Everywhere I went in midcoast Maine, I kept seeing these handsome, rugged doormats made of rope; they came in dozens of different color variations. They were on friends' porches, and for sale at farmstands, gift shops, and souvenir centers. I finally broke free of the cursed Money Diet and spent $50 on one for my kitchen door. It was the tag on the back explaining what the mats were really all about that inspired me to loosen the pursestrings. Evidently, these are "whale-friendly" mats. The North Atlantic Right Whale is an endangered baleen; one of the factors in their demise is that they become tangled in the floating ground rope used by lobstermen, and they drown. Whales are mammals, and like us, they need to take a deep breath from time to time. Maine lobstermen are being encouraged to trade in their ropes for sinking ground lines, but it is an expensive exchange, and lots of rope is discarded in the process. The doormats are a solution: they are made of that rope, cleaned and recycled. In scraping the soil from your garden off your shoes, you are lending a hand to your friends in the ocean.
The tag offers a phone number for more information or to order: 207 832 0580.