Category Archives: Green

It has been a little over a month since Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York. Northeast surfing spots, like Long Beach and Ocean City, were utterly destroyed – surf shops were flooded and blown away, boardwalks were ripped apart and the beaches were severely eroded.

The storm surge hit on October 29, and became the most devastating storm to hit New York and New Jersey since 1938. It was also the costliest storm to hit the region, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around NYC. Many families along the Jersey Shore and Long Island lost their homes and the death toll totaled more than 110 people. Total damage in the US is estimated at over $63 billion.

Although most of the cleanup is done, there are still people powerless, homeless, hungry and cold on Long Island and in New Jersey.

Non-profit org Waves for Water is currently leading a multi-phase focused effort to remove storm debris and assist with other basic survival needs. They have already helped with local crews to remove debris and provide basic survival supplies, including food, water, and blankets. The next phase is to help sustain people until basic infrastructure can be restored, and then take the hardest hit area and assist with their rebuilding efforts.

If you’re looking for a way to help, our friends at Sector 9 are offering up a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Tee in either black or white. It’s made of 100% organic cotton, and best of all 100% of the sales proceeds of each tee will be donated to the Waves for Water Hurricane Relief Initiative to support their disaster relief efforts in New York and New Jersey.

For more information, on the Waves to Water mission, go to http://www.wavesforwater.org/. Continue reading

November 19th is World Toilet Day, an international day of recognition started in 2001 to highlight one of the world’s biggest problems — inadequate sanitation for 2.5 billion people. Unfortunately, millions of people dying from poor sanitation is no laughing matter. One in three people do not have a safe, clean and private toilet.

Most of the people without access to a clean toilet live in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Illnesses that are a direct result of bad sanitation affect the quality of life of millions of people around the world, especially children. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diarrheal diseases alone are responsible for the deaths of 2 million people every year, and it’s estimated that 88% of those deaths are attributable to unsafe water supply, sanitation and hygiene. Diarrheal diseases are the second most common cause of death of young children in developing countries, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined, and resulting in 1 death every 20 seconds.

The positive effects of a clean toilet on society lead to a healthy life, greater human dignity, freedom, equality between women, men, girls and boys, and finally, a catalyst to the development of communities and countries. There is a strong link between the absence of good sanitation and poverty. The economic growth in Europe and North America went hand in hand when the sanitary conditions improved markedly, resulting in individual health gains and increased labor productivity. Toilets are a symbol of better health, higher income, more education, higher social status and a cleaner living environment.

During this Thanksgiving week, let’s be thankful to our access to clean, private, and sanitary toilet facilities. In the meantime, take a moment to consider global sanitation and how you can help: http://www.worldtoiletday.org/learn.php

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As part of Raptober (the month long challenge to rise above plastics), the Surfrider Foundation is proud to present the 2nd Annual ONE FOOT AT A TIME plastic clean-up event. The goal again this year is to remove one thousand square feet of plastic from communities.

This fun and exciting event will bring together volunteers from across the country to raise awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution by removing pieces of plastic trash from our environment one square foot at a time. The collected material will be used to create unique mosaic sculptures. Last year over 300 awesome submissions were received for the Surfrider Foundation’s 1st Annual One Foot at a Time event.

Surfrider Foundation will be awarding their favorite submissions with a host of prizes.

Here’s how to participate:

  • Step One: CLICK HERE to download one or all of the One Foot at a Time templates.
  • Step Two: Print out the template and tape the pieces together
  • Step Three: Go outside and collect as many pieces of plastic as you can from your local beach, park, playground, neighborhood, etc.
  • Step Four: Arrange the pieces of plastic that you’ve collected on your One Foot at a Time template. Make sure and cover the entire gridded area. Be creative – try and utilize the various shapes and colors of the plastic pieces you’ve collected to make your mosaic unique.
  • Step Five: Take a photo of your mosaic sculpture and send it to OFAAT@surfrider.org. Make sure to include your full name and location where you collected the trash to make your sculpture.
  • Step Six: Dispose of your One Foot at a Time sculpture in an appropriate waste container designated for recycling

Submitted pictures will be shared on http://www.raptober.org/images/. Check out the site to see last year’s winners.

The best mosaics will be awarded prizes, including:

  • Most Creative: OFAAT submission that shows the most creativity in terms of design. We will be rewarding one winner for each of the five templates.
  • Best Use of Materials: OFFAAT submission that makes the best use of collected materials (e.g. all bottle caps, all same color pieces of plastic, etc.)
  • Most Trash Collected: The person who makes the most OFAAT submissions (note – they’ll be comparing your pictures to make sure you’re not simply using the same pieces of trash over and over)
  • Best Photo: OFAAT submission with the best, most artistic photo
  • “The Wheel” – The person who submits the best overall OFAAT submission for ALL FIVE templates (must utilize unique pieces of trash for all submissions).

So… get your creative juices out there, while ridding the world of extraneous plastic and trash.

All photos must be submitted by next Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Winners will be notified and announced the first week of November.

Good luck to all participants! Continue reading

This Friday, June 8 is World Oceans Day, a day when people around the globe come together to celebrate our ocean and take action to protect it. Not only does the ocean make our world liveable, we need healthy oceans for food, water, commerce, recreation, and medicine.

Unfortunately, the ocean has suffered some serious blows lately: 90% of the big fish in the sea are gone, the gyres are filled with more plastic than previously estimated, the Deepwater Horizon disaster dumped 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and coastal dead zones from agricultural runoff are worse than ever.

Yet, most of us don’t realize the ocean is truly in danger. Most Americans think that the ocean is healthy and “too vast” for individual action to have an impact. In fact, the American public believes that ocean waters bordering the US are significantly less imperiled than are “foreign” waters. Sadly, that isn’t true.

The good news is that a record number of aquariums, zoos, and museums are providing ways on World Oceans Day for their visitors to get inspired and take personal action to help our world’s ocean.

So, let’s all transform our concern and “green-friendliness” into action and join 11x ASP World Surfing Champ Kelly Slater and take action for our world ocean. There are hundreds of events being held all over the world, so find one near you and celebrate with a purpose this World Oceans Day… the perfect day for all of us across the country and around the world to celebrate our ocean connections, do more for ocean conservation, and learn more about our ocean!

Check out www.theoceanproject.org for ideas, free materials, and event listings.

 

Let’s save our oceans! Continue reading

Earth Day is right around the corner. Are you ready to Mobilize the Earth™? More than one billion people around the globe are expected to participate in Earth Day 2012, which is on Sunday, April 22nd. It’s a dedicated day for all nationalities to voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection in hopes of a sustainable future.

Since Earth Day is a day for action, it’s the perfect chance to show how important the environment is to you. Individuals, organizations, and governments should all do their part.

Stumped what you can do for Earth Day? Here are a few ideas:

  • Bring your own reusable shopping bags to the store. There’s no need for a proliferation of plastic and paper bags, which are so bad for our environment.
  • Pledge to use paper carefully and encourage others to do so, too. Opt to go paperless wherever possible.
  • Encourage healthier eating habits. Try to eat a sustainable healthy plantarian, pure vegetarian, vegan diet. Support your local farmer’s markets for fresh local produce. They usually grow organic vegetables which are better for our environment and your body as they don’t use harmful pesticides or fertilizers. Or better yet, grow your own garden and make sure not to use any pesticides or harmful fertilizers.
  • Conserve water. Take shorter showers. Try to limit showers to 10 minutes or less. Also, switch off the tap while brushing.
  • Conserve electricity. Turn off the lights if you don’t need them, and never leave your laptop ON when not using it. Use ceiling fans in the summer and winter months for climate control. Replace older light bulbs with energy-efficient CFL or LED bulbs.
  • Raise awareness about Earth Day. Continue to educate yourself and others on how to save our resources and act green. A good resource is the Earth Day site: www.earthday.org
  • Walk or bike instead of driving places if you can. It will help reduce our dependence on oil.
  • Lower Use of Bottled Water/Beverages. Although it may be convenient, purchasing bottled water should be avoided if possible. Try filling reusable containers with tap water and leaving them in your fridge as an alternative.
  • Finally, plant a tree. Besides producing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide and contaminants from the air, trees provide other numerous social, economic, and environmental benefits.

What will you do to honor Earth Day?

Image by Yann Arthus Bertrand Continue reading