Hey Nerds! It’s about to go down: Phoenix
Comicon Comic Fest, the most massive Comicon Comic Fest in the American West (seriously, SDCC, be cool and give us back our name). I hope you all have a good time, but I’m also hoping you do so in a way that protects the ocean. Now, you might be saying: “Hey, idiot. We’re in the desert. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be harming the ocean in the middle of goddamn downtown Phoenix.”
To quote Troy McClure: “You’ve got some attitude, Mister. And what’s more, you’re wrong! There’s a lot of ways that what you’re doing is harming the ocean, right now! So stop it.
But while at the convention center, let me give you a few tips on what you can do to stay Blue while grokking out with Spock (or whatever the hell it is you kids do these days).
1. Don’t Eat the Fish.
You know that Subway in the Arizona Center? It’s like the only one from the parking garage on your way to venue. And it’s cheap. Lots of you will be eating there. And you’re going to think: “Tuna fish! That’s healthy!” A. It’s not and B. Good God, do you know how bad factory-fished tuna is for the ocean environment? It’s like Thanos snapped his fingers down there. It’s really bad (check out this article I wrote in 2017 if you’ve got the time – and you will while waiting for seats to see Bill Shatner). And when you eat tuna, or buffalo shrimp at Hooter’s, or sushi at Squid Ink… you’re part of the problem.
“OK, Captain Bringdown, so what’s the solution?” Well… have a veggie sub (Subway has both the all vegetable sub or the veggie patty). If you’re going to eat meat, consider getting something chicken-y. Chicken has the 2nd lowest carbon footprint (after vegetables and grain). Ocean acidification is a huge problem for the coral reefs of the world, and is caused by the absorbtion of carbon into the oceans.
There are LOTS of great vegetarian sushi options too, and for all the bacteria transfer that goes on at Comic Fest (ConCrud, anyone?), it wouldn’t hurt you to choke down some vegetables during the Fest to boost your immune system, right? All the Emergen-C in the world can’t top tasty asparagus, cucumber, avocado, etc.
Just don’t eat the fish.
P.S. If you absolutely MUST eat fish, download the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s SEAFOOD WATCH APP. It’ll give you options on what’s better for the marine environment, or show you how bad that ahi or unagi might actually be for the ocean.
2. Unbox Your Stuff at Home
This seems like a no-brainer, but man, have you seen the trash cans at Comic Fest? They are literally overflowing with paper, plastic, and whatever the hell Funko POP!s are made from.
And let’s be clear. The Funko POP! is an environmental calamity. Don’t get me wrong – I own a few (a Sharknado, an Aquaman, a Black Manta, and a Zorn) but it’s past time we paid attention to what these polyvinyl plastic things are doing to the world. They require petroleum, which is a huge problem for the ocean, especially with President “I Hate Sharks” Trump ramming through legislation that will increase offshore oil drilling (oil drilling especially harms marine mammals like whales, dolphins, and porpoises). That Funko POP! that signals to your co-workers that “YES! I ENJOY BOTH SUPERNATURAL AND COUNT CHOCULA!”? Well, what happens when you tire of your fandom? If it goes into the trash, it’s going to take literally hundreds of years to break down. So the least you could do is take the box home and recycle it. Of course, you might be saying “HAHAHAHA I’m never taking it out of the box! It’ll be worth A LOT some day!” Well, OK. The Souls of a Billion Beanie Babies say otherwise.
More importantly, be CHOOSY on what you buy. Ceramics, paper, cloth, all great (and I’m not just saying this because I’m selling tiki mugs, books, and tshirts at Comic Fest – even though I TOTALLY AM), but they break apart or rot when you’re done being the world’s greatest Star WarsTrekGateSearch fan. I’m not saying don’t get the thing you love. Just if you get it, make sure it’s something you really want, and then recycle the box it came in. Don’t just trash it, but you’ll need to schlep it home, because let’s be honest: the Phoenix Convention Center’s recycling options are NOT great. They really should work on this.
3. Stop Sucking!
I can’t stress this enough so I’ll use the worst font known to man to illustrate this point:
SINGLE-USE PLASTIC STRAWS ARE SHIT. STOP USING THEM.
And let’s be real, all single-use plastic is shit. Your bottle of Aquafina. Your plastic fork you’re going to use for 5 minutes to eat chili-cheese fries. That plastic bag you asked for. It harms ocean wildlife. Hell, it harms terrestrial wildlife. It’s going to get into the rivers and down to the Gulf of California, and it might kill a whale, whale shark or sea turtle (warning: this video is hard to watch). It’s all trash, literal and figurative. So what can you do?
No not that. This:
I’ve got my re-usable RTIC cup (great for the booth, but maybe a bottle is better for the floor), my cutlery (you may need to explain this to Comic Fest security), my reusable metal straw, and my cloth bag. Now the only thing I’m gonna waste at Comic Fest is money (you can save money though – show me your reusable bag, bottle/cup, cutlery or straw – I’ll give you $1.00 off anything on my table).
So that’s my advice. If you do these things, you’ll make your Comic Fest experience better, and you’ll be helping out the marine environment in the process.
P.S. – If you stop by my booth, everything I’m selling (except the book of Nerd Poetry) – 100% the profits get donated to shark conservation. Mention this post, and I’ll give you ANOTHER $1.00 off anything you buy (and I’ll take it out of my costs – not the donation!)
* – Stan Lee’s gonna have my arms broke!