So, we’ve watched the best of Shark Week, wondered at the majestic creatures and learnt about how these 400 million year old creatures that have evolved and survived through previous mass extinctions, climate changes and planet-altering events are now threatened by human actions not least of all the pollution of waterways, seas and oceans. There’s so much that needs to change but one easy thing you can do to help is to support the efforts of organizations such as 4Ocean.
4Ocean was founded when surfers Alex Schulze and Andrew Cooper were moved by the sight of fishermen wading through tons of plastic waste in Bali, Indonesia. They realized that economics forced the fishermen to focus on pulling seafood out of the water instead of the plastic that was doing so much damage and thus sort a way to work around this.
The organization looks to fund the ocean clean ups by giving plastic a value in the global economy and creating an economy for trash removal. Based in Florida, 4Ocean employs 150 people, including full time boat captains and clean up crews, worldwide. The garbage that is taken from shores and water is sorted and recycled where possible or disposed of responsibly. You can track their work online; last week the organization celebrated pulling their millionth pound of trash. While that barely dents the total volume of ocean garbage it really makes a difference to the areas they operate in. Their, work when coupled with like minded not for profits, is a definite step in the right direction.
So how can you get involved? 4Ocean hosts off shore and beach cleanups in 27 countries so far but if you can’t get to one of those you can simply buy their products. Their main line is simple unisex bracelets made from recycled materials (although not necessarily the plastic and glass that they have collected). For each $20 bracelet purchased 4Ocean promises to pull one pound of trash from the ocean. As a bonus they are light enough to ship internationally so you can join in wherever you are!
As well as their regular bracelets, each month a limited edition bracelet color is released to tie in with an ocean themed cause or charity. This month they have partnered with ProjectAWARE to raise awareness of the plight of sharks, who are threatened by over hunting and direct consequences of trash and microplastics in the oceans. Ecosystems across the planet would be irreversibly damaged by the loss of these apex predictors and this would have massive implications for all of us.
We bought the July Shark bracelet earlier this month (this was actually our third bracelet – they make great gifts for like minded friends and family!). The product arrived promptly, in recycled packaging and with awareness raising stickers and information. The bracelet itself comes in a branded cotton pouch that was handmade in Bali, while minimalist in design the glass beads have a lovely weight to them and are solid even though delicate looking. We were very happy with our purchase.
I hope you’ll take a look at 4Oceans website Facebook page; the facts and videos are well presented. A truly worthy read. Clean up events and other news are regularly posted on their Facebook page. If you are looking to join in cleanups in the UK check out Surfers Against Sewage for their events and products.
Disclosure: This article is not sponsored in any way. All purchases were paid for myself and opinions are my own.