by Anne Marie Reichman, Starboard Dream Team rider and eco ambassador.
Two days ago I got a phone call; if I wanted to do an interview over the phone with Jonah Shannon; 14 yr old local surfer and teamrider of Eric “Totahsurfboard”. Jonah has helped me in the past with a beach clean up when I did active work as an ambassador for reusable water bottle company Dopper. Now he wanted my help having a chat for his environmental school project. Funnily enough my neighbour friend and teacher for a high school in Salinas told me she was using my information I provided and spoke about for her students 2 years ago. They really wanted me to come by again and even though fundings are close to 0, I said YES after answering one of Jonas his questions: what ways you think work best when you want to pass on a message? So the environment was calling I felt and I got inspired to write some words now for my blog (from my phone!:)
So how do I add to our environmental health?
1. First of all, I always fill up my reusable water bottles at home, or when I am out and about there are water fountains and restaurants/cafe s who happily provide clean water. This way I dont need to buy a single used plastic water bottle.
2. Also, I use reusable food containers when I bring my lunch or when I put leftovers away in the fridge. No plastic wrapping or zip logs. Jaydens home made food goes in glass containers and they stack well in fridge or freezer as well. So yeah, in and around the house I reuse as much as possible.
3. After my surf/sup or windsurf sessions I always grab plastic or other trash from the beach and recycle or throw it away in bins accessible to EVERYONE. I notice how lazy people are grabbing their own trash! Again; a state of mind? You d be amazed. The plastic coming from the Ocean is another story; however it is still good to remove before birds eat it or it gets back in the ocean by the changing tides. Fish and OUR food chain is being affected by the pollution which is scary because it can make us sick. Is that enough of a reason to be more aware?? With each clean up small or big, I feel good because I help towards a solution; cleaning our planet, cleaning up nature who gives me the world of goodness! Yes the ocean is my happy place, my sanctuary, a place where I get super stoked.
4. Awareness I like to spread through my social media and blogs like these or write ups for magazines. It makes me feel that I contribute towards the solution and hopefully I inspire others to change their habits and ways of thinking as well.
I have also done some motivational speaking where I talk to a large group of people (schools, beach clubs, events) about all this and my Ocean lifestyle and sports where this topic is very much alive. When I speak LIVE, people will feel my energy and passion and they feel my happiness when I speak of the ocean and nature.
5. Habits …. I have habits of buying food and necessities from the store. My recycle bin fills up quick, too quick! and I am getting more and more critical to reduce plastic by shopping smarter (buying less plastic packaged products). And with that I hope that minds will think alike, because we ALL need to make a difference in order to have the wanted outcome: a cleaner healthier planet earth ; and everyone living on it. Next time YOU go to the store, check to see with a new open mind where you can cut down on single used plastic. And when you DO end up with a plastic bowl lets say from a take out or something like that, make it an item in your kitchen wear to reuse it over and over so at least it was not a one-time-use object that gets thrown away. I also end up with more plastic goodies than I prefer and I do feel bad about it. So when that happens I make a point to reuse it a long time.
6. See that you have a choice in reducing your daily plastics. For example when you want to buy some coca cola, you can buy cans or plastic water bottles.Plastic that ends up in the landfill or in the ocean does not break down! That is the scary part. Cans will dissolve in the ocean. It takes a long time but it will break down. Plastic even pollutes our earth as it creates toxins when it is in our landfills for long. These layers of toxins seap down in the ground and a lot of times go back in… yezzz our ocean. Composting is da bomb! It gives our earth nutritions. So lets do more of that.
7. Inspire each other. Talk to your friends, family and spread the word via your social media account. Together we are strong. Alone a lot less. Create fun contests who can create the least amount of single used plastic and make the price or price pot be your inspiration to get your mindset started. Get 10 friends together and everyone pitches in 10$! Or make it more, bigger and have a blast for the future, not the past.
8. Inventions are also part of our solutions now we know what the problem is. Water filters for 3rd world countries and water filters for every home in the world seems great to me. Band plastic bottles products even from your home (something we ALL can do) or events you organize and shift back to glass and cardboard packaging. Hopefully our packaging will be better for our environment world wide. Ocean cleaners are being invented as we speak and hopefully there will be more greatness achieved for our environment.
9. Reusing in my ART department is one of my favourite ways to reuse.
Not even do I reuse driftwood that comes from the Ocean, I also use the trash I find towards art projects. And that just feels good, because then your trash does not even need to go to the landfill! How ever; working with wood is amazing! I love to find my pieces along the shore lines, mindsurfing waves, listening to their sound and checking the Ocean wild life; birds and fish. Some pieces already have shapes and forms in them that speak for them selves, others come to life when I sand them smooth before painting. Working at home at a piece of driftwood makes me feel closer to the Ocean than a frame made in China.
10. Zero waste events are another way to ad to the goodness for our planet. As a event organizer, I am inspired by a zero waste events I volunteered at on Maui. The trash and food rests where all divided so only 25% of ALL the trash of an event where thousands of people attended, ended up in the landfill. The rest of the products were recyclable, decomposing and the food rests when to local pig farms. This is the way that was super inspiring and not even that much work. Again… it was a mind set and all the people attending the event were stoked they contributed to something positive.
11. I make surfboards and they are reusable for many years. The products we use are pretty toxic and that ‘sucks’. Thankfully also here there are positive developments like bio resin and plastics that can be reused from our landfill. I am driven and motivated to look into this and make a difference in this industry.
I am sure there are many more ways to make a difference for our planet. I mentioned a few; my ’10 cents’ ????
Feel free to email me [funnyanne (at) me (dot) com] more greatness towards this topic and I am happy to post/ blog or help to get the word out!
I am stoked Jonah is doing this project. He is 14 and hopefully will inspire kids his age who will hopefully again spread the word to their friends, brothers sisters and family. Perhaps some of them will be great engineers and step up to our environmental plate. The youth and next generation is affected by what we do , so lets make it count today!