Summer is here and what better time of year to show your devotion to the ocean with some fun and creativity? Inspired by 1) the trio of huge fish made from plastic bottles constructed as a display during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development this past month and 2) my new found skill at fusing plastic I am calling upon all readers and friends of readers to create some art (functional or not) with items they would otherwise toss. Why not start a collection of bottle caps or soda tabs to create a sign for your favorite band or music act? Start creating a pile of cardboard and make an homage to your favorite animal, brand, or company just like artist Mark Langan. These submissions can also be useful for around the house. Why not upcycle glass baby food jars for storage? I’ve got my own projects in the works and will share later this summer.
This contest is set up to demonstrate that anyone, anywhere can make an impact on saving the ocean. That’s right, even if you’re a Minnesota-ite (or is it Minnesotian?) everything that goes into your watershed will end up in the sea. This contest is also set up to help build awareness as to how much waste we produce that we could otherwise reuse. Who knows, maybe this contest can be practice for when you someday build an entire home out of shipping containers?
We first “met” Ann McElhatton when she wrote about UBB a few months ago on her blog-Beach Chair Scientist. She celebrated World Oceans Day by joining our United By Blue and Sperry Top-Sider cleanup in Annapolis. We love meeting fellow ocean and blue movement advocates!
How did you hear about United By Blue?
I found out about United By Blue when I was researching ‘green’ (or in your case ‘blue’) companies I wanted to recommend to my Beach Chair Scientist followers.
How often do you volunteer?
I’d say it averages out to once a season. Maybe more so in the spring and warmer months. I wish I could more often, but finding the time with a full-time job and a family (including a toddler) can be a challenge. But, soon enough I look forward to teaching my daughter the importance of giving back.
What made you want to help out at our cleanup?
It was World Oceans Day and I wanted to participate in an event where I would be able to see a direct and immediate impact outside in my favorite setting of the wetlands and estuaries.
What was your favorite part of the cleanup?
My favorite part of the clean-up is difficult to nail down. I was so impressed with the UBB staff, everyone was incredibly friendly and appreciative of each volunteer. Also, the way the the ocean stewardship message was carried throughout the clean-up event made for a particularly all-encompassing experience for participants.
I’m a nut over fun messaging with an impact and just about jumped for joy when they starting handing out ‘blue marbles’ at the end! Lastly, I thought engaging the entire group with games and contests was very clever. Although, it would have been an all-around better event if my strange find (the nerf gun) had won the contest! Next time!
Any tips, tricks, or advice for people thinking of coming to a UBB cleanup?
I’d say ‘Don’t hesitate’. These folks know what they’re doing and do it well. You’ll leave with a feeling that you’ve made a positive impact on the environment while having had a great deal of fun!