Tuesday August 13, 2013 | 08:09 AM
Posted by Harold Johnson

Over the weekend we went to a birthday party at our friends’ house. It was beautiful -- a real, old-fashioned lawn party. Checkered tablecloths, candle-lined paths, flowers in vases, sweet summer air, laughing with friends.

We had a great night!

And our friend who put it together did so without using throwaway plastic. The tablecloths - real cloth. Drinks came in mason jars, plates were ceramic, the cutlery steel.

At the end of the night, the only garbage came from a few food scraps. No half-dozen bags heaving with plastic plates and forks and cups to be dragged to the curb.

Nowadays it’s so easy and common to go the throwaway route. Marketers have told us that we’re “focusing on what matters” by buying into their single-use lifestyle. That we’re saving money & effort.

And maybe sometimes they’re right.

But there’s really something to be said for taking that extra step & making that extra effort. When you can. It makes a get-together truly special. And it is so nice knowing that no discarded remnant will escape a trash bag & swirl in the ocean for generations to come.

Thank you, friends, for the invite & the company & the laughs & the memorable evening!

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About the Author

Visiting a Maine beach in March 2010, Harold Johnson was shocked by the ocean-borne debris left by recent storms. He grabbed a garbage bag and a camera, and hasn’t looked back.

Since then he has spent most of his free time studying marine pollution, coastal ecosystems, and the mysteries and science of ocean and shore.

Copyeditor and writer by trade, historian and archaeologist at heart, Johnson’s philosophy is simple: Dig below the surface, travel the currents, make the connections, learn. Then share what you learn. He lives in Saco with his wife and young daughter. Follow on Twitter @FlotsamDiaries.

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