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.
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:
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
“Even though the plastic pollution problem is a far bigger issue than we can yet fully understand and comprehend, there are several steps that each of us can take in order to reduce further plastic and particularly microplastic pollution. Firstly and foremost reduce and refuse plastic whenever it is possible, reuse and recycle as much as possible. To reduce microplastics in particular, avoid personal hygiene products that contain microbeads. However, one of the biggest creators of small plastic particles is synthetic fibres (any man made material), and as ironic (and sad) it might be, this also includes clothing made out of recycled plastic bottles. Dr. Mark Browne, an ecologist and postdoctoral fellow at the National Centre of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California, explains:
“every time a synthetic garment — one made of manmade rather than natural fibers — goes through the spin and rinse cycle in a washing machine, it sheds a large number of plastic fibers. Most washing machines don’t have filters to trap these miniscule microfibers, and neither do sewage plants that are responsible for removing contaminants. So every time the water drains from a washing machine, plastic filaments are swept through the sewers and eventually end up in the ocean.”
So while we all do our best, there is always more to learn and groups to support. One thing we can do is to inspire others with action. Join the world’s largest coastal cleanup day with 5 Gyres on September 15. (coincidentally that is also one of 5 Gyres Ambassadors, Zane Schweitzer, co-author of Blue Life Journal, birthday). More info here.
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.”
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.