GarbageScows.com

Exped LLC is a small company and we all happen to be paddlers with a passion for adventure. It saddens us to see trash in the waters and on the beaches where we paddle - whether that's far from home on a remote beach or on our home stretch of water. The stuff is everywhere! It's ugly, dangerous to life, and it needs to be removed. That's what GarbageScows.com is all about - removing the trash we see from the waters we love.

It's quite simple and our little tagline says it all:

Take only trash, leave only swirls.

When we paddle, we pick up trash in our human powered craft and we invite you to do the same. Spread the word and let's turn our kayaks and canoes into Garbage Scows!

See you on the water.

The team at Exped LLC
Seattle, WA


11 February 2013

A different stretch of the Sammamish Slough



















The Exped crew paddled a stretch of the Sammamish Slough this past weekend and we found a few
things that didn't belong.

On the positive side, we saw quite a few birds along the way - mergansers and eagles among them. It was a classic NW winter day - 41 degrees and the air full of moisture. Penetrating cold, really. But good friends and paddle strokes kept us warm.

07 February 2013

Tsunami debris washes up on Alaska's shores


















The lingering heartbreak of the tsunami in Japan. Now the junk...

Click on the above image for the story on NPR.

06 February 2013

Sammamish Slough evening haul (and paddle)



















A dusk paddle this time of the year requires a dark take-out. High water allowed me to get into sections of the riverbank that I've not been able reach recently. Don't like to see those containers of motor oil.

30 March 2012

Sammamish Slough paddle after work...in the rain



It's been a very rainy month in the Seattle area and last night the river was high. This dislodges garbage from the vegetation along the sides of the river and makes it easier to collect. Many of the 28 tennis balls I collected were floating in the current.

I saw a river otter and a beaver, both up close, but the heavy rain seemed to be keeping most of the other regulars under cover.

26 March 2012

Blake Island campsite work with WWTA










To celebrate the return of spring, we joined up with the Washington Water Trails Association and headed to Blake Island for some campsite restoration and trash pick-up. On the northwest corner of the island is a WWTA campsite that is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail and a fun get-away that is surrounded by communities on all sides. It's a gem of a place but it sees a lot of visits during the warmer seasons and during the winter trash builds up. We paddled across to Blake from the town of Manchester to the west. A cool breeze blew all day but the sun made an afternoon appearance.

We planted a lot of beach grass near the campsites and it was a great reminder of how much can be achieved by even a few committed volunteers.

Onward to more spring weather!

16 March 2012

Wintertime on Hood Canal





We're always finding both abundant life and the trash that threatens it. Now if we can just teach the famous dragon of Hood Canal to eat trash we might make some headway against the plastic swarm!


09 March 2012

Indignation




A number of years ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Big Island of Hawaii for the first time. After a week or so of adventure in the sun everyone but my 6-year-old son and I headed home. The two of us had a couple of days to hang out together and we got a chance to go to the southern tip of the island and gaze out to the watery horizon of the Pacific. It was wonderful in almost every way. The one sobering and sad thing about that day was the plastic trash littering the rocky coast.

The questions my son asked about the piles of trash, and the answers I gave, still sort of haunt me to this day. The only answer I could give him was, at its root, an admission that humans are simply short sighted, slow to understand the impact of our actions and ignorant of the oneness of all life on the planet. Don't get me wrong, I also reminded him (and myself) that humans are also wonderful (like all other forms of life). But when I think of our visit to that spot the memory is mixed and mixed up.

Maybe that's what is necessary for change to take place.

Kaj

03 January 2012

Plastic Pollution Coalition






Here's a group that looks like they are making a difference. Awareness of the problem is the first step...but just the first.

30 November 2011

Dead whale: the ugly truth about the junk in our water





Please read this article (as difficult as it will be) and do your part to fight the plastic pileup!

A wake-up call indeed.

19 September 2011

Talk about removing stuff from waterways....(!)

Always something new to remove from my local river...



Went for an hour-long paddle in my local river last night and pulled this floating gem from among the reeds on the shore. It won't be long now and the fall rains will be falling and the river will be flooding. I'm sure there are many more unique chunks of human refuse waiting to be washed downstream. We'll be there to report back...

28 July 2011

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent



Finding (and removing) trash from our favorite waterways can get us down sometimes, so it's nice to pass along positive news. While shopping for laundry detergent the other day we came across this great idea for reducing plastic in packaging. The outer bottle is recyclable/compostable fiber board with a much lighter weight plastic liner. They claim 66% reduction in plastic. Seems like a good idea...

12 July 2011

Kiket and Flagstaff Islands: accumulated trash





Just inside Deception Pass in Washington State you will find Kiket and Flagstaff islands, the state's newest park. Here's a newspaper article about the transfer of ownership, etc. We dropped by Flagstaff's south facing beach to pull some garbage off this new park's front porch (so to speak). It's a beautiful place and deserves to be kept clean of human trash.

16 June 2011

Lawn chairs and Crawdads on the Sammamish Slough





A late afternoon paddle on the slough was just what I needed last night - quiet, calm, relaxing. Along the way I pulled some plastic bottles out of the river and, at one point, a lawn chair. The river has been running pretty high and fast in recent weeks with our rainy weather, but it's slowing down a bit now. All that high water flushed out some junk that has obviously been in the water for a while.

When I pulled the boat out of the water and started unloading the trash this crayfish appeared on the blade of my paddle. He was not happy and his body language made that very clear as I carried him back to the river.


17 May 2011

Other trash warriors out there...




The Duwamish River, which empties into downtown Seattle's Elliott Bay, is a terribly polluted river. Whenever we paddle there, our canoe loads of trash seem almost futile, but if we all do our part we can make a difference. Here's a guy who believes!

19 April 2011

Duwamish River in the news

Article in the Seattle Times about the polluted state of the Duwamish River in Seattle.

04 April 2011

Another Sammamish Slough paddle, another TV set




Western Washington has seen some heavy rains and elevated freezing levels in the past few days. This has melted a lot of snow in the mountains and flooding has occurred on several local rivers. On my home stretch of the Sammamish Slough the high water cut loose a fair bit of trash, which I was able to pluck from river with relative ease. But tucked away in the brush on the bank of the river was one piece of trash I didn't have room for in the solo boat. As I mention in the above video, I'll head over with the car and pull it out that way. I would really like to meet the person who dumped that thing there...

On a brighter note, it felt good to be on the water. Saw a bunch of birds and a muskrat and got away for a little alone time and a good workout. Such is the magic of the little red canoe.

Spring has sprung and that means more paddling!