – or going blue – isn’t about giving up our indulgences and getting back to the Stone Age, its about moving out of the Plastic Age and creating a culture that takes care of its life support system – the planet, and especially, the oceans.