2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away by Americans per hour. 100,000 cars could be fueled for a year with the amount of oil it takes to produce and ship water bottles to the U.S.The coffee cup industry swallows 6.5 million trees per year. If the cups are laminated, they are not recyclable. One tree per second is pulped to supply the magazine industry with paper. From a single exploratory, offshore drilling, 25,000 lbs. of toxic metals are pumped into the ocean. Venting, from offshore oil stations, coughs up 35 million tons of carbon dioxide and 12 million tons of methane into the earth’s atmosphere per year.
Environmental issues should come as no surprise to anyone. Educating people on how to reduce these hugely problematic statistics is the challenge. The campaign for a more sustainable earth starts at the grassroots level. It starts with the individual. To think globally, one must act locally. Reduce, Reuse Recycle.
Surfers, and nature enthusiasts in all realms, have a responsibility to protect their own self-interest. Our ecosystem is unhealthy. Each person can make a difference. One voice can trod over hills and valleys. Choirs can sing to dioceses. An environmental organization, orchestrated with the constituents of each state, can motivate the choices of politicians throughout the nation. By supporting groups that are on the front lines at the national level, we can influence international policy with hopes for change.
Here are four organizations that are diligently working for clean ocean water and a healthy ecosystem worldwide.
Surfrider Foundation answers our call for action. Through grassroots support, Surfrider Foundation safeguards our beaches, waves and our world’s oceans. I admire the accomplishments this organization has achieved. Also, I am personally proud of being a part of one of their biggest achievements.
In 1991, I was living in Eureka, Ca. and surfing the North Coast Getty. During that time, the Simpson Paper/Louisiana Pacific Pulp Mill’s years of dumping thousands of gallons of cyanide and dioxin into the awesome surf spot, were coming to a close. My work location transitioned to the Santa Cruz area. There I worked for the Public Interest Research Group. We coordinated the clout of hundreds of thousands of Congressman Norman Mineta’s constituents. By joining forces with groups like the National Environmental Law Center and Natural Resources Defense Council, it enabled the reinforcement the 1972 Clean Water Act. In 1991, Surfrider Foundation received the 2nd largest Clean Water Act victory in U.S. history.
Nearly 20 years later, with strategic initiatives in activism, educational resources and programs for all ages and national policies in conservation and preservation, the Surfrider Foundation has an additional 122 victories. Ecological integrity for all coastal communities rides throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica and Mexico.
For more information, please click Surfrider Foundation.
U.S. PIRG is the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. For the American public, PIRGs across the nation stand up to corporate special interests. PIRG utilizes research, media, grassroots organizing and national litigation, providing advocacy for the people on multiple issues such as consumer protection, toxins and public health. This guardianship results in public interest activism that protects the consumer and everyday user. US PIRG Consumer Health Advocate Elizabeth Hitchcock is the author of the 24th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report. Click here to read her latest summary. Watch Liz on the CBS Healthwatch Report, where she speaks out against the dangerous levels of Cadmium in children’s jewelry, found in Walmart and other national toy stores.
For more information, please click US PIRG.
National Environmental Law Center is a non-profit litigation organization founded by PIRG to enforce the nation’s worst polluters to stop illegal discharge of pollutants and to instill major penalties for violators of environmental law. The NELC then secures local environmental projects in and around the local area with monies from the fines and settlements. In 1995, Shell Oil was ordered to pay a record $2.2 million dollars in fines for dumping selenium into the San Francisco Bay. The penalty funded more than 20 local education, restoration and research projects in the Bay area. In the 3 yrs that I lived in Santa Cruz and worked with PIRG and NELC, I’m proud to know I helped facilitate this massive grassroots victory.
For more information, please click National Environmental Law Center.
Natural Resources Defense Council commissions to preserve wilderness and secure a healthy ecosystem for all life on our planet. Boasting grassroots support from over 1.3 million members and online activists, and more than 350 lawyers and scientists, the NRDC definitely delivers plenty of clout to the courtroom. Siding with the NRDC is another excellent way for an individual to embellish a very powerful family.
For more information, please click Natural Resources Defense Council.
With population ever-growing in this complex and demanding world, assuming your not part of the human equation is like pressing the fast-forward button.
Instead, be active in supporting our world. Press rewind and enjoy it. In the reel of humanity that we call “Life and the Pursuit for Ecological Sustainability,” a better must come.
To forward on to Part 2, please click here.