Art X Trash X Manufacturers

Let’s start with a quote from Annie Leonard, CEO of GreenPeace and Creator of Story of Stuff;

“For decades, the producers of disposable packaging and products have tried to say it’s our fault that their toxic throwaway junk litters our landscapes, fouls our waters, and kills fish and wildlife. Their most ingenious and insidious effort was the iconic “Crying Indian” ad, which showed a supposedly Native American man (actually, an Italian-American actor) paddling a canoe through a trash-strewn river. As he walks along the shore, a passenger in a passing car throws a bag of trash out the window. A single tear rolls down his cheek as the narrator intones: “People start pollution. People can stop it.”

The ad first aired in 1971 and had a huge impact on a generation awakening to the environmental crisis. We watched it over and over, shared the faux-Indian’s grief, and vowed to make changes in our individual lives to stop pollution. That was exactly what the ad’s creators wanted, since the ad was produced by the garbage-makers themselves.

The ad was part of a strategic effort to brand waste as a problem that should be solved not by stricter regulations, but exclusively by getting individuals to feel responsible and focus on changing their day-to-day habits.” – Annie Leonard


Putting the responsibility onto the people instead the corporations manufacturing the waste causes not only environmental harm but lays a huge burden on the people of this Earth. People everywhere struggle with guilt and anger towards themselves and others for our over consumptive culture.

When in reality the manufacturers producing materials that don’t break down in nature need to take responsibility for their waste. The Earth works by building up and breaking down. A tree flowers, fruits, falls and returns nutrients back to the earth as it decomposes into the soil. Huge companies are creating materials that take thousands of years to break down and rapid consumption has caused these materials to pile up in the ocean and landfills.

zero waste system

One way to combat these synthetic materials from over taking your community is to ban them through policy change. An example of a material that needs to be banned is #6 polystyrene, also known as “styrofoam”. It is not recycled in San Luis Obispo county and is filling up the ocean and landfill at an ever increasing rate.

This past weekend we had a Surfrider X ECO SLO beach clean up at Sandspit in Montana de Oro. Tons of volunteers came out and we picked up almost 300 pounds of trash in 3 hours!  Bottle caps, cigarette butts, balloons, bottles and TONS of little pieces of polystyrene.

With the advice from artist and activist Peggy Oki, I am starting a visual petition called ” Own your waste”. A petition to get manufacturers to take responsibility for the waste they create. If I find a piece of trash on the beach that says “skittles” on the wrapper, I think Skittles brand should  Own Their Waste and pay a littering fine.

Here are some pictures from my visual petition attention to the manufacturers who are creating the waste:

Be a part of the “own your waste” visual petition: Take a picture with trash that you pick up on the street, beach, creek, etc and send it to me to add to the visual petition.

I was so astounded by the amount of trash we collected at the clean up I took some of it home with me and created a trash rainbow 🙂 I love revaluing materials and creating something happy out of refuse. The white clouds are completely made from polystyrene pieces. Everything was found on Sandspit , a beach that by first glance seems very clean.


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XOXO Sarah Bellum

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We had a very successful beach clean up at Morro Rock yesterday picking up 94 pounds of trash! Wow!





We wrote our data down to figure out which materials were most prevalent. We found that plastics and cigarette butts won by far. Many of the plastics being #6 which is Polystyrene. A harmful plastic that is NOT recycled in SLO county and is often littered.

Scherner boys beachcleanup



Saxen and Anson found the most trash by weight out of any other volunteer team. Together they collected 52 pounds of trash! Go Saxen and Anson!

violettebailey beachcleanup

jack laugharn beachcleanup

Volunteers of all ages came out and helped pick up trash. Violette and Jack love our Ocean, waves and beaches and keeping them clean!


We sorted all the trash from recycling in effort to send less stuff to our growing landfill.




Click here for Surfrider’s 2014 beach clean up schedule, the third Sundays of every month. Come down next month February 16 at the Pier in Pismo Beach. Fresh coffee and tea will be provided to all volunteers.

Black Fish

Orcas in nature are majestic marine mammals that live upwards of 60-90 years. They are the Apex Predator of the Sea, as an adult, they have no natural predators keep the ecosystem in check. Orcas are in the Order Cetacea and Family Delphinoidea along with dolphins. They have sex for pleasure, love to play, possess self recognition and a long term memory and other mind bending brilliance.

order cetacea

family dolphnThey have a complex social structure and  matrilineal family groups, known as pods, which is what their live centers around. Because females can reach age 90, as many as four generations travel together. Individuals separate for only a few hours at a time, to mate or forage. Sons staying with their mothers until death and females go off and start their own pod. To learn more about these incredible creatures click here. 


Black Fish is a must see documentary about Orca whales held in captivity at Sea World.

A very heavy movie, moving me to tears and keeping me on the edge of my seat. “Seaworld” and the abuse of animals needs to end. Every living creature should be free and live in happiness.

My only critique of the movie is I wish they had put in more scientific background of orcas complex lives in the wild and shown off their intelligence more.

Black Fish trailer

Click here to watch the full movie.

All life stems from the sea. Some creatures evolved and made themselves a new home on land. Then evolving further into Mammals such as humans. Some land mammals evolved even further and went back to the Sea…Marine Mammals.

All marine mammals in the ocean are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of  1972. Which makes it illegal to be within 100 ft of a marine mammal. MMPA prohibits the taking of marine mammals, and enacts a moratorium on the import, export, and sale of any marine mammal, along with any marine mammal part or product within the United States.

Why are we letting this horrible abuse happen?? How can we stop this!?

There are many organizations fighting this such as The Sea Shepard society and The Origami Whales Project.

Here is an incredible video showing off the intelligence of Orcas. 

Captivity/Imprisonment makes any sentient being go INSANE. No living creature should be subjegated to this abuse.

Lets do our part to save these incredible mammals and let them live in peace.


Sarah B

Trash + Love with Aurora Robson

^Tom Deininger ^

Project Vortex is an international collective of artists, designers and architects actively working with plastic debris. They support projects that intercept the plastic waste stream in innovative ways. The work they feature on this site helps support non-profit organizations around the world who are conducting cleanups of our waters and waterways. Project Vortex is raising awareness about plastic pollution while raising money to restrict the flow of plastic to our oceans. Project Vortex is committed to connecting non-profit cleanup organizations with people and collectives who are using plastic debris for their work.

Why Intercept the Plastic Waste Stream?

Approximately 70% of commercially produced plastics sink – so what we are observing in oceanic gyres and washing ashore on our beaches really only represents roughly 30% of what is in our oceans. About 100 million tons of plastic are produced each year and roughly 10% of that ends up in our oceans. Only about 20% of the plastic arriving in our oceans comes from barges and ships that are dumping this material in our waters, the remainder is coming from rivers, shores and our own carelessness in handling of this material. Marine life is ingesting plastic, which is not only harming them, but also means it is entering the food chain. Plastics are produced with toxic additives, many of which are known carcinogens, obesogens, endocrine disruptors, or linked to other birth defects and neurological problems in humans. We all need to handle this economical, lightweight, polluting material with care and that is what the people with work with us are doing and trying to inspire others to do as well.

Bag to Bikini Photo Shoot 2013

Photography: Hayley Marie Photography
Models: Chase Kennedy &  Jackie Vanderveer
Hair: Brooklynn Truderung
Makeup: Hanna Fisher