The ocean is our happy place. Our source of inspiration. Our place to unwind. Our home. It has become one of the most important things in our lives and we started to plan our whole life around it.
Yet, we started to have the feeling that there is so much more we need to know about the ocean. When I (Marie) watched the film plastic ocean I was shocked. How did I not know about all the bad things that plastic does to ‘my home’? My friend Maxi has just been in Indonesia and after 15minutes of cleaning the beach, she collected more than 150 plastic straws from the ground.
We would never throw trash in nature, we try to live a healthy lifestyle and we respect the ocean – but we started to feel like we still didn’t know anything! And to be honest, we felt guilty and a bit ashamed.
It was time to learn more about the topic. We decided to make a roadtrip and not use any means of plastic during a three weeks roadtrip in order to learn more about the consumption of plastic. We wanted to do it together, to help each other, to learn together, and most of all… to have fun while doing it! We called our roadtrip project ZERO PLASTIC. Instead of ‘pointing fingers’ we wanted to address the topic in a fun and enjoyable way, for us and for everyone else.
Before the trip started, we decided to do a couple of things:
– finding alternative products to plastic and then replace ALL plastic items
– organizing interviews with different people
– organizing 1-2 events along the way to tell about our experiences
– document all our experiences and insights on our social media channels, to share our learning process with other people.
But as soon as our preparation started we were faced with the first problems. We called our project ZERO PLASTIC, but we would use our car, our cameras and laptops and also our surfboards – so actually we couldn’t even fulfill what we were claiming to do… Should we make an exception for those things? Yes, let’s do that (is what we thought)!
Okay, so we gave ourselves a little “cheating” permission for our working and our surf equipment and the car. But apart from that we would really not use any plastic (is what we thought).
We were doing a great job! We found a lot of great products (which we will represent you soon), we found some great partners, we found some great people to interview … We were ready to start our final preparations.
“Hey, how should I brush my hair?” We both had plastic brushes. “What about sunscreen?” – we only had sunscreen in plastic bottles. We were starting to think. Maybe we buy a bamboo brush and maybe we make our own sunscreen? While a bamboo brush seemed like an option, we were not too sure about the sunscreen. When we told a guy on the beach about our trip, our mission and our concerns, he told us he found a solution… Olive oil and lemon as sunscreen… Well, we can tell you, his sunburnt face worried us a bit! Should we give up all plastic and sacrifice our health?
We had a very interesting chat with Anna from Mellow Move, which we’ll share soon. She gave us a lot of inspiration and helped us answer some of our questions. Anna is running the kitchen of the surf camp Mellow Move in Portugal and she tries to reduce plastic in many different ways.
When we told her about all the great alternative products we found, we also mentioned our latest pimp-our-car-without-using-plastic-setup: wooden fruit boxes as a replacement for the plastic boxes (which we used in the trunk of our car to store food and clothes) … but here she caught us. “What are you doing with the plastic boxes?”, she asked. Of course, we did not intend to throw them away, but we did not considerably think about what to do with all the products that we are replacing now. I felt ashamed again for not thinking about this and answered intuitively: “I will leave the plastic bag in my flat and use them to store my clothes”…
One of the many things she told us was:
” Every Thursday I receive my local fruits and vegetables from a farmer from the area. As many times as I tried to tell him that I don’t need them wrapped in plastic bags, I still receive them in plastic bags every time. but there was no reason to get frustrated about it. I always fold them and store them for the bathroom bins of our guests! At least I found a way to use them again!”
She was making a point! It was not only about the reduction of plastic use, it was more about the reduction of plastic waste. So – would we actually do a ‘good thing’ by throwing away our plastic brush (and creating waste) just to replace it with a bamboo one?
We decided we can’t name our project ZERO PLASTIC. It would be too much cheating. So we decided to name it #missionplasticfree and instead of banning all plastics we decided to ban as much plastic as possible, but if it means that we have to throw (long-term-use) plastic items away just to replace them, then we should really think about it and maybe better try to reduce the waste that we would create otherwise.
We will have another week of preparation ahead of us before we start our roadtrip and we already wanted to thank all the great brands that are supporting us and our mission!
Follow us on Instagram and facebook and see what we experience during our trip!
And please help us to learn more and share your expertise, your ideas and your advise with us. We’d be more than happy to hear about it!