Johnson incorporates the sound of a gecko on this track. He told Rolling Stone: "I recorded that outside. You can also hear crickets in the background. In the middle of the song, though, the gecko makes this 'click, click, click' noise.
Johnson is well known for his green sensibilities and To The Sea is packaged in recycled paper and was recorded in a solar-powered studio. This song in particular highlights the singer-songwriter's concerns for the planet and the difficulties facing his children, as he sings: "If they tell me that the bees don't make honey anymore/ Then what am I supposed to tell you. And if they tell me that the ocean is tired of her shores/ Then tell me, what am I supposed to tell you."
Johnson explained the inspiration for the song to The Sun May 28, 2010: "It was just a thought one night when this beekeeper told me he was thinking of getting out of the business because bees were in such a decline. I also heard a quote from Einstein saying that if we ever lose our bees, humans would have four years left. Then someone hit me with the whole thing about the Mayan calendar ending in 2012. Thankfully, I hear the bees are coming back a little but when I hear information about global warning or ocean rising, my first thought is, 'well, how do I present this to the kids?'"