05 Apr Inspiring the Soul Surfer, taking The Ocean Pledge and #FTNTakeThePlunge
Article by Diony Lalieu
INSPIRING THE SOUL SURFER
Surfers Pledge was inspired by the need to do something rather than nothing in return to the ocean that gives us so much. And this is the basis of the Soul Surfer* award I received at last year’s SA Champs. Little did I know that that moment was the change the rest of my life.
It was while participating in a national surfing event that my eyes were opened to the plight of plastic in our oceans. Daily, a truck would deliver hundreds of pesky little plastic bottles, ironically to a crowd that was wet and wild with ocean passion. Considering that a million plastic bottles are sold world-wide every minute, that is the day I pledged never to use plastic bottle again.
But it didn’t stop there. The light had forever more been switched on to my enormous appetite for everything plastic and how my seemingly innocent, daily choices were suffocating our precious ocean. It terrified me to think that by 2050 there would be more plastic in the oceans than fish. Little by little, day by day, I pledged to do something and what started out as one small pledge set me out onto my journey toward single-use plastic-free living and the realization of the power that lies in a PLEDGE.
And so, Surfers Pledge began, by walking around encouraging other surfers to make their pledge toward ocean conservation. Surfers Pledge was inspired by the Penguin Promises, a public pledge campaign initiated by Gabrielle Harris from Ushaka Marine World, Durban. It is built on the premise that if every person makes a small positive drop of change in their own lives, the combined effect will represent the strength of an ocean.
The enthusiasm to engage and sign #SurfersPledge made me realise that while many people are desperate to do something positive, when it comes to a problem as significant as ocean pollution, many feel like drops in the ocean and just don’t know where to begin. The pledge encourages commitment to that first step… And change is as simple as that!
Realising that ocean plastic is a global problem, we have rebranded to Ocean Pledge to incite positive ocean change on a larger scale. Decades of ocean exploitation is compromising the delicate eco-systems that are vital to the earth’s balance and our ability to exist. And things are quickly changing for the worse. We will have to act, together, FAST!
A FEW OCEAN FACTS:
– South Africa sells over 8 billion plastic shopping bags every year
– 20 000 new plastic water bottles are made every second
– The amount of straws sold in the USA daily are enough, if put end to end, to wrap around the planet 2 times, this is the equivalent of 127 large yellow bus loads
– Plastic does NOT biodegrade so virtually every piece of plastic ever created still exists in some form or other to this day
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN SAVING OUR SEAS:
– True positive and lasting change is as slow as a deep flowing ocean current. It gathers momentum from lots of small individual changes, made collectively and consistently over time
– Commitment to one single and specific goal is a sure-fire way to achieve change. Choose your pledge with goal and focus
– Commitment is the key to change
– Your drop of positive ocean change, no matter how small, will create a ripple effect of change, affecting everything around you, from the way you see the world to the way others are influenced by what you do. Individual power is where it is at
– Now is the best time to make your #SurfersPledge and to become part of an ever-growing community that stands together to impact positive ocean change
Visit Oceanpledge.co.za and see how your change can make a difference
HOW CAN YOU BE A SOUL SURFER? #FTNTAKETHEPLUNGE
But while humans have created this global plastic epidemic, we also have the collective power to get ourselves out of it. We are looking for that person who can make their pledge to the Ocean and strive towards to a single-use, plastic free existence – to be a Soul Surfer.
You don’t need to be a professional surfer to make this difference to the Ocean; Faithful to Nature is looking for an everyday Soul Surfer who can pledge their commitment to the Ocean, and how they will make the difference. As a reward for your pledge and action we will be giving away a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind surfboard, by GB Surfboards, to anyone who is ready to take the take the plunge. Competition details to follow #FTNTakeThePlunge: Faithful-to-nature.co.za/lifestyle/waste-free-living/ftntaketheplunge
You can also watch the board taking shape in the video below. Follow the #FTNTakeThePlunge hashtag and Faithful to Nature social channels for more info. Soul Surfer 2018 brought to you by Faithful to Nature, Ocean Pledge, Royal Rocking Chair and GB Surfboards. Thanks to Brett Field for his unique artwork on the board.
THE WINNING SURFBOARDS: