Caring for the planet isn’t only for the green-nerds. Making eco-conscious decisions connects us to our outer world, feels good within and gets our creative juices flowing. Being ladies of the sea, we know that our ocean is suffering due to the heavy footprint of our species. But it also feels pretty natural to gravitate towards a lifestyle that is eco-friendly, sustainable, creative, cheap and fun.
Ghosting behind societies convenient lifestyle, is a dark not-so-convenient shadow which is harming our planet. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are bleaching, the ocean is becoming a plastic soup and we are overfishing our seas; all in which is leading towards a near-future mass extinction.
But before accepting the overwhelming wave of doom, know that there is so much left worth fighting for! As women surfers, we share a deep connection with the sea and have the power within our hearts to initiate change in our own lives and our communities.
This is a global issue, but change starts with the consumer (and that is every individual). We have the power of our voices and we vote everyday with the dollar!
These are the 5R’s to live by:
Don’t become a victim to our disposable addiction
Each item has an environmental cost: the extraction of raw materials, the making of the product, the distribution, then the final stage- the disposal.
Be thoughtful when buying. We as consumers have the power of the dollar to tell companies what we do and don’t want. When we start refusing single-use plastics, the market that once existed, becomes obsolete.
“It’s only one plastic straw” said 7.6 billion people. Don’t dismiss the power of an individual.
Our lives are so full of things and unnecessary stuff.
Reduce your clutter by questioning all significant purchases and resisting impulse buying.
You can live more minimalistic by having less belongings: owning only the clothes that you’ll actually wear, buying only the necessary electronic goods and by not having an excessive amount of household furniture and decorations. The art of living simply is fulfilling, creative and purposeful (and a hell of a lot cheaper too!).
Ditch disposable for reusable!
Reusing things is how earlier generations made the most of limited resources in less wealthy and consumer-convenient times. When you get past the “convenience” of single-use items, you start to appreciate something that is with you for the long haul. You value your fewer items more. I would be totally lost if I misplaced my BBBYO drink-bottle, tea flask or keep-cup. I use them EVERY day numerous times! It’s my survival in the real world.
4. REPURPOSE - DIY, Up-cycle, and Thrift Shops
This is where creativity takes place! Seeing gold in something old, or seeing a new idea in something that has lost its original purpose.
There are some great creative initiatives out there on the internet, especially through Pinterest & Etsy. This also means you can utilize other people's creative skills if you don’t have the time!
I live in a coastal desert town on the Ningaloo Reef Australia (Coral Bay) and we use milk crates and wooden pallets for everything! Tables, bed base, shelves, garden beds, wardrobe, shoe box, surfboard shelves, kitchen shelves. ALL is made from milk crates and wooden pallets up-cycled from the rubbish tip!
Never dismiss Thrift Shops for necessary household items, kitchen supplies, dress up clothes, books, house decoration, bed sheets--the list goes on! In this disposable day and age, it may shock you the quality and diversity of things that people actually throw away.
You can recycle anything made from metal, wood, most paper & cardboard, and electronic e-waste.
Many places have incredible recycling schemes. However don’t be fooled as recycling isn’t the innocent answer to our plastic epidemic. Our Australian recycling system is overflowing with recycled goods that cost too much money to actually be recycled, and is therefore just get stored or thrown away. (This can be similar for other countries with recycling programs).
But, recycling is better than not recycling at all!