More Common than Seeing Fish
"Many of us escape to the ocean to surf or dive or fish, or simply feel revitalized. The thought that the ocean has become a sink for our waste, or that scientists estimate there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean soon—is beyond upsetting. No one wants to paddle out pulling through plastic bags and swallowing mouthfuls of saltwater saturated with microplastics, yet unfortunately surfers in some places are already subject to this."
- Anna Talken
It’s been around for a while.
It holds your snacks, it’s on your desk, goes in your car and contains your favorite drinks on the go. However, now more than ever, when you’re out in the water, you see it floating right by you, or it makes a walk in the sand a stressful minefield of when your feet will get poked next. That doesn’t seem right now does it?
Around the world we’re aware of the impact, and eco-minds rejoice all rested and pumped up come the new year with serious motivation for a lil something known as Plastic Free January. Sisstrevolution team rider and surfboard shaper Anna Talken is taking this journey, as she also did last year, and is sharing her progress daily (@a.talken). No plastic anything as much as possible: utensils, bags, and most challenging of all – foods and drinks that are packaged with plastic.
"But it is not too late to protect our oceans. Every decision we make as consumers ultimately impacts the environment, and we have the power as individuals to make a difference by trying to live more sustainably. Whatever the ocean means to you: whether it is the source of your food, your job, your livelihood, or simply your recreation and joy—it is important to all of us. The less plastic we buy and use, the less demand for it, and the less likely it will end up in our seas."
As an office we got inspired to join too! Now, don’t get us wrong, we recycle and make most of our own lunches and carpool. But we’re also riding on that new-year-high-won’t-stop-can’t-stop-train, and what better way to kick off a new decade than hold each other accountable and learn more about plastic alternatives, than to do it together?
People drink A LOT of coffee. And with a coffee shop on almost every street corner, how can they not? If you wanna get some stats, it's a rough 587 million cups per day for Americans... going right into the garbage. Instead of getting that coffee in a disposable cup the easiest thing to start on with the good habits is to bring your own.
You can use a reusable, ceramic coffee cup for warm coffee and a mason jar for iced coffees. Take it up a couple notches and maybe use a french press to avoid filters or buy some reusable coffee filters for the maker you prefer to use at home.
The next biggest change we've adapted is the use of beeswax paper and the stasher bag.
Beeswax paper is simply wrapper around your sandwich for on-the-go - cleaned with cold water and soap, it's not meant for hot items.
The Stasher bag works great for all snacks and produce, however after many washes some has a hard time closing all the way while maintaining its shape.
We've pushed ourselves to begin storing food in reusable containers and not let the plastic bags and disposable boxes pile up. In the end, it truly makes snacking and breaks feel a whole lot cleaner and organized. Shopping in bulk is great to get what you need without the excess packaging waste. We're not complaining.
"Small steps towards reducing our waste can make a big difference for our oceans, and YOU can make a difference in your daily life by choosing more sustainable options. Every time I go in the ocean, I am humbly reminded how important it is to protect it."
As we’ve made it this far, we’ve got to acknowledge the realistic obstacles such as food preference combined with individual budgets. Forget your sustainable water bottle? Can’t fathom spending $40 on a glass storage container let alone $20 on a metal straw? Need that hummus dip that is sealed by law with plastic under a plastic lid because chickpeas are packed with nutrients and gotta have it with veggies after a day full of surfing?
You can still make a better lifestyle habit to stay on the up-and-up.
This list could go on and on, but you get the point
I came across an article the other day that stemmed from a Journalist’s response from Skynews Australia to the young people who have recently shown for the climate. It might make sense to you, or it might offend you – it depends on how sensitive you are, but it goes like this:
"You are the first generation to ask for air conditioning in every classroom; your lessons are all made at the computer; you have a television in every room; spend all day using electronic means; instead of walking to school, you take all kinds of means of transport. You are the biggest consumers of consumer goods in history... Guys, before you protest, turn off the air conditioning, go to school on foot, turn off your phones and read a book, make a sandwich instead of buying food… None of this will happen because you are selfish, ill-trained, manipulated by people who use you, saying you have a noble cause while having fun in the most insane western luxury. Wake up… I’m not looking for shock between generations with this text but let them stop their morale, question themselves and start by making small gestures that we are all able to do…”
Are you feeling as emotionally thrown around as I am after reading that? While sitting at my desk with the heater on and typing on this computer, I see what he’s saying and he’s totally freaking right. So… what do I do next? Turn off the heater, and put on a jacket and look back on how much we’ve accomplished and learned as an office… as well as have some anxiety about how much energy is being used and all the STUFF that’s on the planet.
What else can we do?
I went down the rabbit hole and have found there are SO many things to do day by day. So, what if you’re in a hurry and you have to grab a salad to-go? It’s not the end of the world! Double-up on your actions in the next hour, activity, day or place. The number one thing we’ve learned is that everyone’s lifestyle and budget is different, so lets do what we can to the best of our abilities, and create better habits each time around; and benefit in upholding serious consistent steps in maximizing energy-efficient resources and maintaining any waste to a minimum, if not completely obliterating it from the ocean, the office, and of course everyday life.
• PLANT A TREE
• Carpool! That's a no-brainer
• Bring your resuable containers when you are out to eat in case of taking home leftovers
• Always turn off the lights when you're not using them - or anything electronic for that matter, turn it off!
• Recycle PROPERLY! It's way more important than you think. Click HERE for all the info on separating plastics, metal cans, batteries etc
• Get creative and make home decor out of recyled materials like crates, jars, driftwood, and so much more...
We hope you're as stoked as we are to continuously strive for a plastic-free future!