by Ocean Blue
I often see seagulls while visiting the beach and today I ran into a Long Billed Curlew one of the largest of our shorebirds. This bird spends more time away from the beach and spends more time in grasslands during the summer.
With grasslands being converted into agriculture we are finding a large decrease due to grassland loss for nesting. Read More:
We all see the Seagulls!
by Karisa Arterbury
People often ask us about what inspires us to keep riding the Ocean Blue wave. The top inspiration is meeting each of you and learning about your own inspirations. We recently had the privilege to speak with Kimber Hoang-Street, a Maui resident and long-time environmental steward. While we got to hear about her current experiences of cleaning Maui’s beaches, she has been taking care of her natural surroundings for many years.
As a former resident and business owner of Corvallis in Oregon, Kimber remembers raking up littered plastic garbage and cigarette butts in front of her restaurant along with the leaves that clogged street drains. Nobody asked her to do it. She’s just always felt driven to take care of the environment. For Kimber, it’s for the town, for the community. She equates it to cleaning your house, asking, “Why should we have garbage all around us? Unless you want your home to look like that too.”
What got Kimber started cleaning beaches in Maui is going to the beach with her husband. He kite surfs in Maui and she likes to go down to the beach with him and pick up garbage. She is really excited that “now he’s bringing his own bag!” Garbage washes in with ocean tides, so she started out using a kite bag to pick up microplastics. She feels that if we use the beach, we should give a little bit back to the beach, even for just 5 or 10 minutes. Kimber feels this is important, “because we have to respect where we live. People don’t think about the tiny pieces of plastic or garbage on the ground or in the dirt.” She stewards when hiking or walking and her example has inspired other kite surfers to start doing it too.
Where did this strong environmental ethic come from for Kimber? She expressed how her parents taught her to do this when she was little. When people aren’t taught to respect the Earth like we would our own home then we can visibly see the environmental repercussions. On her travels around the globe, in underdeveloped and developed countries alike, she sees how such a lack of respect impacts the ocean. Sometimes there is a lack of infrastructure like garbage service, while in other places she wonders if people are thinking, “I can save a few steps if I don’t have to walk to that garbage can.”
This greatly saddens Kimber, but she’s doing something about it. She pays kids to pick up trash on her travels just because she wants to give them money anyway. Her goal was also to encourage kids to clean up. Kimber knows that if we can get one person at a time to start cleaning up the world around them, that’s all it takes. She stated, “instead of running in the sand, they can pick up and say ‘look what I got!’ It needs to be part of daily chores, like making the bed.”
She believes strongly that cleaning up your neighborhood is contagious and sets out frequently to teach through example. When we talked to Kimber, she was planning to go down to the beach later that day to pick up in front of people while wearing a smile on her face. Kimber knows that if she can encourage even one person, especially a child, then she is making a big difference. When people see her with a smile on her face, she is often asked about what she’s picking up. This gives her an opportunity to share what she’s up to on the beach.
While she cleans up the beach to influence others, Kimber also does it for her own health and well-being. It’s meditational and she truly enjoys herself. She loves that she gets to touch the Earth, get good exercise, and she talked about how the meditational peacefulness is great for your brain. Kimber thinks some people are missing out because they could be moving around instead of sun tanning in one spot.
She’s excited about Ocean Blue and how we promote community involvement because she understands that she can’t pick up the whole world alone. Kimber has inspired us to tell more personal stories like hers. Awareness of the problems our ocean faces is essential for motivating change, and so is inspiring people to make stewardship a part of everyone’s daily lifestyle. Please reach out to Karisa to tell your story at Karisa@oceanblueproject.org with “My Ocean Blue Story” in the subject line.
by Karisa Arterbury
To keep our beaches clean and our waterways that flow to the ocean in better condition, Ocean Blue gets to work with a lot of amazing companies!.We also get to hear from our members about the most important issues to you, and one of your big concerns is how to support companies that give back to the Ocean. That’s why we’ve put this list together for you - to help make supporting the Ocean just a little more easy for you.
If you do a search for most sustainable clothing lines Patagonia will show up in your top searches because of their design and materials. But, did you know that Patagonia has been giving back to organizations that directly impact the environment since 1985? Through giving 1% for the Planet, they have been able to provide $89 million to environmental organization efforts. Patagonia’s World Trout Initiative funds organizations who offer impact-oriented solutions for endangered salmon species. Through this initiative, Patagonia has been able to provide Ocean Blue with thousands of dollars for native trees to be planted in Oregon streams of the Willamette River.
2, Eileen Fisher
Eileen Fisher’s Vision 2020 is one of an entire industry where both “human rights and sustainability are not the effect of a particular initiative, but the cause of a business well run. Where social and environmental injustices are not unfortunate outcomes, but reasons to do things differently.” And the company is doing things differently. They have pledged to use all organic cotton and linen by 2020 and to use wool from humanely raised sheep on land that is managed sustainably. Eileen Fisher strives for responsible chemical, water, and energy use, reducing fabric waste, and lowering carbon emissions. The company also sponsored Ocean Blue’s Beach Clean Initiative and Wildlife Enhancement Projects for 2018.
3, Hanky Panky
Gale and Lida dreamt up Hanky Panky in the 1970s and have been setting trends ever since, like the fact that Hanky Panky has pledged to use cotton that’s 100% organic by 2025. When you buy from the Cotton with a Conscience collection, you’re buying fabric that is knitted, dyed, and finished in the Southeast USA, uses low impact fiber reactive dyes that require less water than conventional dyes. Flocked fabrics tend to shed fibers and are not a part of the Hanky Panky collection because the company takes the threat of synthetic fiber pollution to our waterways and marine life very seriously. Sustainability permeates the whole philosophy and practices of this women’s underwear company. We especially appreciate that they have installed filters to purify NYC tap water for their employees, encouraging everyone to use their own refillable cup or mug. This is a fantastic solution to using water coolers with plastic bottles. They are another proud Ocean Blue Beach Clean Initiative sponsor too.
SiiZU is an eco-friendly women’s clothing company with both quality and style in mind. Every piece of clothing is designed to only use 100% organic and environmentally friendly fabrics and the design team makes sure they utilize the fabric so that as little as possible goes to waste. This means no polyester and zero toxins. Since tree fibers are at the root of some of the fabrics SiiZU utilizes, they have partnered with American Forest to plant trees and help close the loop. This amazing company also supports Ocean Blue’s National Beach Cleanup Initiative! The clothing and jewelry offered by Siizu is beautiful, built to last, and comfortable beyond words.
5. Hope Made in the World
This clothing company is partnered with Verde Fulfillment USA, the first eco-friendly third party logistics center in the United States. Combining luxury with practices that are good for the planet, they also use GOTS-certified organic cotton and REACH-certified dyes and biodegradable wool. Their vision is of an apparel industry where craftsmanship and sustainability are not a luxury, but foundational core values. We love this company because their idea that “conscious clothing is not only possible, but necessary” is in direct alignment with Ocean Blue’s core values. They handpick and oversee each of their suppliers based on environmental impact, working conditions, and quality. Headquartered in Columbia, Ocean Blue is working to Create a Cleanup with Hope Made in the World for the Beach Clean Initiative that we aim to take international for 2019.
6. Vivo Barefoot
Vivo Barefoot offers shoes that reconnect the whole family with nature. The design of the shoe in itself is one that helps you feel more human and closer to nature at the same time. The company holds close the philosophy of treading lightly on the Earth and strives to use natural, recyclable, durable, and locally sourced materials. Their Ultra Bloom shoe is the first ever molded shoe made of algae which offers an alternative to the synthetic petrochemical EVA that is used in many of today’s shoes. When you wear a pair of Ultra Blooms you offset petroleum use while wearing a lightweight and waterproof shoe made by a company in support of Ocean Blue’s Beach Cleans.
This certified B Corp is proud to turn #tirestosoles, taking what was once a landfill bound waste product and giving it new life. Indosole repurposes indestructible tires into the soles of some of the most durable footwear around. Using a toxic-free process, they pride themselves in using strong hands and strong minds to manufacture their shoes. Indosole also partners with organizations like Ocean Blue to do beach cleans, and give back to the environment and communities.
Oliberté is a sustainable shoe brand supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa. Located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this company established the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing factory. Ocean Blue understands that when people are empowered and provided with opportunities to overcome poverty, then people, the environment, and our waterways all benefit. Oliberté high quality shoes are each handmade by well-respected employees and are offered to the world with a lifetime warranty. This company is leading the charge for workers’ rights and partners with suppliers, farmers, and craftsmen to create a product that their team and customers can be proud about making and wearing.
Ocean Blue is proud to partner with Looptworks, and just like Ocean Blue is based in Oregon with values centered on giving back to the environment. The name of the company is directly influenced by their long term goal of closing the loop in the manufacturing process. Looptworks products are upcycled so they automatically close the waste loop and conserve precious water resources. They “use only what already exists,” saving valuable materials that are otherwise landfill bound. They offer high quality apparel, bags, backpacks, and computer cases that also come with a lifetime guarantee.
10. Faeries Dance
Another Oregon based company, Faeries Dance offers an environmentally conscious shopping experience with a variety of eco-friendly fabrics and low-impact dyes. Products are sourced from socially responsible manufacturers and everything they do from printing invoices to providing packing materials is done with the environment in mind. To make eco-friendly shopping accessible to more folks, Faeries Dance prices all of their products from US manufactures below suggested retail prices and they donate 1% to environmental charities.
Happy shopping, everyone! We hope you have fun choosing quality products made by companies that care about our One World Ocean! Remember, you can also support the Ocean by becoming an Annual Ocean Blue Project Member! You can also ask the company you work for or shop at frequently to become an Annual Corporate Member. Reach out to Karisa (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out how you can make direct impact in your own community, because all water runs downstream!
How you Can Help Save The Ocean!