Earth Day 2012: The Top 5 Threats to Our Oceans, Part One

April 20th, 2012

The tireless and iconic ocean conservationist and activist Sylvia Earle has said that “what we do or fail to do in the next 10 years will have a magnified impact on the next 10,000 years.” This is a call to arms of sorts, a plea to shed ignorance and indifference and learn more about the dangers our oceans face, influencing us all to take positive steps towards helping to heal our oceans, rather than cause them more harm.

To celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd, Seathos is raising awareness of the top five threats our oceans face today: Overfishing, pollution, climate change, ocean acidification and marine habitat loss.

Overfishing

Our oceans are not an endless bounty of food, but they are being treated as such. Currently, 75% of the world’s fishstocks are fished faster than they can reproduce. More than 3.5 billion people depend on the ocean for their primary source of food. In 20 years, this number will double to 7 billion.

Not only does overfishing deplete once thriving marine ecosystems, but it is also has a direct negative impact on the human race as well. Abundant fish populations are vital to the survival of millions of people who depend on seafood production for food and jobs. With a growing human population and dwindling fish stocks, over fishing jeopardizes the livelihoods of many.

Pollution

Trash, chemicals, fertilizers and other harmful contaminants find their way into the ocean every minute of every day. Various factors contribute to water pollution, such as improper disposal of industrial waste, marine dumping, sewage, wastewater and agricultural runoff.

Marine litter is now 60-80% plastic, and can reach 90% in certain areas. Over 100,000 marine mammals and 1,000,000 seabirds die each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic.

Plastic particles, some large, some microscopic, are scattered all throughout the ocean, but perhaps the most startling evidence of marine plastic pollution is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a gyre of marine litter located in the North Pacific. The gyre’s exact size is debatable, but studies have ranged from sizing it between twice the size of Hawaii and as large as the entire continental United States.

Head on over to Seathos’ Earth Day 2012 Campaign page and take part in our 1 for 1 pledge. For every share the page receives the Seathos team will collect 1lb of trash from our local beach in Venice, CA.

Stay tuned for Part Two, highlighting climate change, ocean acidification and marine habitat loss.

Caught-up: Marine life tangled in debris

November 22nd, 2011

These marine animals have been caught-up in marine debris  :(


Over 100,000 marine mammals and 1,000,000 seabirds die each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic

Estimates show that marine litter is now 60-80% plastic, and can reach 90% in certain areas

Plastic now outnumbers sea life 6 to 1 
44% of marine mammals and 86% of turtle species have plastic in their guts

How you can help: Reduce your consumption of single-use plastics (plastic bags, plastic utensils, water bottles etc). Pick up litter from beaches and off of streets!!

Forget ‘America Recycles Day’ make it a Zero Waste Day!

November 15th, 2011

Companies that utilize disposable cans and plastic bottles such as Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Coors, and International Bottled Water have declared November 15th  ‘America Recycles Day’. We are all growing increasingly aware, however, that simply resorting to recycling is not good enough for the health of our environment and oceans. We say forget “America Recycles Day’ and celebrate the more responsible and environmentally conscious ‘Zero Waste Day’!

‘America Recycles Day’ was created by the mega-companies as a tactic to influence public perception and shift responsibility of waste disposal from producer to consumer. Once upon a not-too-long-ago these companies actually cleaned up after themselves. They had an effective system in place whereby they would distribute beverages in refillable bottles which would then be returned by the consumer and reused. But then the big bad cheap plastic bottle entered the picture and everything changed!

With the increased use of disposables came the public’s uncertainty of what to do with the empty bottles. Initially, they were instructed to trash them. Once landfills started fill up, however, people started raising environmental concerns and viola recycling was born.

One of the goals of Zero Waste Day is to help us become more mindful consumers and ‘disposers’. Just because large companies such as Budweiser and Coca-Cola are giving us a pat on the back for recycling doesn’t mean we are doing the right thing. We are still throwing things away! Zero waste Day should be celebrated with the 7 Rs (and none of these are recycle!):

1) Reduce: consume less
2) Return: Look for companies such as Apple and Dell that are taking back old/worn out products
3) Reuse: Don’t be so quick to throw things away even if they are a little banged up…They can still be of use
4) Repair: fix it, don’t ditch it
5) Refill: use refillable bottles. Urge local companies to have a blast to the past and reconsider the refillable bottle
6) Rot: Composting turns waste valuable nutrients
7) Refuse: Stop buying products that support the destruction of our environment

HAPPY ZERO WASTE DAY FRIENDS :)

Guatemalan Schools Built from Plastic Bottles

September 20th, 2011

You all might remember our post on a floating dining room made from plastic bottles, well now there are some schools being built in a similar way!

Hug it Forward, a non-profit in Guatemala, is using plastic bottles to build schools, cutting down on pollution and waste as well as cost.  Pura Vida, the non-profit responsible for the design of the schools, has been able cut down the price of the schools  so they can be built at a cost of $10,000 or less.

The design of the schools is pretty cool. The plastic bottles are stuffed with trash, tucked between supportive chicken wire, and coated in layers of concrete to form walls between the framing. The bottles make up the insulation, while more structurally sound materials like wood posts are used for the framing.

One added bonus of the nonprofit’s work is educating local children about the environment by helping them gather the bottles that end up in their schools’ walls.

A two-classroom schoolhouse built by Hug it Forward in Granados used up 5,000 bottles, which otherwise would’ve kicked around the town’s street or ended up in a trash heap. Hug it Forward has already built 12 schools around the country, with four more in the works.

Sea•thos is loving this new alternative way to the green, eco-friendly, ocean-loving lifestyle that benefits everyone involved.

Thanks GOOD for the article!

Paper and Plastic Bag Ban in Los Angeles

September 12th, 2011

L.A. cities, such as Santa Monica, have recently banned the distribution of single-use plastic bags in grocery stores. The city of Los Angeles is now going a step further and is proposing a ban on all single use bags including paper bags.

The new ban on paper bags has been proposed by councilman Paul Koretz who sees paper bags as a continued environmental problem. Plastic bags are among the top pollutants that end up in the ocean. But paper bags also cause a threat to the environment because they require high energy input to produce them. The Bureau of Sanitation has reported that out of 2.3 billion plastic bags used each year in cities, only 5% are recycled while out of 400 million paper bags, only 21% are recycled.

Under the L.A. proposal, stores will only be permitted to distribute reusable bags or risk a fine. The only exemption will be small plastic bags used to separate certain produce such as raw vegetables.

A ban on all single-use bags benefits grocery stores as well as the environment. Councilman Koretz points out that grocery stores will save a lot of money as they will no longer have to provide single-use bags for consumers.

Environmentalists hope that a continued movement of local bans on single-use bags will influence law makers to enact a statewide ban. Retailers have had past complaints about the inconsistency of city-by-city rules and also support a statewide ban. A state wide ban will provide a standard set of guidelines that will make it easier and more consistent for retailers to follow.

The California Grocers Association supported a bill for a statewide ban last year but the bill died in legislature as it faced opposition from the American Chemistry Council- lobbyists for the plastic bag industry. This year, with the growing support of environmentalists, retailers, and consumers for the ban of all single-use bags, a new bill proposing a statewide ban seems hopeful.

Say Hello To Our New Sea•thos Shop Addition!

September 7th, 2011

Hello All!

Check out our brand new Sea•thos Bracelet! It is now for sale in the shop for a cool $25.

The contrasting light and dark blue colors highlight the copper hook, representing the ocean, giving it a voice.

The sizing of the piece can be adjusted, and when wrapped can fit around a woman’s wrist about 3 times, a man’s about 2 times. It is 20 inches length and can be extended.

This one of a kind piece benefits education and awareness projects around the world.