Gulf Seafood Deformities {Sea of Change :: update}

May 2, 2012

 Originally posted June 10, 2010

photo via


The Plastiki’s Quest, and Questioning Plastic.

Remember how pensive I was after watching Fake Plastic Fish’s video? And again after The Story of Stuff? Well, I’m not just pensive anymore, it goes beyond that.

When I allow myself to sit and think about it all, I feel mentally paralyzed by the daunting task ahead. And its not because I don’t think its possible, its that I am discouraged by the apathy that I see all around me, even in my own home. Yes, we carry reusable bags, we reuse & re-purpose, we shop in bulk and we support our local CSA. But like David said in the video – its good, but its not enough to think on such a small scale anymore. And definitely not in light of recent events. It is overwhelmingly clear that indeed, a Sea of Change must occur.

But to be honest, I’ve been having a really hard time talking to the kids about the BP oil “spill”. I don’t know how to approach them about it without scaring the living daylights out of them! I haven’t figured out how to do it in alignment with my philosophies. What I want is to inform and educate them in a way that makes them feel empowered to take action. The problem is that as of right now, I don’t feel like there is anything I can do, so how can I make them feel that?

I want to encourage and nurture their natural tendency for optimism and activism. I do want them to hold on to the idea that even the smallest, youngest, and quietest voices can be heard. I want them to believe in the Butterfly Effect, that a small change can have a large impact on the whole. And I want them to know that doing something is always better than doing nothing at all. So I did what any mother would do – I made a big stink about them getting letters from the White House. But all the while, I was secretly glad that they were naive enough to think that the President actually read their letters and wrote back to them! Believe me, I recognize how pessimistic that sounds. But the more I learn, the less empowered I actually feel! And herein lies my dilemma.

I watch the news and my heart feels so heavy. I feel useless and hopeless. I don’t know what I can personally do to make a difference, but I do know that watching and waiting and doing nothing is not the answer. Maybe this calls for ideas that are not in alignment with Sofia’s Ideas on simplicity or frugality? Maybe having an eco-mentality in this situation means complex and costly convictions? Maybe instead of simplicity, this is a situation that actually calls for me to embrace the extremist parts of my personality?

I’m spinning in circles. I’m torn between my natural tendencies to jump in with all I’ve got, and my current journey and struggle towards a simpler life. But how can any of us be at peace when we know that we each have a personal responsibility in this? How can any of us be content knowing that this Sea of Change begins with us?

How have you discussed this with your family? Do you believe that “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”? What can we do?


Update :: Gulf seafood deformities alarm scientists

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }


This is such a sobering thing. The sad part is that we all get in our own “groove” of things and think we’re doing our part until we look at the big picture. I wish I had a good solution, but the only one I have is to not give up and keep continuing to do your part and hopefully other people will notice and join in.



I think the problem for many is that the big picture is SOOO big that they give up because they don’t see how the small steps will help. But any bit helps, and those steps have to work for that person. But together, changes can be made.


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