Surfer's Responsibility to the Ocean

Our church, our playground and our responsibility

Kim Akrigg

Photographer

Hometown: Vancouver, Canada

Current Residence: Byron Bay, Australia

Social Media Handles: @kimakrigg

Personal Website: www.kimakrigg.com

EVERY BIT ENDS UP IN THE OCEAN

Every single bit of plastic that has ever been made, is still in existence. Take a moment to think about that for a bit. Every bag, every bottle cap, toy, toothbrush, everything. Eventually everything ends up in the ocean. We humans, as ingenious as we are, have created endless amounts of waste, which isn’t going anywhere. As surfers, the health of our oceans and our planet is our duty and responsibility. The ocean is our playground, our church, sacred ground, everything. Without it we wouldn’t be surfers. So it may seem like the whole climate change thing is out of our hands, it’s time to take back our responsibility. The only thing we have full autonomy over is ourselves, and if we each take the opportunity to try to do better, and be less wasteful, each of us working together can have a huge impact.

Sometimes the task of trying to change seems daunting, but it doesn’t need to be in huge steps. The way to create change is to do it at a personal level, and we have a duty to ourselves and the people around us to do our best, and try to educate those around us. This doesn’t need to be judgmental, and it can be as quiet as you just trying to lead through example.

It’s the little things that add up, and a small way to make a big change is to try to consciously reduce the amount of single use plastic we use. This includes plastic bags from the grocery store, which sea animals can confuse as food and mistakenly eat. Reusable bags are cheap and easy to find, leave them in your car or bag to have on hand. If grocery stores offer boxes utilize them, and try using paper bags for produce. Reusable produce bags are also a great idea.

surfers responsibility to the ocean 2.0

ITS TIME TO CUT DOWN

Plastic straws are another example of unnecessary plastic use. Maybe you’ve seen the image of the sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck through his nose. This is entirely unacceptable in my opinion. No creatures should need to suffer because humans felt the need to put themselves first. Paper straws, or reusable straws are an option, or just forego a straw entirely.

The morning ritual of getting a coffee and checking the surf is one of my favorite morning habits, and I don’t think I’m alone in this. But paper cups and plastic lids add up quickly over time. Reusable keep cups are a great solution to this, some places will offer you a discount for using them, and if you can’t remember to bring it with you all the time, at least try and forgo the plastic lid on your cup.

There’s lots of little ways that we can attempt to cut down on our waste and the creation of more plastic. It’s little steps that add up everyday that can make the biggest difference, and eventually over time these habits will become second nature so that it doesn’t even feel like you’re making an effort. If everyone gets on board with this we can have a huge impact on preserving the health of our oceans.

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