People desire time machines for a bevy of different and frequently outlandish reasons: meeting dinosaurs, riding dinosaurs, jousting, dinosaur jousting. Sci-fi stuff, in short.
But when we could all use a time machine is this instance: Coming across some hefty piece of junk left on one of our beaches. Yes, of course we pick it up, with a sigh, and throw it away, but not without muttering "if only the person who left this here could see how it uglies up this lovely stretch of sand."
Of course, using a mega-expensive time machine just to stop someone from littering is probably not a good use of resources. But what is a good use of our time and effort and heart and community is Coastal Cleanup Day, which lands on Saturday, Sept. 21.
There are no time machines, but there are thousands of volunteers gathering plastic bags and soda cans and such along our shores and inner waterways.
And we weren't exaggerating at thousands: Coastal Cleanup Day is called "the biggest volunteer day on the planet." Over 62,000 volunteers collected well over 700,000 pounds of trash over a single day in 2012.
Not even a day, right? But a few daylight hours. That's significant stuff, right there.
You can help break that record by signing on now. Nope, not all 62,000+ volunteers head for Santa Monica or Malibu; there are areas in which to space out in. Every shoreline needs a little love, and some more than others, but the Heal the Bayers will help you find your perfect de-litter spot.
So, nope. No time machine required. All we are saying, though, in the politest voice we can muster, is this: Next time you throw a bag or carton on the beach, just picture someone from the future time-machine-ing back to that very spot in order to scold you.
Do not chance getting scolded by litter-haters from the future, is all we're saying.