Recently, a plastic bag, not exactly floating, just hanging on really, suspended in darkness, more or less intact, was directly observed just near the bottom of the Marinara Depths.
The notion that a simple plastic bag – once used to simply carry some groceries – was able to travel from the supermarket, where it was unceremoniously picked up, then unceremoniously discarded, travelling all the way to the ocean and, then, sinking to the very depths of the earth’s crust, puts the issue of ocean plastification at the center of any talk about environmental protection.
Once, it was thought that the lungs of the world were the great rainforests, but in the last decades we have found that the greatest oxygen recyclers (and carbon retainers) are our oceans. And people are now aware of their importance, knowing the fundamental part they play in regulating the earth’s temperature. The problem is serious, we all know it – the greatest one we will face in our generation and the next.
When we started our brand we were just ten minutes away from the beach. Beaches are a great postcard for a specific ecosystem if there ever was one. Plants grow in the apparent nothingness of dunes. Tiny black insects scurry about, in their mysterious routines of survival. The waves crash against the yellow sandstone cliffs, exposing the million-years old shells of bygone eras, slowly grinding them to sand. We started going more and more to the beach, entranced by its beauty, the sun’s light blinding us, hitting the foamy surf.
We also started paying attention and soon realized that, even there, plastic was everywhere. A green thread of fishing net protruding from the sand. White, plastic shards of buoys between the flotsam washed ashore. cigarette butts, half-buried. The magnitude of the problem hit us again. So, what could we do?
Years spent trying to build a brand focusing on sustainability and conscious fashion made us realize that trying to make a difference always starts small – you then develop your approach to the problem if you get results. When we heard about the global movement of picking up at least 3 plastic pieces whenever one goes to the beach, the idea seemed so perfect to us – so simple, so easy to be with us forever. We started doing that – and you should, too! three pieces of plastic, sometimes four, even five, fit into any hand, any pocket. Carry them with you and dispose of them accordingly. That’s it: if you make that a rule for yourself, you’ll be helping. Because every gesture, no matter how small, is important.
And then we started cleaning the beach proper! Cleaning events are, really, the quintessential social event – you go to the beach to bask in the iodine and salt-filled air, you see and meet some friends and new people, you do some good, you have some fun and then you wrap it up and go get lunch.
And then we got organized! Ina Koelln will soon start having beach cleaning events and we invite everyone who would like to do some good and, simultaneously, have a good time, to come and help us clean our beautiful beaches!
The beach is where the ocean begins. Let your actions to heal our oceans begin on the beach as well.