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Am I Doomed?

Stay Wild

Looking at the problems and solutions

Story and Doodles by Justin “Scrappers” Morrison // @scrappers

Before I was brainwashed and trained to consume. Before I became a human cash crop feeding a greed-based economic system. Before I became the leading cause of climate change. Two-hundred-fifty-two million years before I made my first mistake, a mass extinction happened. Like most of the five mass extinctions, this one was caused by carbon in the atmosphere. It warmed the planet by five degrees and killed 97 percent of life on Earth. As a typical middle-class consumer, I am adding that same amount of carbon to the atmosphere, and I’m doing it 10 times faster than the last extinction. I’m trying to kill myself.

Why am I doing this? Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m trying to understand as I write these words to you. My lifestyle is killing my planet and ultimately killing you too. This is not a suicide letter, because I’m trying to snap out of this doomed slumber that’s brought me to the edge of extinction. At some point I stopped thinking for myself: I got in line, learned to get intoxicated, allowed fake people on screens to tell me what to want, grew into a lifestyle that ignored the impact each step I took left on Earth, beyond Nature’s bounty and the sort of common sense built into my personal wildness. 

I am trying to break free from this deadly lifestyle. I know I’m not alone. I know you try. I hear you talk about growing kale in your garden, but you still buy frozen pizza from the mega-market. I see the frustration and hypocrisy with ourselves. We are not perfect, but we can make progress. I’ve learned that we hit bottom when we stop digging. Let’s raise our heads up out of this consumption pit we’ve dug and get back to a lifestyle that isn’t suicidal.

Problem/Solution #1

Transportation Emissions

I need to walk, bike, and use mass transit when I travel, or limit my total travel. My fossil fuel-powered transportation lifestyle gives off CO2 emissions, which is the leading cause of global warming, and global warming is the leading cause of extinction. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports 60 percent of CO2 emissions from transportation are from sports utility vehicles like trucks, vans, and other “adventuremobiles.” This is a big pill to swallow, but if I love the environment so much I need to stop driving and flying so much.

30% of the CO2 emissions Killing our Planet are from U.S. Transportation 

(Info Source: EPA, Fast Facts: U.S. Transportation Sector GHG Emissions. 5 pp, 407 K, EPA-420-F-18-013, July 2018)

Problem/Solution #2

Dirty Electricity

I need to stop using dirty electricity. About 30 percent of CO2 emissions come from generating electric power mostly used at home. Hawai’i primarily burns diesel fuel to generate electric power, and most other states burn coal, “natural” gas, and nuclear nonsense. So even if I drive a 100 percent electric car across Texas, if I’m charging my phone at a gas station while hiking the Appalachian Trail, if I’m toasting a bagel in Wyoming...I’m still killing the planet with dirty electricity. 

So how do I stop? Some baby steps would be to turn the lights off when I’m not using them, entertain myself with a book rather than a screen, dress (or undress) for the temperature while inside rather than using the heater or air conditioner, turn the water heater temperature down, and so on... A bigger step would be insisting on paying more for renewable solar and wind energy. 

What’s an even bigger step? Take a few steps backwards, evolutionarily. I don’t mean go full caveman, but maybe I could sleep when it’s dark and do my work when it’s light. My work could be more about chopping firewood and recharging the electric batteries with a stationary bike generator… Rather than my work hours being spent standing in the social media tarpit like a bored animal waiting for extinction.  

(Source: EPA, Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 1990-2017.)

Problem/Solution #3

Make Love, Not Babies!

Right now, our planet’s human population is over 7.3 billion. According to United Nations predictions, we could reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, and over 11 billion by 2100. Scientists think our planet can only support 9-10 billion people. So what happens when we go over that number?

It sounds like wild apocalyptic science fiction, but the future I had is not here for my 10-year-old son. When he’s my age, the Earth’s human population will run out of natural resources. I’m talking about starvation, death by pollution, death by war, and very real enslavery to commercial agriculture. He will inherit our truly trashed planet and have to fight in real wars, killing or being killed by armed slaves to secure agricultural land and clean water for the big businesses that keep these slaves fed and protected. Thirty years from now, babies will grow to be slaves to a greed-based economic system. Heck, has it already happened? Is it happening to me? I am pretty “brand-loyal.”

You might be thinking, “But what if enlightened people like me stop making babies, but every other cash-crop human zombie keeps getting preg-o-rante?” Welp, if you’re so enlightened, maybe get over yourself and adopt a baby instead of adding to the population problem. Or, at the very least, try to practice safe sex, limiting human footprints on our planet as it runs down the road, puttering on gas fumes, right off the cliff of extinction.

(Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects, 2015 esa.un.org)

Problem/Solution #4

Look at the Real Price Tag

I’m such a brainwashed consumer zombie that I don’t even look at the price tag of most things I buy, and I totally don’t look at the ecological price. If I was brave enough to look at the true price tag, I’d see the amount of trash, deforestation, water pollution, or fossil fuels burned to move the things I buy.

I need to look at the waste I’ve created with each purchase. The third-largest contributor to CO2 emissions, following the United States and China, is food waste that adds up to 3.3 billion tons of CO2 a year. This much goes into making and moving food that becomes trash! New Rule: I can’t leave the table until my plate is clean, or even better, I’m going to put less on the table. 

I need to avoid single-use packaging by reusing containers. That means going to the store with more than a canvas bag. I need to bring reusable bags for bulk oatmeal and beans, reusable bottles for soap and peanut butter refills, and containers and utensils for lunch from the hot bar (I’m looking at you, vegan mac and cheese).

I need to look at where things come from. For example, the palm oil in my cookies, candy, toothpaste, and snacks comes from commercial agriculture operations that are deforesting the Amazon rainforest. That means I’m personally responsible for the extinction of animals and people. I’m only looking at the flavor options on the label. I need to look at the deeper realities of what I buy.

(Food Waste Fact Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,

Food Wastage Footprint on Natural Resources summary.

Palm Oil Fact Source, Rain Forest Action Network, ran.org)

Change, or Die!

I need to rethink my lifestyle. Most “things” I do cause pollution: traveling, shopping, eating, making love, and even chilling out watching TV. So here are some lifestyle changes I’m going to practice more:

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A Floating Revolution

Stay Wild

Portland’s wettest protest party

Story by Justin “Scrappers” Morrison
Photos courtesy of Human Access Project

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There is a revolution floating through Portland Oregon. Some call it a “Riverlution”. Most call it The Big Float. Every summer since 2010 a vibrant rainbow of people and inflatable animals have been gathering on the shores of the Willamette to float on the idea that Portland is actually in love with it’s river and all the life it sustains, including mermaids!

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“I am a sucker for mermaids! We see lots of mermaids at the float,” says Willie Levenson, Ringleader of Human Access Project (HAP) who organizes The Big Float. The HAP mission is to, “transform Portland’s relationship with the Willamette River.” Willie’s goal is to challenge people about how they feel about and relate to the river, and looking to connect them through active recreation, so more people will care for its health. All waterways that flow through a city have the reputation of being filthy for good reason. Urban runoff, sewage overflows, and industrial pollution are real things especially in the Willamette. However, the water is safe to swim in, especially in the summer months when we don’t get much rain. The simple act of jumping onto an inflatable swan and floating with some mermaids down the river is a form of protest against the perception that it’s polluted and not fit for fun.

The Big Float is only one way to change the river’s reputation. HAP does events like the Mayoral Swim, the Portland Beach Bash and Clean Up, the Valentine’s Day Dip, and has helped create access to actual swimming beaches like Poet’s Beach. Willie says, “This year HAP is opening Portland’s second official swimming beach Audrey McCall Beach [Psst...next to the floating dock near the Hawthorne bridge]. Portland’s first official eastside swimming beach. We privately fundraised to pay for the lifeguards - a portion came from proceeds from The Big Float.“

Our city is only as good as our citizens. All this work being done to love our river back to life is only happening because of our volunteer efforts and the funds being donated. Registration for The Big Float is only $5 through July 7th, $15 at the door.. Heck, if you’re experiencing abundance donate more money. Any effort you make goes towards making the river more accessible for people.

Willie and all the other volunteers are working to change the river’s reputation and it’s a hard thing to measure. Yet it’s happening, “After nine years of work I can tangibly feel the conversation changing.”

The Big Float

Saturday, July 13th, 10am-6:30pm

Register today and mark your calendar!

Registration is only $5 through July 7th and $15 at the door. 

Expert floaters hit the Wristband Pickup Party on July 7th 5-7:30pm to save time with entering the float.


Need more reasons to go? Check these out:

March in the parade at: 1pm

Floating Stage Shows by Blitzen Trapper, Redray Frazier, and PERK Portland Grooves

Food carts, beverages

Changing rooms and check-in for valuables

Chair massages

Fun for kids


To help bring more attention to The Big Float we’re releasing our Summer 2019 issue at the event. Swing by the Stay Wild booth to grab new & old issues for free!

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Eco-Beauty Tips

Stay Wild

The Same Chemicals that are Harmful to Your Body are also Harmful to the Environment 

Story by Leah Thomas // @greengirlleah


The skin is the human body’s largest organ and absorbs a shocking five pounds of makeup every year on average. The same chemicals that are harmful to your body are also harmful to the environment. The extraction and manufacturing of these products contributes to carbon dioxide emissions, as well as toxic waste that is hard to dispose of. These tips will help you make purchasing decisions that are good for your face and the planet.

A few ingredients to avoid in everyday and popular products

Parabens are a household name in skincare, haircare, and cosmetics. They’re a commonly-used preservative, but can be easily absorbed through the skin and are harmful in large quantities. You can avoid parabens by looking for “paraben-free” labels. Without preservatives, the cosmetics may have a slightly shorter shelf life, but the pros outweigh the cons when you consider environmental and personal health.

DEA (diethanolamine) is a compound that gives cosmetics their creamy or sudsy nature. It also helps adjust pH and counteract toxicity. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, DEA can cause irritation to the nose and throat when inhaled and irritate the skin with rashes when applied directly. These are less common and more easily avoidable with natural products.

Petroleum is another common additive in the cosmetic industry. When you first think of petroleum, you probably think of the oil industry—and you wouldn’t be too far off. The same crude oil used in fuels is a staple in many over-the-counter makeups, lotions, and sunscreens. One of the biggest health deterrents is that it can’t be metabolized, meaning once it enters the body, it’s hard for it to ever leave naturally.

Reduce // Reuse // Recycle // Repeat

Consider the health of the environment and how you have the power to create a healthier world around you with every purchasing decision

Big name brands like M.A.C., Garnier, AVEDA, and Origins all have well-established recycling programs for when you’re done with your cosmetics.

Instead of filling up landfills that release methane, you can mail in your finished items or take them to the specific store on your next shopping trip.

Gravitate toward brands that offer multiple-usage options like refillable eyeshadow palettes versus single-use items with a shorter lifespan. This will give you versatility in the colors you use and allows you to produce less waste from disposing of full, mainly plastic-based palettes.

Investing in good quality products will save you multiple trips to the store over the course of a year. Lastly, look for applicators that are bamboo-based or made from recycled materials. 

All Day. Every Day.

Stay Wild

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Our little magazine is made in an old brick building in Portland Oregon. The North Coast Seed building is located right on the train tracks, so seed could be loaded easily back in the olden days, but today the building is loaded with creative people like artist Blaine Fontana (above with his van). One of our other studio neighbors is The James Brand and they make everyday tools to help with everyday adventure stuff. We love all the goods they make. Check their stuff out >>>