Hashtag: Do Something

* If you were hoping for a post on books, rock n roll or some other derivative on a usual theme, feel free to move along. This one is all about plastic...

When I started the Big Bear Rescue project (updates on that front next week) it was always meant to be part of a much bigger plan to make the world a better place - or at least as much as one man can with no resources - but my intentions are good! They are always good.

Big Bear Rescue is pretty niche - I get that not everybody is into a) bears, b) t-shirts, c) illustrative art, or indeed any combination of these three things and yeah, it’s tough trying to make a difference when other people also trying to make a difference in the world annoy the unholy shit out you by a) collecting money in the street, b) having begging envelopes delivered en masse through your letterbox, c) generally opening their mouths, preaching the end of the world and umm… hundreds of other things that can prevent any one of us from helping out an otherwise good cause. 

I am not above this mental tarring and feathering of such people - in fact I am probably worse than most, but let me rewind a little and start at the beginning.

My original plan went like this. Every year, I would try to: 

1. Do something for the human race.

2. Do something good for the planet.

It couldn’t get any more simple and yet all I have proactively wrapped my head around in almost two years is rescuing bears - and you wouldn’t believe how hard that is to keep afloat behind the scenes!

My original plan was to devote a project to the oceans influenced by this hammerhead shark I adopted, but there are so many organisations, so many voices all saying the same thing about the oceans, that to introduce yet another into the equation without first knowing what the hell I was up against was pointless (and how sad is it that I feel the need to use the phrase “what the hell I was up against” when talking about doing something good).

This ocean-based idea is not dead. Not by any stretch, but oceans aside, Big Bear Rescue has seen me grow some thicker skin for the projects ahead and that's a good thing. You would have thought with my editing a tattoo magazine, that my skin was rhinocerosous-like already huh... 

Anyway, what I want to point a finger at today, is this:


Who are they and what do they do? Well, their tagline is this: 

Plastic is a substance the earth cannot digest.

and their basic mission statement is this: 

Plastic Pollution Coalition is a growing global alliance of organisations, businesses, and thought leaders working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact on humans, animals, and the environment. 

Why not wander through the site and marvel at the contribution even using a simple straw adds to the decline of this ball of dirt we live on. I have been through it a dozen times and it still makes me sad that I can’t see a way of making a dent in the right direction… but I can fucking try, right?

I’ve started at the beginning My publishing company, Bad Hare - small as it may be, but therefore also nimble - is already 100% friendly to the planet from the ground up. Packages bought from me arrive through your letterbox wrapped in Kraft paper – a natural bio-material; unbleached, biodegradable, recyclable and the product of renewable and actively renewed resources. You can find out more about that here if you wish. I even sourced tape that was zero impact… and if you decide to burn my books after reading, they probably combust to nothing at all with a readiness that’s frightening.

This kind of thing is always best addressed at home first - people in glass houses and all that. But the more I look, the more 'home' appears to include my daughter's future college, the tattooing world I'm involved in... it echoes all around and it's going to take some time but you know what... in for a penny. 

I'm not sure how long I have left on the ball of dirt - quite a while with a bit of luck - but I have seen things like this first hand recently:


...and it's not funny at all.

It would be easier and much less time consuming to throw on the shirt that says "fuck it, it was like this when I found it" but sometimes, you just get to a point at which you can't walk away anymore...

* Here’s a scary fact for us guitar-slingers: 1.5 million pounds (in weight) of used strings from guitars and other instruments are sent to landfills every year — enough to recreate the Statue of Liberty two and a half times. In four years, that’s enough waste material in strings to build 10 statues. That, my friends, is just fucking dumb. Why isn’t there simply a bin in every guitar store where we could drop our dead strings?

But there is this which is very cool, so that's a start.