I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I spent years educating the public about marine conservation. My journey to zero waste started from this connection with the water and the need to share the process of developing a better relationship with our planet. My zero waste lifestyle also started from the need to align my personal beliefs with my daily actions, which is why I started Be Zero.
Be Zero's mission is to inspire, educate, and activate individuals to dramatically reduce their plastic and trash footprint and to create simple and sustainable lifestyle habits. One way we can do this is by collaborating with like-minded organizations who are working to bring awareness to our environment, especially our plastic pollution problem.
On a recent trip to Florida, I met up with Beach Guardians Atlantic, a non-profit with a community based around the Atlantic Ocean who care for local coasts, recognize upstream connections and practice positive action to end plastic pollution.
(Photos: A few examples of plastic pollution collected by Beach Guardians on the Atlantic coast of Florida.)
Ocean plastic is a serious problem. Recent studies suggest that there is nearly 270,000 metric tonnes of plastic floating in the world's oceans! Whoa!
Plastic photo-degrades, which means when the material is exposed to sunlight it breaks down into smaller and smaller toxic pieces. These pieces are deadly to both wildlife and our ecosystems. Much of the plastic that is found in the ocean is from upstream (that's right, from you and me), not from people littering on the beach. That is why it's so important that we rethink our trash and plastic footprint and refuse single-use plastic waste.
Learning about this connection between what we trash and where it goes is a big part of our collaboration with Beach Guardians Atlantic.
We hope to inspire and educate our communities both on the Atlantic coastlines and right here in Colorado on how deeply intertwined our ecosystems really are. Sharing the story of plastic pollution from inland to sea is an important way to understand how the materials we use each day are affecting our ocean ecosystems globally.
Collaboration is essential. By connecting with like-minded organizations, we can build networks, relationships, and interactions that help tell a much bigger story about our environment. I love building relationships in all areas of this field, especially when it comes to the protection of our oceans!
I'm hopeful that each one of us will create deeper connections between our everyday consumer actions and our growing plastic pollution problem around the world. In the coming future, find more informative posts about ocean pollution, ways to connect, and educational opportunities to participate with on the journey to creating less waste and more ocean awareness. Stay tuned!
And remember, clean beaches start away from the beach!