Ocean Girl Surf Camp alternatives to Plastic Ocean

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Plastic- ocean – a 100% human-caused disaster

The disposable plastic bottle symbolizes waste and litter around the world. But it is not just plastic bottles and careless littering that threaten to turn the oceans from life-sustaining to life threatening.

Bottles and bags. Discarded toys, product packaging and cheap holiday decorations. Household and industrial waste of a thousand kinds.

Littered, dropped, dumped. Used despite safer alternatives. Carelessly disposed, improperly managed. Not reduced, not reused and not recycled.

Rolling, blowing, floating and flowing into the world’s oceans.

Plastic-free ocean – a 100% human-accomplishable goal

Plastic in the oceans is entirely caused by human action and human inaction. It has as much potential to do harm as the worst climate change scenario and is having greater immediate effects, yet it so far receives comparatively no attention, and very little private or government action or funding.

There are a number of ways that marine science, waste management, recycling and materials experts, biochemists and medical professionals might be brought together to work on the interrelated problems from a number of critical angles. But currently, there are no major collaborative efforts among these disciplines.

Changing these situations will require raising awareness and education to motivate changes in consumer behavior. It will take cooperation from businesses to change products and packaging. It will take political action to improve waste management and recycling practices. And it will require financial support for research to find ways to recover and reprocess the millions of tons of plastic already accumulated in marine environments, and other ways to remedial already existing biological and human health effects.

There are many simple and economically practical solutions for reducing the use of plastics, for safely and appropriately reusing certain plastic items, and for improving the handling of plastic waste to make sure that it enters the recycling stream rather than the typical waste stream.

How to keep the problem from getting worse

Consumers need to be  educated about how to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics. Of these actions, the most important by far is to REDUCE,REUSE, RECYCLE the use of plastic in every aspect of daily living. This is neither as difficult nor inconvenient as it seems, and it can deliver long-term health benefits and immediate cost savings.

Spreading the word

Plastic waste, and particularly its accumulation and breakdown in the world’s oceans, are a far larger problem than heart disease or cancer, and unquestionably contribute to both of these conditions.

Plastic in the oceans is more damaging and far-reaching than deforestation, habitat destruction and other environmental issues, and it is the most directly actionable of all environmental threats.

Spread the word.

Organizations like  Ocean Girl Project needs your support,  please CONTRIBUTE by spreading the word. The Ocean Girl Project’s primary purpose is affordable educational and sustainable actions for our kids in Hawaii .

LIke us FAcebooK or sign up here for emails and updates!

Surfers, Plastic Pollution, & Sustainable Solutions

 photo by Clark Little used by permission 

Surfers spend a lot of time in and around the ocean and are often referred to as  “guardians of the sea”.  But whether you are a surfer or not,  we are all sustainable guardians of the planet and we truly need to keep our oceans safe, healthy and our cherished ocean beings thriving!

Pla-stuck and Ocean Pollution

Plastic is relatively cheap to produce, versatile and above all durable to the point of near indestructibility. Unfortunately it is this durability that makes plastic completely unsuited for disposable items.

Plastic pollution as referred to in this article is the result of single-use plastics that are discarded and enter the ocean. Single-use plastic items include but are not limited to :  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 at times ineffective. Let’s call it what it is, plastic pollution.

What about recycling? Recycling is a positive step, and recycling drives raise awareness and funds for schools and non profits, but it is not a truly  sustainable solution for the long run.

Have you ever seen a recycling bin full and over flowing? Plastic bags and bottles flying and falling out of the bins 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 (especially on  an island) or they are expensively exported to other countries where they are land based and are often washed out to sea.

What about doing 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.

Solutions – Doing our part in Hawaii



Sustainable-Very simply put, the responsible treatment of natural resources.


Solutions-There are literally 100’s of solutions, you can visit our web site: www.becausewesurf.com for more  sustainable ideas and simple things we can do. We will be adding many more sustainable solutions on this blog, sign up on the top right to receive updates. Here are some to start with…

Never, ever, ever litter- Be respectful and leave nothing but footprints on the beach and valleys. We are on very small islands with finite resources, please don’t litter and report those that do.

Plastic bags are one of the worst and most unnecessary plastic polluters of the ocean and the easiest to replace. Carry and shop with reusable sustainable bags. A single reusable bag can eliminate hundreds to thousands of disposable bags over its lifetime. Look for reusable bags that are made out of strong sustainable material (not plastic), if the seller doesn’t know what the material is, go somewhere else, thrift stores, local health food stores, farmers markets and craft fairs are a good source or make your own. $$Bonus$$ many stores now give small discounts for bringing your own bag.

Write to colleen@oceangirlproject.com if you can’t afford  a reusable bag and we will send you one -100% FREE!

Plastic bottles- Plastic bottles along with plastic bags are the most common sources of plastic pollution found on our beaches and in the ocean. In the US alone, eight out of 10 (22 billion) plastic bottles will end up in a landfill-Container Recycling Institute.

The easiest solution is to carry reusable stainless steel water bottles and flasks and drink tap water!! HELLLLOOOO PEEPS!!! It’s clean, safe and you already paid for it!! The Hawaii Board of Supply (www.hbws.org) states on their site: “The municipal water supply served to Oahu’s residents is safe to drink and use, and does not require treatment by a home filtration unit.” If you are still concerned you can easily purchase filtration systems from almost any super market, Longs, etc. Buying soda and juice containers made from glass helps also.

Cartoon used with Permission all rights reserved Steve Greenberg (greenbergart.com) is an editorial cartoonist & news artist.


Capt. Charles Moore on the seas of plastic

Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he’s drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.

About Charles Moore
Charles Moore is founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. He captains the foundation’s research vessel, the Alguita, documenting the great expanses of plastic waste that now litter… Full bio and more links

International Surfing Day Celebration


In celebration of International Surfing Day (ISD) on June 20th, the Surfrider Foundation’s Hawaii Chapters and Kona Brewing Company are proud to present the Summer Concert Tour with the Throwdowns. Set to hit Oahu, Maui, Kauai & the Big Island, the tour will raise funds and recruit new members for Surfrider’s chapters. The four concerts will also raise awareness of issues like water quality, beach access, coastal preservation and plastic marine debris.

Headlining each event will be Maui’s 2010 double Na Hoku-nominated stadium pop outfit The Throwdowns. Known for their high octane live performances, catchy songs and a modern radio sound with an island twist, The Throwdowns are not to be missed. Each show on the tour will be an All Ages Event, with the exception of Kauai. Join us as we work together to have fun and protect the waters that bring us so much joy everyday!

Below are the Tour Dates and Venues:

Friday, June 18th: The Mixx, Kona, BIG ISLAND (with special guests)

Saturday, June 19th: The Fresh Cafe, Honolulu, OAHU (with the Deadbeats & Analogic)

Friday, June 25th: The Lava Lounge, Kapa’a, KAUAI (with special guests)

Saturday, June 26th: Mulligan’s on the Blue, Wailea, MAUI (with Moth & Sounds of Addiction)

For The Throwdowns’ bassist Kimo Clark, who serves as Vice Chair of the Maui Chapter, the cause is close to home. “When you grow up on an island,” said Clark “getting involved with a cause like this is kind of a no-brainer.” An avid surfer and musician, Clark saw the opportunity to pair the band with the Surfrider as a means to feed the arts and clean the waters. “We’re stoked to celebrate ISD with The Throwdowns and our Hawaii Chapters,” says Stuart Coleman, Surfrider’s Hawaii Coordinator.

Kona Brewing Company is passionate about giving back to the community and preserving our precious environment. KBC is Hawaii’s largest brewery, with two pubs on Hawaii’s Big Island and Oahu. Both pubs are Certified Green Restaurants® by the Green Restaurant Association, and the brewery makes Hawaii’s first – and only – certified organic beer, Oceanic Organic Saison. Along with Kona Brewing Co., Innov8 Magazine is supporting this unique concert tour. Tickets are for sale at each venue for $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Becausewesurf supports Surfrider!

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 90 chapters worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, go to http://www.surfrider.org and http://www.surfrider.org/oahu.


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