Next Generation Ocean Stewards!

Upstream solutions? WE are the upstream. WE are the ones who can (one by one) turn off our personal “plastics into the ocean” tap. When the gushing stream of plastics into the water, land and air is so huge it might seem that turning off (or turning down) our own little tap is almost meaningless.

This is absolutely NOT the case, and we all know it in our heart.

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Cover Art by Liz Cunningham, author of Ocean Country – Copyright 2018

The habit of writing about intention, gratitude and actions is a powerful practice. We can make a “blue life” choice and write about it in our Blue Life Journal. We can then share our commitment and action on our social media, we talk about it in conversation with a friend, we turn down our tap.

More importantly, we connect with others who begin to do the same.

We may not be on an expedition in Indonesia, but thank goodness 5 Gyres IS!

We may not be measuring plastic across the oceans of the world and creating a network of innovators who can re-design materials, but thank goodness Cyrill Gutsch and Parley for the Oceans is.

Do not underestimate individual action repeated consistently. We are leading change where it will matter most. Our personal habits and choices will turn off the taps where it is need most – UPSTREAM from the plastic garbage patches killing our oceans. (Get your Blue Life Journal and start today)

Never think your choices are less important – remember that collectively we created the problem as a human member of the plastics dilemma. Together, we are the ones who will solve it.

The time is NOW to engage
the future stewards of the ocean in the process.

The optimism, perspective and ideas of youth are exactly what we all need. For that reason, we offer a Blue Life Curriculum to teachers in grades 4-8 at NO CHARGE. It includes: kids_nature

  • Comprehensive Teacher handbook
  • All slide decks (with online video)
  • List of each You Tube video for ease in obtaining “green light” for use in the classroom
  • Scripts for each slide deck (PDF)
  • Worksheets for each slide deck (Google Forms and PDF)
  • PDF (printable) copies of the Blue Life Journal for Kids
  • Explanation and Alignment to standards (Technology, writing, character education, environment, STEM careers, Service Learning)
  • Access to additional/optional activities
  • Resources and Supplemental Materials for expanding as interest dictates

If you are interested in learning more, fill out the form on our CONTACT page. If you already have a program that includes journal writing, character education, environmental studies, a “green” club or a focus on STEM careers, you will love the Blue Life Curriculum. 

Our mantra we hope you adopt with us: ONE + TOGETHER = HOPE.

The Voice of Youth: Saving Our Oceans

india-plastic2We recently wrote about a group of middle schoolers in India who sent 20,000 plastic wrappers back to the manufacturer asking them to change the packaging to keep plastic out of the environment and the ocean.

That was a powerful story and one that solidly reinforces the premise behind the Blue Life Journal Curriculum (Grades 4-8) we created for teachers. (Available at no cost for the 2018-2019 school year) When young people are given a tool, like the Blue Life Journal for Kids, and engaging stories demonstrating hope, innovation, imagination, invention and connection as a solution path vs the enormous challenge of plastic – the future looks bright.

We recently read an article about an expedition partially sponsored by Starboard, Eat Less Plastic. This expedition which will sail to remote parts of the globe and sift small “microplastics” from the ocean will spend five months sailing the South Pacific. They will go to  areas that have never been tested for microplastics and other marine debris.

The mission is funded through Love The Sea, a Hawaii-based non-profit run by Campbell Farrell—himself an accomplished big-wave surfer as well as paddleboard racer. Originally from New Zealand.  The Ultimate Waterman, Starboard Dream Team athlete and co-author of the Blue Life Journal, Zane Schweitzer, is throwing his support behind the journey as one of its ambassadors. The message shared by expeditions of this type are loud and clear – we need to re-design plastic and stop the flow at the source, with manufacturing.Eat-Less-Plastic-An-Epic-4-month-Voyage-Across-The-Southern-Pacific-Ocean-2

When it comes to coastal cleanups Campbell Farrell, a surfer, ECO/Ocean advocate, Starboard Ambassador and businessman says that “beverage containers and straws get a lot of flak, but when you go and do a beach cleanup, every industry I can think of, whether it’s automotive, sporting, fashion, of toothbrushes, is showing up on the beaches every day. The entire world and every industry needs to stop and take a look at their consumption of plastics. It’s going to take big commercial players to step up.”

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Starboard’s Svein Rasmussen walks the talk – with gusto!

Manufacturers with philosophies like Starboard and their “Starboard Blue” commitment can lead the way. Leaders and those in the role of CEO, like Starboard’s Svein Rasmussen, are working hard to share the message. But there are endless more manufacturers who need to really HEAR the message. Sometimes it just takes the collective voice of youth – the future stewards of our planet. We are certain that when teachers share our Blue Life Curriculum with their students that the students will take up the cause through their optimism, idealism, hope for the future and fresh perspective.

Back to School: Blue Life Stewards

People ask, “Why do you give away your Blue Life Curriculum (grades 4-8) to teachers and students – no charge?”

Here’s one reason why: “In school, children learn to be citizens. As we face climate change, disparities between rich and poor, and complicated questions about ever-more-powerful technology, we need citizens who care about community and can speak different truths.”EnviroKidsGallery07-itok=ENKYip0m

The above is a quote from the book Family Business by Malinda Chouinard and Jennifer Ridgeway

There are children all over the world being given the valuable opportunity to practice journal writing. Our thought is this: If young people are given a chance to reflect on gratitude, creating an amazing day and writing their intention to make a “blue life – good for the ocean and environment” choice every day, they will learn to be aware and proactive citizens that can save our ocean.

The second part of the Blue Life Curriculum is a series of engaging slide decks including powerful video, scripted discussion cues for the teacher and digital worksheets (no paper needed).  These resources reinforce ideas, demonstrate the power of individuals to make a difference and are geared to inspire young people to innovate and invent.

That’s our donation to our future. CONTACT us for more information.

What’s a “Blue Life” Choice: Sustainability Rocks

We recently came across a comprehensive article (July 28, 2018) written by Trammell S. Crow for the Dallas Morning News. Trammell is the heart and soul behind the far-reaching and hugely successful EarthX held each spring in Dallas. The commentary talks about how our awareness of the negative impact of plastic straws might lead us to more broad-reaching change of habits and attitudes that could protect the world’s oceans.

Best of all, he outlined a six-point plan that provides each of us with actions and choices we can begin to adopt right now. The more we know about choices, the more creative, innovative and inspired our daily entries in our Blue Life Journal can become.

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Your “blue life” choices can generate sustainability

Here’s the list from Trammell’s commentary:

“Together with environmental sustainability nonprofits EarthX and Future 500, these leaders developed a six-point plan to protect the world’s oceans. Cutting plastic pollution was high on that list, but we didn’t stop there.

We detailed six ways consumers and corporations could combine their buying power in order to get to the root causes of ocean destruction.

Government can help, but consumers have the real power, if we learn to use it. We can save the oceans by only supporting brands and companies that:

• Shift to clean-burning fuels on cargo and cruise ships.

• Offer only sustainable seafood, never from illegal or untraceable sources.

• Avoid minerals, oil and gas mined in ways that threaten fisheries, reefs and complex marine ecosystems.

• Buy plastic products only from providers who join a comprehensive global system to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics, and prevent marine debris from entering the ocean, especially in nations that don’t have recycling infrastructures.

• Buy meat and produce only from farms and ranches that strictly reduce chemical runoff — the chief cause of ocean dead zones that kill fisheries and hurt people whose livelihoods depend on them.

• Commit to corporate and public policies that will drive down ocean acidification and coral reef death, which threaten our food supply and, ultimately, survival.

By the way, the actions that reduce acidification and coral destruction, which are not under debate, are the same that protect the climate, a problem that some still deny.

Those six steps are all within reach. Responsible business executives, consumers and political leaders I know from both parties agree they are necessary.

But they won’t happen until citizens organize across party lines and aim for systemic solutions that are bigger than just a ban on straws.

That requires we step past our polarized political system. Polls show that 70 percent of Americans, on the right and left, can find solutions on almost any issue if we just talk with one another.

Saying no to straws is a first step; it is tangible, easy and helps start a conversation.

Let’s keep talking and find collaborative solutions that can stem the tide of ocean destruction.”

And let’s keep our daily practice of writing in our Blue Life Journal going strong – sharing that experience with others. Connect with us by sharing your ideas and stories HERE.

Humans vs Microplastics: Expeditions and Heroes

zane-mangroveEvery day we can find our Ocean Advocate and “Blue Life” heroes and heroines sharing their passion and stories online. Sometimes their adventures and journeys seem so large and amazing that we might sit back in awe – and wonder, “What could I possibly do to make in difference in a problem so huge as micro-plastics in the ocean?” (Meet Blue Life Journal co-author Zane Schweitzer making a personal difference each day – featured image)

For example, in collaboration with Parley and supported by TOMRA recycling, the pioneering all-female crew of “eXXpedition North Pacific” recently set sail from Honolulu, Hawaii, on a scientific research mission led by award-winning British skipper, Parley collaborator and ocean advocate, Emily Penn. The voyage will investigate solutions to the devastating impacts of plastic and related toxic pollutants in the world’s oceans, and bring global awareness to three “unseens”: women in science; pollution in our oceans and bodies; and rises in disease, especially in young women. Exxxpedition-north-pacific4

Here’s another recent example from 5 Gyres, their 18th Expedition bringing citizen scientists (including Blue Life Journal co-author Zane Schweitzer) through Indonesia’s Corla Triangle from Bali to Komodo. They sampled microplastics and explored solutions to the problem of plastic pollution. Groups were lead by 5 Gyres Co-Founder and Research Director Marcus Eriksen and 5 Gyres Science Programs Director Carolynn Box.

Through their Asia Pacific Action Against Plastic Pollution program, 5 Gyres is collaborating with NGOs in Southeast Asia to highlight and scale zero-waste efforts in the region. Data collected on this Expedition will be incorporated into their global dataset of microplastics, used in the update of 5 Gyres’ Global Estimate of Marine Plastic Pollution study.

That expedition exemplifies 5 Gyres’ “science to solutions” model, leading to a better understanding of the global scope and trends related to ocean plastic pollution. It will help us monitor the efficacy of upstream solutions over time. ( Learn more about the NIX 6 – what WE can do)

Upstream solutions – WE are the upstream. WE are the ones who can (one by one) turn off our personal “plastics into the ocean” tap. When the gushing stream of plastics into the water, land and air is so huge it might seems that turning off (or turning down) our own little tap is almost meaningless.

blj-new-bright-coverThis is absolutely NOT the case, and we all know it in our heart. We make a “blue life” choice and write about it in our Blue Life Journal. We share it on our social media, we talk about it in conversation with a friend, we turn down our tap.

More importantly, we connect with others who begin to do the same. We may not be on an expedition in Indonesia, we may not be measuring plastic across the oceans of the world – but we are leading change where it will matter most. Our personal habits and choices will turn off the taps where it is need most – UPSTREAM from the plastic garbage patches killing our oceans. (Get your Blue Life Journal and start today)

Never think your choices are less important – remember that collectively we created the problem as a human member of the plastics dilemma. Together, we are the ones who will solve it.

Our mantra we hope you adopt with us: ONE + TOGETHER = HOPE.

 

 

Your Blue Life Strategy: Build on Genius

Everybody’s heard, “Don’t re-invent the wheel.” This phrase has never been more true than in our quest to save the Ocean, reduce single use plastic, save marine life – and ourselves.

As innovative and mindful as each of us is about our personal choices and habits, the collective power of us supporting the network of larger efforts is even more.  In the Blue Life Journal we invite individuals to make mindful plans each morning for their “Blue Life” intentions.  Over time, people will write things like, “Brought my re-usable cup to coffee shop,” or “bought a stainless steel straw to avoid plastic straws.”

The ways we can personally change habits is good. But writing those choices over time might feel like “too little.” That’s when your Blue Life Journal can step up to be life changing.  We include a section in the Journal called Connections. It is similar to what we offer in a small way in this Conversation.

Learn about larger efforts, successful “blue life initiatives, innovative solutions and join the momentum of their strength in numbers. If you are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media – use your platform to share what you learn and connect your energy and ideas to the empowering opportunities. Discover who we follow – FOLLOW us and we will FOLLOW back. Blue Life on Twitter, Blue Life on Facebook.

Some examples of ways you can take a group’s BIG IDEA and bring it home – making your Blue Life” the source of inspiration for many are below.  For instance, if you live near a harbor or marina – be the leader that gets a SeaBin installed. We list many more on our PEOPLE AND PROJECTS page.

seabin-1The SeaBin Project. (Link to overview)

The Back Story:  Once upon a time, two surfers got sick of swimming in garbage. Unlike most of us, they decided to do something about it. In 2015, Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski quit their jobs and sourced seed funding from Shark Mitigation Systems to design a prototype ocean garbage collecting ‘Seabin’. This began a journey of research and product development that would take them around the world. Today, they are finally bringing their invention home to Australia.

The Seabin Project develops upstream solutions for waterways adjacent to high population areas, such as marinas, ports and public waterways. This is a front-line approach: if you can capture the debris deposited into the water at its most common source (near land), less garbage will work its way out into the oceans.

 

The video story is available here: Link to video

Your Passion Fuels Ocean Solutions

During the time period of January – June 2018 many individuals that are passionate about “being the Blue Life solution” for our voiceless friend, the Ocean, will be using the Blue Life Journal. If you want your “early release” copy of the Blue Life Journal (coming August 1, 2018) Pre-order here.

ashleybdrone2In a challenging, even overwhelming, situation whether in business, life – or our fragile environment – creativity is the ability to design original, meaningful ideas that shake the foundations of traditional “The way we’ve always done it” mindset. (Photo Credit: Karim Illya of Ashley Baxter)

The lone creative genius who has the “fix it” innovation represents old school thinking. Today, in teams, environmental organizations and businesses across the world, it’s true that no one person holds all the pieces of the puzzle. For that reason we have created this CONVERSATIONS vehicle so that creativity can be nurtured and supported throughout Blue Life Journal Publications. Together, we connect and collaborate by the daily practice of Blue Life Journal-ing. We will create the very survival and hope the Ocean requires by offering up our own ideas and building on those of others. Organizations, innovative projects and – YOU! Connect and share via your social media. Check us out on Twitter.

Hope will come from the groundswell; the people and the Blue Life community. It has to, because our viral explosion of ideas can fuel the next SUPERTREND.  (Click to Learn More)

Individual small actions will drive the habits central to the health of our Oceans – and our own survival. All of this is very good news to us because our core competency is connecting people, into communities that ‘Innovate and Inspire.” Together, we have the power to change our environment.