Plastic is one of the deadliest threats to marine life, what is the Eat Less Plastic voyage going to achieve?
The threat to marine life and our lives from plastic is staggering as is the amount of plastic waste that continues to find its way to the oceans and its ecosystem. My hope is to bring awareness to this monumental issue and help those of us who live far from where the waste ends up, to begin to fathom the scale of the problem. At the same time, focusing on everyday solutions as to how we can all make a positive difference by the choices we make as consumers. Playing our part and inspiring others to do the same, the Eat Less Plastic journey will document the impact this issue is having on local communities in the South Pacific. It will also connect audiences with these places and people making it their personal mission to protect them.
Why are you personally involved with the mission sailing across the Pacific? Aside from my deep love of sailing and the ocean, my involvement is to help support Phil who is captaining the boat and an old mate of mine. I want to help bring awareness to the mission and most importantly the overall issue of marine conservation. I want to raise awareness of plastic waste and how it is impacting life in the South Pacific and how we can all help preserve this precious resource.
I’ve know Phil for years and have enjoyed sailing with him around Southern California so when he mentioned he was taking his boat home to New Zealand and using the journey as a way to promote positive change and to help save our oceans, I jumped at the opportunity to become involved. How can we make a difference?
One thing I’m very proud of as a Kiwi is the way we have a deep love of our country and the natural environment. It is embedded into our culture to respect and care for the land and sea. Just as nations look to certain countries that lead the way in renewable energy programmes, I believe New Zealand can offer a beacon of hope to other countries by the way we implement plastic-free campaigns and rally people who care enough to make a difference. As a nation surrounded by a sea and an ocean we are the perfect people to spearhead such a movement. By making small shifts in our consumer choices we can collectively turn the tide and inspire others to follow suit.
What are you doing personally to reduce plastic in your everyday life?
I do any little thing I can think of. Of course, I’m not perfect and still have bad habits. I try to recycle every single piece of plastic that comes through my front door. I use stainless steel or glass canteens to drink my water from. I refuse plastic straws and if they don’t have paper or plant-based straws I use my own stainless steel one. I use wax paper to seal leftover food containers instead of plastic wrap. I refuse plastic bags when shopping and carry my own canvas bags. There’s a ton of little things we can all easily do to make our little impact if we all start doing them.
What does the ocean mean to you?
I love that the Pacific Ocean where I live in California is the same body of water that I grew up on in New Zealand. The ocean gives me peace and serenity and I’ve had many great adventures on and in it. The expansiveness awes me at times and yet it is that very expansiveness that can delude us into thinking it is somehow beyond being affected by what we do. Science and research is proving that nothing is further from the truth.
“The sea is a big blue reminder that everything is connected ... what we do, we do to ourselves and therefore each other. So let’s Eat Less Plastic and love the sea.” Martin Henderson