It’s Earth Month, our favorite month of the year! April is incredibly important to us here at EarthHero – it’s a chance to reflect on what it means to live an ethical lifestyle, to set goals for yourself (and your community!), and to inspire others to learn about sustainability. It’s also about creating a meaningful impact. To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with Plastic Oceans International, a non-profit dedicated to ending plastic pollution and fostering sustainability at the community level.
In this blog you’ll:
- Dive into who Plastic Oceans is
- Learn why their mission is so important
- Get involved through active work and just by shopping with EarthHero!
Update: with your help, Earth Month 2021 we were able to protect 1.7 million square feet of turtle habitat through Plastic Oceans! We couldn’t have done it without your support. #EveryDayIsEarthDay
Who Is Plastic Oceans?
Simply put: Plastic Oceans International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to reducing global plastic pollution and educating our world about the impacts of pollution. They have branches in the USA, Canada, Chile, Europe, and Mexico – but work at a community level, inspiring change locally. They do this by creating films, running educational programs, launching beach cleanups, and empowering changemakers across the globe. Their “act locally, think globally” program promotes four main pillars: education, activism, advocacy, and science. They believe that through supportive programs aligned with the four pillars, and through embracing a circular economy, they can inspire and incite action that will lead to changes in corporate practices, public policy, and consumer behavior – which, collectively, will lead to a reduction in plastic pollution.
What Does Plastic Oceans Do?
Plastic Oceans organizes programs and campaigns throughout the four pillars in communities across the globe. Though each campaign has its own mission, the motto, #RethinkPlastic, is at the core of each and every campaign and is becoming a global movement. One of the key ways that they work within the Education Pillar is through film! By promoting documentaries that support their mission and by creating educational programming to complement those films, they aim to make the importance of the health of our oceans really stick. One of these films is the documentary A Plastic Ocean, which they provide to students alongside a companion guide to help them truly understand the magnitude of the information they’re learning. When Plastic Oceans isn’t physically in the classroom with students, they’re working alongside educators to help build an applicable curriculum. The impactful films they distribute aim to inspire social change – and we urge you to check out their vast portfolio of Plastic Oceans International film picks on their website!
In addition to providing educational content, Plastic Oceans also helps to create powerful change within schools by providing clean drinking water through their Rethink.Refill campaign. This campaign provides students with reusable water bottles and refill stations that open up a conversation about plastic waste, while also providing students with a need— clean and safe water.
Plastic Oceans’ activism manifests in ways that start in local communities, but influence the movement all over the world through their BlueCommunities program. With BlueCommunities, they develop strong relationships with partners working locally, ultimately laying the groundwork for long-term socio-economic and environmental change. When #SwimAgainstPlastic was launched on Easter Island in Chile in 2019 in partnership with Breathe Conservation, they raised awareness about ending plastic pollution in a transformative way. The first swim took place in South Africa when endurance swimmer Sarah Ferguson set a new world record and became the first person to ever swim around Easter Island’s perimeter. In November of 2019, they took it to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. It’s incredible campaigns like these that drive meaningful awareness about the health of our oceans, and we love when organizations create out-of-the-box ways to make a mark.
On top of all of this, Plastic Oceans is a fierce advocate for change. The nonprofit works on a local and global level to advocate for public policy changes that impact corporate and consumer habits around plastic pollution! The team also works with activists across the globe to organize impactful beach cleanups, awareness campaigns, and other events that motivate communities to rethink plastic, and to live more sustainable lives.
EarthHero & Plastic Oceans (2021)
We were so inspired by the mission of Plastic Oceans, and wanted to make it easy for our community to get involved with them in celebration of Earth Month and Earth Day! The week of Earth Day, from April 19th to April 26th, every order placed contributed to the protection of 1,000 square feet of sea turtle habitat from plastic waste through Plastic Oceans.
The specific Plastic Oceans program we donated to is called the Campeche Turtle Project, and its mission is to save the critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle. Plastic Oceans has partnered with Ninth Wave and Yuumtsil Káak Náab, two local NGOs in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, to collaborate on this effort. Together, they’ve worked on a multi-level community approach that focuses on plastic reduction initiatives, beach cleanups, education for youths and adults, research, arts, and culture. As of September 2020, a record number of Hawksbill Sea Turtle nests are under their protection, and they’ve helped thousands of hatchlings make their way to the sea! You can learn more about the Campeche Turtle project here!
With your help, we made a meaningful impact on these beaches and communities in Mexico and inspire our community to get involved with beach cleanups and turtle habitat restoration projects in their local areas. Want to get more involved with the Plastic Oceans mission?
This blog was originally published on April 16, 2021, and was most recently updated on March 6, 2022.