Precious Plastic, Untangling the Ocean, and The 90s Fashion Resurgence
Stories Dawn Garcia
- Precious Plastic turns thrash into treasure. Read
- Throwing shade on fishing nets. Read
- Our editor-in-chief’s hottest hits of the month. Read
- Old-school parties become new again. Read
- Tampa International Airport names first bike-friendly airport in the U.S. Read
Turn your cup into a keepsake.
Single-use plastics come with a steep environmental price. Researchers at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Eckerd College last year found over four billion plankton-sized particles of plastic floating around the waters of Tampa Bay. These small pieces can’t always be detected by the human eye, but marine life confuse them with food.
A zero-waste lifestyle is a lofty and utopian goal. Cost and convenience often stand in the way. Take, for example, the launch party for this very magazine, held on January 31 at Hyde House Tampa, a stunning new workspace in the heart of Hyde Park Village. Events can produce a ton of excess waste if there’s no reduce-reuse-recycle blueprint in place. So, Sensi partnered with the Florida chapter of a global sustainability initiative to create such a plan—a precious plan, in fact, to turn plastic cup waste into Precious Plastic.
Precious Plastic designs and develops machines to recycle plastic in various ways to create various things—from small trinkets to furniture. When there are new or updated machines are ready, the company tells the world how to make them. And they do it for free, open-source style—creating a scalable system for recycling plastic all over the globe.
“We believe knowledge should be free—an asset for humanity that shouldn’t have a price,” the Precious Plastic website reads under an “Open Source, Obviously” heading—a manifesto of sorts that explains how and why the Precious Plastic gang opted to share all outcomes of its research and development online. They do so “for the people. For the planet.”
And for Sensi’s party, the Florida star in the Precious Plastics Universe Garrett Cadou shredded down, melted up, and molded together upcycled mementos from the drink cups on site and answered questions about the whole process. Find out where he’ll be next on his Facebook page, fb.com/preciousplasticfl, and learn about the whole open-source project at preciousplastic.com.
We continue to treat fragile ocean environments like a trash heap. Case in point, an estimated 640,000 tons of discarded fishing nets and gear clog up the seas. Florida brand Costa del Mar found a smart solution to this mess: make its sunglasses for sport anglers and ocean lovers out of at least some of that plastic trash. Costa’s Untangle Our Oceans program takes discarded fishing nets from commercial operations in Chile, turns them into plastic pellets, and then uses that material to build sunglass frames. There’s no sacrifice in quality. The resulting material, which is available in five styles, is durable and the polarized glass lenses cut glare on the water.
Party Like It’s 1999
Old school becomes new again.
With the nostalgia of the ’90s revival including the comeback of scrunchies, old school hip-hop parties, cartoon reboots, grunge fashion, army pants, vinyl records, and the Friends craze ever present, why not celebrate like it’s Y2K?
The ’90s were the era when grunge was born; punk rock got a resurgence; indie music fests took off; personal style was nonconformist; music was insanely good, angsty, dance-worthy, and impactful (Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Tupac, N.W.A., Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees, Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple, and so many more); and the teens and twentysomethings finally felt like their voices were being heard.
By Stephanie Wilson, Editor in Chief
1. Primary Focus
A New Hampshire law requires the Granite State to be the first presidential primary in the nation. This election cycle, that goes down on February 11, after which my home state becomes irrelevant for another four years.
2. Leap of Faith
While the calendar year is 365 days, it takes the Earth 365.24 days to orbit the sun. Every four years, we add an extra day to the month of February because without it, the calendar would be misaligned with the seasons by 25 days after just 100 years.
3. Born This Way
The odds of being a “leapling”—a person born on a leap day—is 1 in 1,461.
4. Right On
On February 29, some places celebrate Bachelor’s Day or Sadie Hawkins Day—both a nod to the old Irish tradition that gave women the right to propose marriage to a man on leap day. If he declined, he was required by law to pay a penalty, often in the form of gloves so she could hide the shame of her bare ring finger.
5. Modern Love
Since we’re not all Irish, but we are all feminists (because we all believe in the equality of the sexes, of course), any of us can propose to whomever our heart desires whenever we want. Except Valentine’s Day. There’s no law prohibiting it but, sweetie, pay-as-you-go forced romance is anything but romantic.
6. PETA Violation
The origins of the canned-love holiday are as cruel as a red rose delivery in February is clichéd. According to NPR, V-day traces back to the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a brutal fete during which naked men sacrificed dogs and goats—and whipped women with the animal hides. Stop, in the name of love.
Two Wheels Up to TPA
Tampa International Airport earned its wings—we mean wheels—when League of American Bicyclists named it the first bike-friendly airport in the US, recognizing TPA’s support of cycling in the region. The airport is building a bicycle and pedestrian trail that loops around the new SkyCenter and the cell phone waiting lot, eventually connecting to a regional trail network and installing new bike racks and a bike repair fix-it station at the rental car center. Plus, the new airport office building will have all sorts of amenities for employees who want to bike to work, including covered parking for the two-wheelers.