On Sunday the 14th a squad of volunteers came to Ala Moana park for one reason. That was to clean up as much trash as they could find in the depths of the murky beach park. We were 16 strong, ranging from all backgrounds. We had students, dive instructors, captains, accountants and an attorney. Because we had a common goal that united us, we were able to collect a massive amount of trash. Some interesting items were a child’s tent, an umbrella, some quality snorkel gear and a range of children’s beach toys. The majority of the trash was consistent with what we have been finding the last 2 times we cleaned this sight. Most of the garbage was single use disposable cups and plastic bottles and bags . These are items that are easy to eliminate. One way is to personally refuse to use them. Another way is to support companies that use biodegradable disposable cups and utensils http://styrophobia.com. I find that most people are supportive of an effort like a beach clean up, but they don’t make the connection of how to prevent the clean up, or how they are contributing to it. This is where awareness and community building come into play. When people are face to face with a problem it suddenly becomes real, they are aware. When they talk about it with others who are educated on the issue, they feel included and apart of the solution, that is community. These clean ups are the sprouts of a greater movement to create and spread awareness about how as a community we can be stewards of our environment. http://www.surfrider.org/programs/entry/rise-above-plastics
Trees to Seas is in it’s infant stage of becoming a non-profit organization that brings together a community of people who are interested in making life changes to protect the natural world. Together through education and participation we can bring awareness to local issues and work together to create solutions. Forward thinking and involving youth will help the next generations to be conscious of how to care for the environment in their personal lives and as a country. By teaching them values at a young age, they will be inspired to become professionals that will advocate for such things as renewable energy, bans on plastic, the value of buying local and voting with your dollar. It is our aim as a non-profit to include and welcome people from all ages, cultures and social demographics. We all live in the same bubble, planet earth, and we are all effected by the choices our neighbors make. By creating an inclusive community, we can learn more together. Through cooperation and common goals we can work on solutions that will benefit the future generations to come.