The newest episode of the Ocean Pancake Podcast is out! This time its featuring my dear friend Scott Wallace!
Are you interested in protecting the oceans apex predators? Getting involved in conservation and saving the oceans with Sea Shepherd. Scott Wallace is an environmental scientist, scuba diver, passionate educator, and activist. He believes we should transition our world view into a more earth-centered one. Join us on part 1 of the two-part podcast, with part 2 focusing on veganism!
The whole point of the #juneocean challenge was to get as many people involved in changing their habits a little bit each day to add up to a bigger, positive impact on our earth. It’s the end of June, however we are now entering July which is also known as Plastic Free July. I have already created a guide on how to go plastic free in your life, which is available for free when you join the mailing list! Just enter your email and start your transition to a plastic free life.
So lets recap some of the environmentally friendly choices we can make.
1.Chose to Say No Thank you
Stay strong and say no to those unplanned random occurrences : the free water bottles passed out, the plastic bags filled with treats, the extra bag your local farmer tries to give you. If you have never taken a moment to explore minimalism, I highly recommend having a look into it. It’s a lifestyle which allows you to live with less, focus on mental, spiritual and your own happiness rather than material possessions. Keep things that make you happy and don’t fall for every convenient offering.
Reef Safe sunscreen time! I have been meaning to talk this for a very long time, scroll down to the bottom to get a list of some epic sunscreen brands you can get yourself! Or how to make your own!
Hawaii Setting the Bar
Hawaii has just passed a landmark decision, of banning all reef harming sunscreen island wide. The decision is currently awaiting the governors signature and would come into affect January 1st 2021. Currently, estimations are that 14,000 tons of suscreen is deposited in oceans annually. The greatest damage from these chemical products has been found in popular reef areas in Hawaii and the Caribbean. Studies were conducted by the non profict Haereticus Environmental Laboratory which surveyed several beaches, finding the statistics of Trunk Bay receiving 2,000 to 5,000 swimmers daily while Hanauma bay, a popular snorkeling destination in Oahu drawing 2,6000 swimmers a day. Calculating roughly the amount of sunscreen a person puts on and repplies, the amount washed off into the reefs could be up to 200kg per day!
Apart from the big names we are already familiar with such as Patagonia and Sea Shepherd, I wanted to highlight some potentially smaller companies which still prioritise our ocean in their message.
Patagonia is a household name for just about anyone outdoorsy, along with their extensive inventory from snowgear to sleeping bags, they have an enormous focus on going green. They have built repair centers worldwide to increase the longetivity of their products and decrease their environmental footprint. In 2016, they gave 10$ Million dollars to grassroots environmental groups. The corporate philosophy is 100% for the planet, and while they are not open and mostly open about it, they are one of the powerhouses driving eco friendly change.
The newest and most exciting thing I heard from the Speak Up For The Blue podcast, is that they created a dating website for environmental activists and environmental groups to connect. Patagonia Actionworks is the place you can go to “Answer with Action”. While I tried to search for environmental agencies near by.. I got results in Portland. Maybe Comoros is not included in their algorythm yet. However, the Plastic Free Fund is going strong, with you being able to donate and hopefully come vollunteer in the future!
Another enormous company, is Sea Shepherd, this non for profit is the leader in ocean conservation. They do not just speak, they act. With three enormous multimillion dollar ships, Sea Shepherd must be backed by gigantic donations. Their T-shirts are also an excellent way to spread awareness about the plight of our oceans, starting a conversation and standing in unity.
This week for #juneocean I wanted to talk about the all famous topic of plastic bags. As you have noticed, ever week a new country or state announces a ban for plastic bags. When I first moved to Australia, I was astounded that they still provided plastic bags in supermarkets in the year 2012! In France, for as long as I remember, my mother had been bringing big heavy duty bags to do our shopping. Indeed, when I look at the information, France ruled out using plastic bags in 2015 and is pioneering the way for future countries with this years single use takeaway containers, utensils and straws. France’s law for plastic straws, utensils and cutlery coes into affect in 2020.
While the governments, organisations and big dogs are slowly shifting their way to respond to the tsumani of plastic awaiting us in the oceans, we as individuals have enormous power by ourselves. If you were to stop using plastic bags, that could amount to as decreasing (lets say you go shopping twice a week, each week you get 4 bags, multiply that by the amount of weeks in a year, and you’re hovering around 500 single use bags just for you) Now consider that we are all shaped by the people we spend the most time with, invariably by eliminating your use of plastic bags you will inspire your mother, brother, sister, friend, uncle, colleague, daughter, son to do the same.
The beauty of this is, they might not even realize that they’re doing in the first place, but soon enough you have set off a chain reaction of positive change through your surroundings.
A quick over view of the plastic bag statistics :
Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.
If you lined them up, they would circumvent the globe 4,200 times.
It costs US$4,000 to recycle 1 tonne of plastic bags and you get a product that can be sold on the commodities market for US$32. – Meaning it is not financially viable to recycle them, making them disposable.
Approximately 1 million sea birds also die from plastic.
Welcome to week 1 of the JuneOcean Challenge, 30 days with 30 ways to help save our oceans! Each week I am taking one of the ways and going into an indepth article right here on Ocean Pancake. However, for daily updates and information join the Ocean Pancake facebook group where you can share your ideas and eco knowledge!
Before departing on my grand adventure to the Comoros, which you can read about here, one of the top things on my to do list was to purchase a sturdy waterbottle which would survive travel to the distant, middle of nowhere location my new job was in. Moheli Island, is the smallest of the three Comoros Islands with some 35,000 inhabitants and 24h power exclusively at Laka Lodge thanks to the beauty of solar energy. I chose to get myself a pretty, blue, insulated hydroflask. Highly recommended if you do not need a filter. Here at Laka Lodge, the eco resort I work as a Scuba Diving Instructor at, depends on UV filter technology to ensure all our customers have clean drinking water.. Plastic Free!
Oh also, in case you are new here, plastic is my nemesis and I try and encourage everyone and anyone to decrease their use of plastic. Why? Just a quick overview
38 billion plastic water bottles end up in landfill every year
That one bottle can take over 400 years to degrade
Just about every marine animal is in danger from injesting or becoming entangled in plastic
If the Oceans die, we die. 70% of all of our oxygen comes with the algal blooms in the ocean, billions of individuals depend on the ocean for their livelihood, income and food and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, is worth $56 AUD Billion.