Discovering eco innovations at home, at work or during your activities can be a lot of fun. All you need is a little bit of creativity and an open mind!

Turning Trash to Treasure

Whenever my wife and I walk on the beach or get out on the water our sessions always finish with a #PocketOfPlastic. In most cases our findings go in the recycling or trash can, but recently we’ve begun creating new eco innovations. By transforming colourful microplastics and ghost nets into art.

Art installations can tell a powerful story for those that interact with them and are also visually appealing pieces. We have reminders everyday to be aware of the plastic crisis at hand. We see plastic bags blowing down the street, plastic bottles planted amongst the bushes and cosmetic products in our waterways. Taking responsibility for our daily choices is just as important as taking action towards solutions to the plastic crisis. Each daily #PocketOfPlastic Challenge or community Clean-up, reminds us of products we should avoid or eco-innovate.

Often on the windward side of any Hawaiian island, we find big influxes of microplastics and pollution debris. On a recent beach run at Waihe’e, Maui Kim and I came across a huge Fishing Net. The Net was only partly exposed, revealing potentially only the tip of the iceberg. We marked the location and invited a few ocean guardians from our community to help dig out and retrieve the ghost net. We’re always looking out for opportunities to involve our community, and in this case, we needed all the help we could get. Nets that are buried in the sand require a lot of shovelling and cutting to remove.

Nets can be used for all sorts of eco-innovations once they are removed from the ocean. Organisations can recycle them in many creative ways, just like our microplastics. So when possible we try and collaborate with groups like Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii or Parley for The Oceans.

Mangrove Restoration

On a recent trip to Kiribati, I had the opportunity to explore the ocean atolls of this remote and low-laying nation. Kiribati has amazing natural beauty and culture, but the fate of this island nation and its communities is uncertain. Climate Change and rising sea levels are pushing Kiribati towards a national emergency. Salinisation and accelerated erosion are threatening the Ground water and atolls. Another opportunity for the use of eco innovations.

Seeing the direct effects of climate change on our friends and family was a serious wake up call. We made a goal to combat the threat of erosion by donating our time at a mangrove restoration program.

It turned out to be a highlight of our trip. Planting mangroves and paddling through the beautiful narrow winding paths in-between the mangrove maze on Starboard SUP’s was incredibly rewarding. To experience first hand how important mangrove trees are in locking sand and soil in place while providing the environment for a thriving ecosystem. Watching the fish in the underwater root systems and birds bushy tangles of canopy was incredible! We paddled through and harvested the saplings that were ready to be planted so we could help expand the reforestation area. Our Starboard inflatables were perfect for the job!

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