No ocean, no life.

I whole-heartedly believe in being grateful for the world we live in today, the natural beauty of the world, and living fully, BUT I do not believe in sitting back and doing nothing to help the future. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t know anyone that doesn’t love the ocean, or at least admire its beauty. So, what if I told you that it wouldn’t be the same in the next 50 years?

Unfortunately, plastic pollution is a global issue that is impacting our oceans, and it won’t get better on its own. When plastic makes its way to the ocean, it doesn’t break down and it doesn’t go away. Instead, it gets consumed by marine life, it attracts toxic chemicals, and all of that trickles up the food chain to human life. This toxicity contributes to cancers, infertility, and many other human disorders that are of major concerns to human health. The fact is, oceans are fundamental to the health of human nature and the rest of the world. To change the world’s attitude toward plastic use, we need to raise awareness of this epidemic and make small differences in our daily lives and communities.  

In case you didn’t know, here are some alarming facts about this global plastic issue:

  • More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans each year.
  • About 70% of the Earth’s surface is water.

Think about five bags of plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.

  • 97% of the Earth’s water supply is contained in the ocean
  • 70% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by marine plants
  • Pollution is creating zones in the water that are devoid of life (405+ zones to be exact)
  • By the year 2050, plastic in the ocean may weigh more than the fish

So, what does this have to do with you?

As I mentioned, the ecosystem in the water is what fuels life on land, so when the toxicity happens in the ocean, it makes its way into our lives. Even if you’re someone that regularly recycles, makes an effort to buy paper over plastic, and never litters, unfortunately the rest of the population is not doing the same. It’s frustrating when our lives are in the hands of others, but we can do our best to spread the word.

What am I doing?

A few weeks ago, CJ and I went to NewCo ATX, an event where a bunch of start-ups give you an inside look at their offices and share some insight about their companies. There, we heard from the founder of Fitppl, an Austin-based startup on a mission to provide sustainable, nutritious products, while raising awareness of this plastic epidemic. We left that day feeling incredibly inspired by all the founders at the event, but we were specifically moved by the story of Fitppl and their mission to help save the oceans. At the time, I knew this was a problem, but it re-opened my eyes to how large-scale this problem is.

This past weekend, we took part in an active cleanup hosted by Fitppl and the non-profit organization in Austin called, Keep Austin Beautiful. We all worked out for 30 minutes in the park with the awesome team at Stronghorn Fitness, and then put on our boots, gloves, and bug spray, and made our way into the back of the woods to help clean the trash.

The group of us found two mattresses, a few rugs, and lots of clothing, plastic bottles, wrappers, containers, and cups, totaling 1000 lbs of trash, all within a two-hour timespan. If we were able to collect that much pollution in just one small location, imagine the amount that is plaguing the rest of the world. We made a small difference yesterday, but unfortunately that will never be enough. It is going to take a continuous effort of raising awareness and taking action to make an impact.

Last month, you may have seen that Adidas partnered with Parley to raise awareness on this exact issue. For the week of June 5-11, they launched a movement called Run for the Oceans, to demonstrate how running can change lives and inspire positive action. I pledged to be an ocean guardian, to avoid unnecessary plastic, and to continue inspiring others through sport. 

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Even though World Oceans Day 2017 and the week of running together as ambassadors of Adidas has passed, it’s never too late for us to keep running for this cause.

What can you do?

  1. Think about what you buy and throw away – if something is heavily packaged in plastic, consider a different product.
  2. Use your own water bottles – I always carry my glass water bottle with me wherever I go!
  3. Don't litter!
  4. Bring reusable bags with you to the grocery store.
  5. Get involved with local non-profits in your community with environmental sustainability initiatives, and look for some active-cleanups near you.
  6. Pledge with Adidas & Parley and create your own badge, sharing why you care!

Thanks for reading. I really hope that seeing these facts inspires some action within you to at least think twice about the future of our environment and what you can do to help. Would love for you to take part!

No Ocean. No Air. No Life.

xo Erin