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 Amanda Samimi
On Monday, May 23, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally at our school, Santa Monica High School. Many Sanders supporters, including some Team Marine members, were overjoyed to have a presidential candidate speak at their very own school. Bernie talked enthusiastically for little over an hour about the platform of his candidacy, which includes policies such as providing universal healthcare, raising the federal minimum wage, and perhaps most importantly, combating climate change.
In previous debates and speeches, Sanders noted that climate change is the most important issue facing Americans today, and Team Marine could not agree more. On Monday, he dedicated a few minutes of his speech to addressing the grave issue of global climate change, which happened to be one of the segments in which he received the most applause. We would like to thank everyone who helped plan and set up such a successful rally and would like to remind everyone in California to vote in the Tuesday, June 7th primary.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Turn off your faucet when brushing your teeth
- Water your grass only when you step on it and it doesn’t spring back up
- Wash your car only early in the morning or late at night
» Change your Facebook cover photo to raise awareness!
On February 5th, 2016 Team Marine was delighted to have Hadley from #climatesign (climatesign.org) come to our meeting to talk to us about the “peace sign of this era.” The climate sign is hand gesture in which the fingers form the letter C, which simply stands for “climate.” Individuals can raise the climate sign as a symbol for the progression to a world without the damaging effects of climate change. One can raise the climate sign when seeing someone recycle, ride a bike to work, or drink from a reusable water bottle. We talked with Hadley about some new ideas that would allow the climate sign to become more well known by the public. Such ideas included the production of stickers, pins and patches, the creation of art murals, and many more. Team Marine is extremely excited about seeing the future of climate sign. This small gesture can consciously remind individuals that changing the Earth for the better is a daily and habitual practice, as well as encourage others to start or continue environmentally beneficial practices. So, don’t be surprised if you see someone raising a C next time you bring your reusable bag to the grocery store.
On Sunday November 22, 2015, Team Marine attended What a way to go – Bike, Bus, Expo! sponsored by Climate Action Santa Monica. We showcased our cigarette research and introduced our petition to the community for the first time. We had all 41, 922 cigarettes on display, along with our science fair board and newspaper clippings. We went into an auditorium and listened to speakers: learning about ways to reduce CO2 levels. There were representatives outside for Big Blue Bus, where you could practice putting a bike on the bus, there was Breeze Bikes, informing us of their new bike racks throughout Santa Monica. Our fellow Santa Monica High School club, SSA was also there, talking about their Bike-it Day. Over all it was a very successful, interesting event!
This past week, the weather brought on a small, yet significant, amount of rain. So on November 16th, Team Marine walked to the Santa Monica Storm Drain to collect trash that was piled on the beach. Upon arrival,Team Marine split into three groups in order to collect as much trash as possible. In the storm drain itself, there were beach balls, plastic cups, plastic water bottles, cigarette buts, and so much more debris mixed in with leaves, water, and sand. We even found a reusable water bottle among the trash! With the combination of residue, trash and water, the storm drain also contained various forms of a “mystery foam-like substance”. This was truly a disgusting sight. The groups that walked along the shore found enough trash to fill our largest bucket at least four times. From the trash found in the storm drain, we filled four large bags. Thankfully a Santa Monica maintenance truck was driving on the bike path and we were given a shovel to efficiently scoop up the trash. When we got back to Samo we thoroughly washed our buckets and gloves to remove any chemicals that had contaminated them. Participating in this beach clean up was rewarding, but the amount of waste we found we found was appalling. This beach clean up was another accomplishment of Team Marine that helped to aid marine life in the Santa Monica Bay.
This past Saturday, November 3rd, Team Marine attended the Plastic Ocean Pollution Solutions Youth Speaker Training, at the Main Street Google headquarters. The event was an excellent opportunity to learn even more about the 20 percent of plastics that are unaccounted for –and end up in our oceans, and our streets– as well as a chance to learn about how to speak publicly about environmental issues. The event was led by Algalita Marine Research Institute representatives Anna Cummins, Lindsey Jurca, Marieta Francis, and Jordan Howard. The team gave an informative power point about plastic pollution, and it’s causes, dangers, and solutions. Every student at the summit was provided with a binder containing each individual slide of the power point, and a thumb drive with a version accessible through a computer, so that we would be able to spread our message with a ready made presentation.
Before lunch, a panel of four activists against single use plastics spoke about their experiences in past years: Captain Charles Moore (founder of the Algalita Marine Research Institute), Mark Wystrach (founder of The People’s Movement, a clothing company that uses recycled materials), Ann Garth (a 14-year-old advocate for plastic pollution solutions), and Marcus Eriksen (founder of the 5 Gyres organization). Each speaker answered questions about what motivated them to continue their fight against single use plastics, and how they started out as environmental activists.
Throughout the day, all of the students participated in public speaking exercises, some led by the Algalita team, and some led by actor Brian Palermo. We were taught how to present ourselves in a professional manner while speaking, and how to structure presentations in an organized manner. We then made plans for future presentations to the City Council of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Malibu School District Board of Education, and politicians in Sacramento. Students had the opportunity to make partnerships with other student groups who attended the Summit, and plan for joint events. Team Marine members got to know other youth activists, and made many useful connections with other schools in California.
All meals were provided, and students were lucky enough to get a tour of the Google building during the break. All in all, the Youth Summit was a great opportunity to learn public speaking skills, and increase our knowledge of plastic pollution.
By Ellie Reynolds