On January 17th, Team Marine attended the premiere of Plastic Ocean, a documentary about plastic pollution and its effects on human and environmental health. Before the screening we were able to talk to community members about the effects of plastic on the environment. We were also able to show our eco-costumes made up of things like plastic forks, straws, plastic water bottles and bottle caps. The movie itself highlighted the health and environmental concerns of plastic, especially on the ocean. After the movie we listened to the panel discussion which featured a wide range of environmentalists, one of which was actually Benjamin Kay, our club advisor. We would like to say thank you to the production team behind the movie, to everyone who attended and to those who spoke in the panel.
By Sixtine Foucaut:
On Sunday, January 29th, we gave a slideshow presentation to local teen environmental clubs at the Sea the Change Youth Summit put on by Heal the Bay at the SM Pier Aquarium. We presented our methods of communication as a team, as well as examples of our past eco-art projects, through a powerpoint presentation filled with our past projects and tips for groups interested in pursuing similar eco-art projects. We’d like to thank Heal the Bay for organizing this event and allowing Team Marine to act as an inspiration to other schools and hear ideas from other environmental clubs! Thank you to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium for hosting this event!
On October 20th Team Marine captains Amanda and Zoe, and Mr. Kay presented to a total of around 120 students at UCLA for the Earth Now: Earth 2050 event put on by the UCLA Office of the Environment and Sustainability. We presented to three different high schools in the LA area about the state of our planet surrounding environmental issues such as climate change and what actions we undertook to mitigate climate change and pollution in our school and community. The presentation consisted of two components: the scope of the earth’s environmental problems and our community-based solutions. We mentioned some projects and activities such as our water audit, cigarette study, plastic bottle/cap art, and protests/marches just to name a few. We hope to see what the student attendees will do in their communities as they undergo environmental stewardship
By Amanda Samimi
On Saturday, May 14, thousands of Eco advocates convened at Los Angeles City Hall to march against fossil fuels. The “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” march consisted of speeches from both people affected by the hazardous consequences of oil drilling in their communities and ordinary advocates of climate action. There were also musical performances in both Spanish and English. There were hundreds of posters and signs cleverly supporting Los Angeles’s divestment from fossil fuels. Amanda and Mr. Kay held up signs that stated “Kill the Drill” and “Renewable is Doable”. At 3pm hundreds of renewable energy supporters walked the streets of downtown LA to send a message to elected officials such as Eric Garcetti and Jerry Brown that now is the time to break the chains of fossil fuel dependency.
Another successful beach cleanup complete! On Saturday May 21, 2016 Team Marine and Marine Biology students attended Heal the Bay’s Nothin’ But Sand beach cleanup at Will Rodgers State Beach along with over 700 volunteers. All in all we ended the day by collecting around 110 lbs of trash off the beach, even though people were comme ting about the beach already looking trash free. Thank you to all the volunteers!!!
Side note: Heal the Bay just uploaded their 2016 beach report card for California, look up your beach to see if it is a ‘bummer’ beach or not here
By Amanda Samimi
On Thursday, April 28, 2016, Amanda and Christa represented Team Marine and Santa Monica High School at the annual Streets to the Sea Challenge put on by Generation Earth. Five middle schools and five high schools traveled to Disney Synergy Lab in Glendale to display their environmental projects. The students were asked to create and implement a water-wise solution to a problem present on their campuses. Team Marine submitted their water fountain audit to enter the competition. The day started off with breakfast, a presentation from one of the judges, followed by a walk-around display of students’ projects, lunch, another presentation, and lastly awards. Each school was asked to make a tri-fold display of their project. Team Marine repurposed an iMac box into a tri-fold poster board. We included pi charts of our data, photos of water fountains, and slides from our presentation to the sustainability coordinator of our district.
Every school received a glass trophy for making it to this stage of the competition, but only one middle school and one high school received the grand prize of a boat trip on the Floating Laboratory. Both Santa Monica High School and El Camino Real High School received the same score from the judges, but El Camino was the ultimate winner. Team Marine would like to congratulate El Camino Real High School for the success of their grand-prize winning project. We would also like to thank Generation Earth for putting on the competition and choosing us as finalists.
On Saturday, April 23, Team Marine members joined hundreds of dedicated volunteers as part of the Great LA River Cleanup. This event was hosted in conjunction with Friends of the Los Angeles River and the Frog Spot. When we first got to the event, we were warmly welcomed by Frog Spot volunteers, who gave us sturdy gloves and transparent trash bags. When we initially started cleaning, we were shocked that the LA River was not concrete as we imagined, but actually an overgrown bamboo forest. We were even more shocked when we began collecting trash! Some trash highlights included a complete tennis net, clothes, and shopping carts embedded into the soil. Even more stunning were the sheer multitudes of photodegraded single-use plastic bags incorporated into the soil.
We postulated that we could spend the whole time spent at the cleanup in one area, and still not fully clean it! This is so concerning, as the trash from the LA River goes straight to the ocean! Just imagine the harm just the trash featured above would cause to the already fragile marine environment.
Team Marine co-captain Zoe Parcells was also featured in an interview with La Opinion! Read more here.
We had an extraordinary time interacting with the environment of the LA River, and would not hesitate to clean it up yet again! We also had a great experience with the Friends of the LA River and the Frog Spot! Check out their websites at folar.org and The Frog Spot!
The next Great LA River Cleanup (and the last one of the year!) is Saturday, April 30 from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. Check out this link for more information! folar.org/cleanup/
By Amanda Samimi
Tesla Motors released the design of their 3rd generation electric vehicle on March 31st, 2016. The Model 3 has revolutionized electric vehicles forever. It is the first affordable luxury electric vehicle. The car starts at just $35,000, before tax incentives. The intention of Tesla is to make electric cars widespread to the masses. Tesla envisions a world where most of the vehicles on the road are electric and that vision is only possible if the cars are affordable to the common person. Surely other motor companies will be releasing their own electric vehicles to compete with the Model 3’s design and performance. The Model 3 goes from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds. Elon musk, the CEO and co-founder of Tesla Motors said that he will never make a car that slow again. The Model 3 can go 215 miles on one charge, and with Superchargers all around the country, it makes roadtripping almost free.Tesla is currently accepting pre-orders. The company plans to ship the cars out in late 2017. More than 150,000 people reserved their Model 3’s on the very first day it was announced. A bright future is in place for Tesla and for the environmental cause.
One of the downsides of Easter is the plastic easter eggs used in Easter egg hunts. Here are some alternatives:
Fabric eggs can be made by stitching fabric pieces together and filling them with the same sweets that would be found in plastic eggs. If someone if your family is a talented seamstress, these eggs can turn out beautifully. Moreover, the communal effort required in making these can teach young children how to sew!
Felt eggs could also be sewn together. Perhaps these eggs could contain the coveted cash prize rather than sweets! Felt is a versatile textile, and could be made similarly to fabric eggs. The picture below is a pocket-type egg. There are thicker felt eggs that are sold online as well.
Papier-mâché eggs are fun and easy to make! While this method does require the use of balloons, it is still a colorful alternative to plastic eggs. See this website for instructions: http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/papiermacheeastereggs/ Additionally, papier-mâché eggs can be made in many different sizes and last for a long time if taken care of!
Hollow chocolate eggs:
While these eggs would likely not survive an outdoors egg hunt, they would complement an Easter meal or dessert. Desserts are often covered with a chocolate dome, which is then melted by adding more warm chocolate! By making egg-shaped chocolate domes or simply hollow eggs, your family’s sweet tooth will be thoroughly satiated! The method featured here http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/987631/hollow-chocolate-easter-egg-recipe/ also involves balloons, but other recipes do not. See here http://www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/magic-chocolate-bomb-sundae#.wyBooXjQK for the chocolate dome recipe, which does use a plastic ornament.
Eggs that are drained are extremely delicate! Using non-toxic paint, anyone can be creative in making their individual egg! These eggs are best used for display. See this website for instructions: http://craftknife.blogspot.com/2012/04/tutorial-blown-out-easter-eggs.html
Whether you celebrate or not, Team Marine wishes you a plastic-free Easter!
This blog was adapted from craftingagreenworld.com and growingagreenfamily.com.
Team Marine is proud to partner with Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) program! The goal of Ocean Friendly Restaurants is to reward restaurants for their beneficial practices.
Team Marine members have begun contacting local restaurants to inform them of this great opportunity. Perks of being an Ocean Friendly Restaurant include decals, informational materials, social media promotion, training of staff, and much more! Many restaurants already qualify for most, if not all, OFR requirements.
The three mandatory requirements include:
1. No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam).
2. Proper recycling practices are followed.
3. Water conservation efforts such as saving water in a drought, no hosing down outside without capturing the water to reduce urban runoff, and/or proper disposal of FOG (fats, oil and grease) to conserve water and help reduce sewage spills.
Restaurants also choose three of the following to implement:
4. Plastic straws are provided only upon request.
5. Only reusable tableware is used for onsite dining and utensils for to-go food are provided only upon request.
6. No beverages sold in plastic bottles.
7. Discount offered for customers with reusable cup, mug, bag, etc.
8. No plastic bags offered for takeout or to-go orders.
9. Organic, local, and/or vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis. All seafood must be a ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch.
10. Energy efficiency efforts are implemented where possible
If a restaurant implements all 10 of the qualifications, they are designated as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant!
Yesterday, Team Marine attended an OFR training session at the TOMS flagship store in Abbot Kinney. We met with Josephine Miller from the Santa Monica Office of Sustainability, who gave a great presentation on recyclable food containers. Team Marine was educated on new nationwide OFR criteria and proper recycling practices for restaurants in Santa Monica.
Some information gleaned from Josephine’s presentation included examples of transitions from plastic packaging to paper packaging, even in franchise restaurants! Additionally, we learned that bioplastics (under #7) are not able to be composted with Santa Monica’s current program — as of now, they need to be composted in a special process. Interestingly, plastics with no number are actually the banned polystyrene (#6).
We were happy to learn that Santa Monica aims to be a zero-waste community by 2030, with 95% landfill diversion! Restaurant patrons: you are also allowed to bring your own reusable takeout containers and pack your leftovers yourself — no intervention from the kitchen needed.
The link to the City of Santa Monica’s Non-Recyclable Food Service Container Ban website is http://www.sustainablesm.org/container
For more information regarding Ocean Friendly Restaurants, contact a Team Marine member or Surfrider-WLAM chair Emily Swallow at email@example.com.