Look jerks, I love pretty rocks as much as the next entitled millennial, but you’ve got to stop using your Bermuda vacations as excuses to pilfer 70 pounds of sea glass. Last January, Pennsylvania jewelry maker Becky Fox committed this precise transgression, and the Bermuda community is PISSED that such disrespectful behavior is becoming a trend.
The Royal Gazette reports that Fox “told the Erie Times-News that she visited the island in January after being invited by a local sea glass collector and left with two suitcases filled with glass to make jewelry to sell.” To add insult to injury, she also referred to the Bermuda beach as “a dump” in an online video. Very gracious, Becky. Very gracious, indeed.
And as local jewelry vendor Kelly Diel tells the Gazette, Fox is far from the exception. While cruise ships have implemented a policy against passengers taking “sand or sea glass from the beach,” airports have not followed suit. Thus, Diel explains, “People are willing to pay the $50 or $100 of overweight charges...I know a woman who comes down here every year with her family, fills a suitcase, and sells the glass from a website in Philadelphia. They do this every year.”
This system is, to say the least, exploitative. Sea glass is dear and valuable, and local artisans rely upon it for their livelihood. Such egregious hoarding ignores every tenet of responsible tourism. Despite what the British imperialists may have thought, one should not approach travel as a maximalist game of Finder’s Keepers.
This practice is moreover in stark contrast with the behavior of Bermuda artisans. Lexy Correia, artist and co-owner of DNA Creative Shoppe, tells The Royal Gazette, “This blatant greediness is just ridiculous and not fair to the handful of local artists who do use [sea glass] and only take what they need.”
But Fox’s comments to GoErie.com indicate utter heedlessness as to her responsibility in this larger, burgeoning problem. “Not only is it plentiful, it is pristine,” Fox raves, “It is the caviar of sea glass.”
Maybe so, Becky, but it’s not all for you. Cut it out.
And in the meantime, if you’re going to purchase Bermuda sea glass, please make the effort to do so from a local artist.
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