Help! The Ocean is Drowning in Plastic, Here is What You Can Do About It
This post is sponsored by adidas a brand I genuinely endorse for the AH-mazing innovations they are making in sustainability!
The ocean is my happy place. When I was little, before I even really knew what the ocean was, it fascinated me. When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was a marine biologist. As a teenager in Utah I spent my summers paying my way to surf camp. The day I relocated to San Diego, my dog Brooklyn and I drove straight to the beach and dug our toes (and paws) in the sands of La Jolla Cove. I will never forget the night I got engaged to the love of my life under fireworks on Waikiki beach. To me, no matter what kind of day I’ve had, there is nothing that watching the sun dip below the vast blue horizon couldn’t cure.
That is why I had to write this post. The ocean is in trouble and we are the only ones who can save it. One of the biggest threats to our ocean is plastic. It sounds crazy right?! The ocean is HUGE, how could plastic threaten the ocean? Then I read that by 2050 at the current rate of pollution there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. When I try to imagine a world with plastic-filled oceans that look and smell like Labyrinths bog of eternal stench, it makes my heart hurt.
The thing is, hindsight is 20/20. No one knew plastic would cause such chaos, but now that we know, it is time for action. We can point fingers about whose mess it is, who started it and who should clean it up, but at the end of the day it is going to take every single one of us.
Now more than ever is the time for innovation and more importantly the realization that every single person on this planet is in this together. Water is life, without water we die. I know it sounds so surreal, like the plot of a comic book. But it’s, not. This is our reality and we need to start participating in it, because Captain Planet isn’t coming to save us. There isn’t some last minute hail mary pass, we simply must evolve and make the conscious choice to do better. Not tomorrow, today.
One of the most amazing solutions to the plastic pollution problem is the evolution of technology and finding ways to turn trash into treasure…literally. Brands like adidas and Parley are creating solutions like Parley Ocean Plastic a plastic that is created from upcycled marine plastic. After plastic trash is collected from coastlines, it’s transformed into high-performance polyester yarn, which is then used to create adidas x Parley sportswear. adidas is also launching a 100% recyclable shoe meaning it will literally never see a landfill. These kinds of solutions are what we need to help break the plastic hamster wheel we are running on.
Like I said, hind sight is 20/20. We know what plastic does. Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose. Plastic is responsible for the death of 100 million marine animals per year. Exposure to chemicals in plastic have been linked to cancer and birth defects. It sounds like it should be illegal right?! That’s because it should be, and many countries like Canada and Costa Rica are working on instilling plastic bans, but legislation like this takes time and shifting out of old production models isn’t easy.
This is where we as consumers come in and where our voices can be heard loud and clear. Businesses listen to the bottom line. Many brands are afraid of shifting away from their current models because they are worried about losing money. If we as consumers choose to spend our money supporting brands who are working hard to truly help our planet, other brands will have no other choice but to follow suit. But every time we choose a plastic bottle instead of a refillable one, we tell our oceans we don’t really care all that much. We tell our future generations that plastic was more important than preservation of life. End of story.
I am the first person to admit that shifting into a plastic-free existence seems impossible at times, but then I think about how impossible a 4 minute mile sounded back in the day. No one thought it could be done. Then, in 1954 Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3:59.4 and since then, more than 1,400 athletes have run a mile in under 4 minutes. It’s only impossible if we tell ourselves it is.
Speaking of running…want to do your part?! Make sure to check out the adidas blog, they give great tips on how to limit your plastic pollution and other ways to get involved like their Run for the Oceans challenge on the Runtastic app. While you are there be sure to check out the brand new adidas X Parley collection. I don’t know about you but I LIVE in workout gear 90% of the time, so making the switch to gym clothes and shoes that are made of recycled ocean plastics is a great start on the fashion front, because materials like these help prevent future waste and reduce pollution!
SHOP FOR THE OCEANS
By the way, if you are worried about performance of a recycled plastic, don’t be. I went trail running up Big Cottonwood Canyon this weekend in my new adidas x Parley alphaboost and it was literally like running on clouds from the very first step. I have to admit I was skeptical of switching shoe styles at first because I have been a diehard Ultraboost X fan for a few years, but I have to say I was truly impressed. I’ve linked some of my fave pieces from the collection for you below juuuusssst in case you are having an *add to cart* moment, and looking to take you first steps into sustainability…literally! 😉
One last thing before I let you go. Do me a favor and think about one of your favorite memories of the ocean. Maybe you were running along the beach, or duck diving under a wave, or on a family vacation building sand castles with your kids…then I want you to think about one of your favorite memories of plastic…a fork, a really fabulous grocery bag – and ask yourself, which would you rather have in your life: plastic, or the ocean? Because you can’t have both and it’s time to draw a line in the sand. Not tomorrow, today.
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