Green Wishing on the New Jersey Seashore

This past week, my wife and I travelled back east to Stone Harbor, New Jersey. This is truly one of my most favorite places on Earth. The main purpose of the visit was to visit my 99 year-old maternal grandmother, Wilma-ma. We had a glorious trip, spent some great moments on the beach, ate extremely well (fresh-caught flounder cannot be beaten!) and shared some special times with Wilma-ma. I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have been coming here for the past 40 years, and overjoyed to now be sharing it with my wife, Amy.

Across the country, New Jersey...and especially "the Jersey Shore" suffers from some misconceptions and bad press. Some folks may think of the MTV dufuses and others may think of crowded, dirty urban beaches. Southern New Jersey--and Stone Harbor--are so far from these ideas with beautiful, wide, soft-sanded, dune-lined beaches. The borough of Stone Harbor has long been on leading edge of protecting the environment with MANDATORY recycling for the past 20 years and an active fleet of beach combing machines that help ensure that the beaches are clean and (relatively) free of debris and litter.

While the town, and most visitors to S.H. are very conscientious, there are some folks who thoughtlessly leave a trace :( when they head to our precious beaches. So, Amy and I gladly added some green wishing to our walking, running, sand-castle-building and taking regular dips in the "wooder" (Philly and South Jersey accents are a riot!).

For the most part, the beaches were clean. That being said, in the vast amount of space that the SH beaches cover, there were plenty of small green wishes for us to do a whole lot of work. We discovered: sunglasses, straws, plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic water bottles and wrappers, glass (and a few pieces of very cool SEA GLASS), Mylar balloons (sans Falcon Heene), and SO DANG MANY CIGARETTE BUTTS (future posting about cigarette butts coming soon!) Fortunately, Stone Harbor beaches make green wishing easy, with plenty of trash cans and recycling receptacles.

It does bring us pleasure to do our part to help make Stone Harbor--and the world a cleaner, greener place. Out of the hundreds of green wishes that we picked up, I offer these two for public consumption:

1. I sincerely hope that all visitors to Stone Harbor--and all beaches in the US and around the world--recognize that it takes very little effort to keep these beaches free from trash and start GREEN WISHING!

2. I wish that the people in Ames, Iowa recover soon from the recent devastating floods they have faced. This is a wonderful community with very kind, caring people. I would encourage anyone wanting to help to contact the local Lincoln Way Chapter of the American Red Cross to make a donation.


The Green Wish Mission

Our mission is to foster plans, actions and wishes towards a greener, cleaner and healthier Earth!


Thoughts on Water Bottles

Regular visits to my favorite local park (Sloan's Lake) have made me realize many things--like many people don't care about putting their water bottles (labels & lids TOO) in the trash. Well, their carelessness gives me green wishes.

Some thoughts on these dang bottles:
  1. Try to use reusable bottles whenever possible
  2. When purchasing bottles of water like these, make a commitment to RECYCLING them! This may mean taking it home with you (if your park does not have a recycling bin). And that goes DOUBLE for the lids and labels that always seem to avoid finding a home in the trash.

My green wishes for today came from 2 water bottle lids, one water bottle label, 3 straws and some kind of candy wrapper:

  1. The BP well is once and forever capped and sealed.
  2. Recent rain in CO brings happiness to all gardens in the state.
  3. The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan's Lake goes off without a hitch and without too much litter piling up in the park.
  4. Plans for the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market (being held October 2 in North Denver) continue to move forward as a fantastic community event!
  5. Wishes #5 and #6 are given up to others. If you read this....please feel free to take one and make it your own!

Happy Wishing!


Tips for Being a Successful Green Wisher!

As you come to this blog, you may ask yourself: "How the heck do I do this green wishing stuff? Is it as simple as it sounds?" The answers are so very easy!

As you wander, run, roll or stroll down the street, path, or beach just start being aware of the trash that you see. Only now when you see the trash, don't be disgusted or angry that there is some litter messing up your pretty spot--instead see the litter as an opportunity to LOVE your surroundings and to have a wish (any wish) granted for you or the EARTH!

Some basic DOs in Green Wishing:
  • pick up items large and small
  • no amount of trash is too little and well...you can keep picking up until there is no more to pick up!
  • use glove or pet waste bags to pick up any "gross" items
  • always remember to wash your hands after you have gone green wishing
  • recycle whenever possible
  • spread the word about the Green Wish Foundation and why you are picking up trash
  • keep track of what you pick up and let us know!
  • MAKE SURE TO USE YOUR WISHES--remember that you can send them to friends and loved ones!

Some basic DON'Ts in Green Wishing

  • don't pick up dangerous items
  • don't pick up an item unless you know what it is
  • don't worry so much about picking up paper items/tissues that are in the late stages of decomposition

These are just some basics. More fun ways to build green wishing into your life coming soon!

Happy Wishing!


Taking the GREEN WISH Show on the Road to Crested Butte, Colorado

This Fourth of July, I ventured westward in Colorado to some of the most beautiful country in the world. The ultimate destination of the trip was Crested Butte, but along the way (and the return) there were adventures in/at Cottonwood Pass, Taylor Lake and Waterfall Creek Trail outside CB (oh and a quick stop at a thrift store in Selida, CO!). My trusted companion, pathfinder and tent-set-up expert was one Amy B Yetman. She is a whiz on the tent set up as well as tent-site-selection.

Additional members of the Yetman family made the trip as well (Duncan, Cinder, Thelma-Lou and Gus Bergan-Yetman)! A good time was had by all--and that means hiking, cooking out, singing by the campfire and snuggling for sure! AND OF COURSE...there was ample time for Green Wishing--there always is.
It seems that many folks in this part of the country were living by the credo of "Leave No Trace". This is always important, but especially when dealing with such beautiful areas such as the Colorado Wilderness.

The campsites were generally clean (not clean enough to keep Amy and me from each getting a couple of wishes) as were the roads. That being said, wind is sometimes a culprit in going in opposition to the "Leave No Trace" ideal and the pictures on this post show an ice bag (Green Wish as I like to call it!!!) that got away from someone. I also found an OLD beer can with a pull-tab top.
So two simple green wishes for me:

1. That this part of the country continue to be protected and respected by all who live, work and play in it.

2. That others in the world take the time, while recreating (on hikes, rides, etc) to make Green Wishes!

Finally, kudos to all hikers on the Waterfall Creek Trail outside Crested Butte. Both Amy and I (and Gus and Duncan) were SKUNKED in our green wishing! A nearly 3 hour hike and not a single piece of trash. We happily came home empty handed from this one.

1st green wish haiku:
wonderful trip, YES!
will do green wishing here
happy to do it.

Happy Wishing!


Add New Meaning to This Year's INDEPENDENCE DAY!

This July 4th weekend, as you celebrate our nation's forefathers declaring independence from tyranny...why not personally declare independence from the anger, frustration, sadness and disgust you feel from seeing your favorite park or open space being spoiled by TRASH!

Take a few moments during the camping, bbq-ing, boating, recreating and generally celebrating, please try to do your part to help make this YOUR greenest 4th of July ever. Find some trash and pick it up...all 4th of July you will have good luck!

For some of you who are old enough, this video may serve as a reminder of how litter has been a huge problem in our country for far too long....

Happy Green Wishing!


Tuesday Musings on Green Wishing

As my wife and I ran this morning, we happened upon a lot of trash in our neighborhood. It probably was about the average amount of trash for a neighborhood, but far too much for my liking. So I picked up a bunch (6 pieces: 2 booze bottles [one small the other travel size], a water bottle wrapper [there seem to be a lot of those lately], two soda cans [crushed] and a Doritos bag) and figured that what I got was "enough." You have to sometimes allow that what you did was enough.

This morning I will focus my green wishes on one broad goal:
  • I wish that the Green Wish Foundation has a bright and abundant future.
  • (To be specific) I wish that old and young alike join in the idea of taking responsibility for cleaning up a park, beach, street, etc that they care about.
  • I wish that parents and adults use the Green Wish Foundation to help teach children the importance of respecting and cherishing the earth--on a local and global level.
  • I wish that there will be a better recognition by habitual litterers that what they are doing is wrong and spoils other people's wishes.
  • I wish that this effort will grow not only through the world wide web, but also through people WITNESSING green wishes in action.
  • I wish that my parks, my streets, my world will grow greener, cleaner and happier as a result of this specific green wish (oh...and because of some people picking up trash, too!).

Stay tuned...tips on green wishing coming your way soon!