Have you heard about the Float’em Garden?

During my stay in Tofino, I walked along the main streets in the village and discovered the Float’em Garden. I thought I’d share the artist’s message and the story behind the objects in the garden with my blog readers.

About the Float’em Garden

The Float’em Garden is located along the sidewalk on Third Street between Campbell Street and Main Street in Tofino. It’s an outdoor public art installation comprised of eleven individual assemblages made entirely from marine debris. Pete Clarkson, the artist and a park warden, has been creating his unique marine debris art since 2000. The Float’em Garden was opened in June 2018.

Art from recycled marine debris

Sea Chimes by Pete Clarkson
Sea Chimes by Pete Clarkson
Plastic Water by Pete Clarkson
Plastic Water by Pete Clarkson
From Sea to Tree and Little Bear by Pete Clarkson
From Sea to Tree and Little Bear by Pete Clarkson

Message from Pete Clarkson

Here’s an excerpt from Pete Clarkson’s message inscribed at the Float’em Garden:

I hope you’ll take a moment in this spectacular place to enjoy the Float’em Garden, and consider your own role in the marine debris story. As these objects remind us, there’s no longer an ‘away’ when we throw things away. Everywhere is somewhere, and the ocean is downstream of everything. The daily decisions we make – what we buy, what we throw away, what we value and support – can add up to a chorus of positive action. Let your actions show how much you care. We can all make a difference!

I find the Float’em Garden art installations visually interesting and the message behind the marine debris thought-provoking. It’s a good reminder that we are all connected and we need to reduce waste that is harmful to our environment.

Practicing the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

My family and I have made a diligent effort to practice the 3Rs in our day-to-day living. We follow our municipal waste reduction movement and help keep items out of landfill. Some of the actions that we’ve taken:

  • Borrow books or DVDs from public libraries.
  • Buy locally-grown fresh produce as much as possible.
  • Cook and eat most of our meals at home with no food waste.
  • Donate clothes and linen to recycling organizations.
  • Put recycling, organics, and garbage into the right bins. Blue bin for recycling, green bin for organics, and black bin for garbage in our city.
  • Read or subscribe online for news and community event notifications.
  • Re-purpose cookie tins and glass jars for storage.
  • Trade in old items when purchase their replacements (where trade-in is offered).
  • Use refillable water bottles.
  • Use reusable bags for grocery shopping.

We shop consciously, plan ahead, buy only what we need, and consider the impact of packaging when making purchases.

I wonder to what degree Pete Clarkson’s message and similar environmental reminders affect consumers’ shopping habits, especially around the holidays when people tend to have more purchases and more social gatherings.

How does the marine debris story from the Float’em Garden affect your shopping habits? How well is waste managed in your city? I’d love to hear your comments.

Copyright © 2023 natalietheexplorer.home.blog – All rights reserved.

45 thoughts on “Have you heard about the Float’em Garden?

  1. Retirement Reflections November 7, 2019 / 4:56 pm

    Hi, Natalie – I also love the Float’em Garden in Tofino. It is very thought-provoking. Like your family, my husband and I constantly strive to be mindful of the impact that our day-to-day choices have on both our health and the environment. We constantly review what works, what doesn’t work and what we can improve. Reading stories like Peter Clarkson’s inspires me to continue to try even harder!


    • Natalie November 7, 2019 / 5:30 pm

      Hi Donna – Pete’s message inspires me to continue to try even harder, too. Thank you for your environmental-friendly efforts. I love to keep our oceans clean and love it even more when my blogger friends are also doing it.


  2. Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com November 7, 2019 / 5:34 pm

    Lovely garden (that we apparently somehow missed when we walked around Tofino this summer) and great message. My husband and I work hard to lower the amount of waste we toss, but we – and just about everyone – can do more.


    • Natalie November 7, 2019 / 6:04 pm

      Hi Janis – Pete’s message makes me think what more I can do to reduce waste. When I look at what the stores are selling for the holidays, they all look nice but some of the packaging makes me cringe as I know they’ll be thrown away. It’s wonderful to hear you and your husband also work hard to reduce waste.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzanne November 7, 2019 / 9:01 pm

    Any art that makes us think is brilliant. I am with Janis, we can all try harder, and it is challenging some weeks when out grocery shopping to buy products with less packaging Don’t get me started on how much wrapping is involved when purchasing furniture.


    • Natalie November 7, 2019 / 9:14 pm

      Yes, it can be challenging to buy products with less packaging. We can all try harder and give feedback to the companies to make more eco-friendly changes.


      • Suzanne November 8, 2019 / 12:49 am

        There needs to be a cost reduction in buying products made out of recycled materials. Most products are out of the reach for most customers.


    • Natalie November 11, 2019 / 8:26 am

      Thank you, Shiju, for your comment.


  4. Debbie from Deb's World November 11, 2019 / 1:05 am

    What a fantastic art installation Natalie and the message is brilliant! I like your ideas on the 3 Rs and believe we all need to be doing more. Thanks for showing this to us! #lifethisweek


    • Natalie November 11, 2019 / 8:29 am

      Thank you, Debbie, for your comment. I think we can all continue to practice the 3Rs a little harder.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid November 11, 2019 / 4:34 am

    I love this – art with a message. We have been taking similar steps to be more environmentally friendly at home. I think if we all make some small changes, together we can make a big difference


    • Natalie November 11, 2019 / 8:32 am

      Thank you, Sammie, for your comment. I agree that by practicing the 3Rs, together we can make a big difference.


  6. restlessjo November 11, 2019 / 9:43 am

    We all need keeping on track with this. Even more we need manufacturers and stores to listen and respond when we request less packaging and plastics, Natalie. There is no apparent end in sight! Thanks for the reminder. 🙂 🙂


    • Natalie November 11, 2019 / 10:50 am

      Aside from practicing the 3Rs, we need to use our voice to let companies know, and spread the message to people in our community like Pete Clarkson has done. Thank you, Jo, for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Erica/Erika November 11, 2019 / 6:46 pm

    Oooh, more Tofino information. We have not been to Tofino for a few years. It is now on our must see list. 🙂 Another reason I love the Blogosphere. Pete Clarkson’s message is important. Great list on practising the 3R’s. You remind me how we always want to emphasize experiences as gifts. Great post, Natalie!


    • Natalie November 11, 2019 / 7:11 pm

      Meaningful or fun experiences as gifts are much better than stuff that we don’t need. Thank you Erica/ Erika for stopping by. My next post will be back to Ontario 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erica/Erika November 13, 2019 / 11:08 am

        Hi Natalie, Returning to share #MLSTL and shared SM🙂


        • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 11:58 am

          Thank you, Erica/ Erika, for returning and sharing on SM. Have a great day!

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Laurie November 11, 2019 / 8:39 pm

    I have never heard about the Float ’em Garden. Thank you for educating me. What a beautiful way to get a point across.


    • Natalie November 11, 2019 / 9:13 pm

      My pleasure to share the Float’em Garden with my blog readers. Thank you. Laurie, for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Real Cie November 11, 2019 / 11:19 pm

    What a wonderful thing he’s done, and a very necessary message too.


    • Natalie November 12, 2019 / 8:01 am

      Thank you for your visit and comment. Feel free to share Pete’s message and art with others.


  10. betty - NZ November 12, 2019 / 5:51 pm

    Definitely an unusual and pretty way to bring the problem to our attention. Nice photos of the artwork.

    I’m glad to see you at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!


    • Natalie November 12, 2019 / 5:58 pm

      Thanks, Betty, for hosting and for your comment. Have a great day!


    • Natalie November 12, 2019 / 6:59 pm

      Thank you, Donna, for stopping back and sharing on your SM. Have a great evening!


  11. csuhpat1 November 12, 2019 / 9:18 pm

    That is such a lovely place. Very sweet. #MLSTL


    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 9:49 am

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comment.


  12. OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com November 13, 2019 / 12:10 am

    This art brought both a smile to my face and a tear to my eyes. How true…when we throw things away there is no real away. Thank you for sharing this magical garden and this thought-provoking art. Have decided to make this Christmas the holiday we show the earth some love. Going to give metal straws, reusable plastic ziplock bags, and reusable K-cups that you fill with coffee yourself.


    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 9:51 am

      My pleasure to share the Float’em Garden art and message with you, Leslie. Anything we can do to reduce, reuse, recycle is good for all of us.


  13. leannelc November 13, 2019 / 2:10 am

    I love it when people recycle junk into art. This is also a great environmental reminder too isn’t it Natalie. I am disgusted at the amount of plastic and other rubbish that is piling up in our oceans – hopefully art like this will bring it to the attention of people and make a difference.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂


    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 9:59 am

      Thank you, Leanne, for hosting and sharing on your SM. Yes, it’s disgusting to find trash on our beaches where there are trash bins nearby and sad to see debris in our oceans. We can take actions to show how much we care, including raising awareness and encouraging everyone to practice the 3Rs more often.


  14. Jo November 13, 2019 / 6:05 am

    I meant to leave a comment when I read this on Monday, but for some reason… Anyways, I love the idea of recycling or upcycling flotsam into pieces of decorative art. It’s such a fabulous exhibition.


    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 10:03 am

      The Float’em Garden has a happy beachy vibes even though all art pieces are made from marine debris. Pete Clarkson has a web site that shows more of his artworks. I also saw another art piece that he’s done for a local shop in Tofino. I like how the colours bring hope from a sombre story behind the debris.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Amy Johnson November 13, 2019 / 11:23 am

    This is really cool! TFS! Visiting from MSTL.


    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 12:01 pm

      Thank you, Amy, for your visit and comment. Have a nice day!


  16. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond November 13, 2019 / 7:23 pm

    What a fun place Natalie and I love that you always share interesting places that you have visited. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and happy travels. xx


    • Natalie November 13, 2019 / 8:05 pm

      My pleasure to share this garden, Sue. Thank you for hosting MLSTL. Have a wonderful week!


  17. Denyse Whelan November 14, 2019 / 12:12 am

    Great messages in the art and the stories of recycling. In Australia’s waterways we have cleaned up quite a bit thanks to regulations on fluids entering the water and as part of Clean Up Australia there are programs and events to remind people about ‘where’ rubbish can be recycled. It does not always work. Sigh. Thank you for joining Life This Week, next week’s optional prompt is 46/51 Gift Idea For Teachers 18/11/19. Sure hope to see you link up again. Denyse.


    • Natalie November 14, 2019 / 9:22 am

      Thank you, Denyse, for sharing about the clean up efforts in Australia. I look forward to next week’s link-up. Have a great day!


  18. Nancy November 14, 2019 / 2:01 pm

    Hi Natalie,
    Not sure what I actually think of the garden installation, but I heartily embrace the ideology behind it – the 3 R’s. We think very hard about that at our house and try to reduce the use of packaging, plastics, etc. If we cannot avoid them we try to reuse them at least once. Even simple things like using your own grocery bags can make a difference.
    Thanks for and interesting post…#MLSTL


    • Natalie November 14, 2019 / 2:25 pm

      Hi Nancy – We practice the 3Rs diligently at home. I agree with you, even simple things like using reusable grocery bags can make a difference.


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