We believe the protection and sustainability of
our surfing environment & access to that environment
must be a priority for every surfer.
As surfers we are completely dependent on the harmony and rhythm in our environment.
We truly need to be aware of the ever-increasing number of environmental issues including water quality, access, erosion, proposed developments, illegal dumping/litter and overcrowding to name a few.
But awareness is not enough, without action nothing is accomplished.
Work together, work alone, join a club, find a cause, don't ever litter and pick up plastic rubbish from the beach.
Do one thing, do many, because if we don't who will?
photo: Doug biking rubbish Oahu surfrider clean-up
Making a difference!
photo: Healthy but endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal and Albatross
Surfers spend a lot of time in and around the ocean and have often been referred to as the “guardians of the sea” but whether you are a surfer, have family members and friends who surf, or are just curious, there are things we can all do to keep the ocean clean.
What is plastic pollution? Plastic is remarkable material; relatively cheap to produce, versatile and above all durable to the point of near indestructibility. Unfortunately it is this durability that makes plastic unsuited for disposable items. Plastic pollution as referred to here is the result of single-use plastics that are discarded and enter the ocean. Single-use plastic items include: juice containers, packaging, sandwich bags, milk jugs, disposable utensils, soda/water bottles, cold cups, straws, drink lids, and plastic bags to name a few. Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic. Sea turtles think plastic bags are jellyfish, their primary food source. There are economical health and health issues too; disposable plastic bags for example cost up to 17 cents per bag for disposal and the material used to make many single use plastic items are made from toxic substances that leach into your drinks and food.
Why not call it marine debris? The term “marine debris” is overused, unclear, and ineffective.
Let’s call it what it is, plastic pollution.
How about recycling? Recycling is always a positive step, and recycling drives raise awareness and funds for schools and non profits, but it is not a sustainable solution for the long run. Have you ever seen a recycling bin full and over flowing? Plastic bags and bottles falling out of the bins can easily find their way into the ocean especially on an island. The problem of single use plastic pollution is not a simple matter of more bins or sites. Recycled plastics are land based, often washed out to sea or exported to other countries where they are land based and often washed out to sea.
What about ocean clean ups? Even if all the boats in the world were somehow able, a cleanup in the ocean would not only remove plastic but also plankton, which is the base of the food chain, and is responsible for capturing half of the CO2 of our atmosphere and generating half of the oxygen we need to breathe. And even if that were to magically happen it would only be ‘a drop in the ocean' compared to the amount of plastic pollution that flows into the ocean every single day. This isn't to say that helping clean up plastic debris from your local beach or parks is not a worthwhile thing to do. By participating in beach cleanups you are helping to bring about important awareness of a serious problem.
photo: plastic stomach contents of an Albatross
photo: Hawaiian Monk Seal, wrapped in fishing net
Entanglement and indigestion are not the worst problems caused by plastic pollution.
What can you do? Stop using so much plastic, it is unnecessary and wasteful.
Here are 2 steps you can do simply and immediately.
the easiest step>>>Buy refillable bottles.
Find out where the water bottles you are currently buying are from. Are they shipped from or imported to? Read some of the stories about the toxic chemicals that leach into water from plastic.Investigate water filters, purifiers, etc. Long range, they are always cheaper, always.
the easiest step>>> PLEASE Use reusable bags.
Buy reusable bags, make reusable bags, give reusable bags as presents. Go to your local thrift store, they are FULL of reusable bags for pennies. Buy ones you like, make a fashion statement or make a personal statement.