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Choosing a new and better course

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You always have the chance to realign your current course by taking a new direction. You can change it dramatically by pulling the rudder around, or steadily a little bit by simply adjusting the course little by little. It is always a good time to think about the current course. The year 2020 in particular offers plenty of opportunity for this. We hope that you will find your course and that you will sail with tailwind.
Sailing boat in the sunset

We hope everyone is sailing steadily into good times. We know Covid-19 has hit a lot of countries hard and the lockdown is tough for all of us. Our thoughts are out there with you. Let’s see the importance of choosing a new and better course.

Rethinking

The pandemic has a massive impact on our familiar habits, our society and our customs. This time gives us the opportunity to reorganize the way we live together – to rethink society and environmental protection. Great fundamental concepts are being brought to the table, such as the questioning of capitalism or the need to go to an office to work.

See this article from the Guardian about home office effects: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/end-of-the-office-the-quiet-grinding-loneliness-of-working-from-home?utm_source=pocket-newtab

See this article from Forbes about where capitalism will go from here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/randalllane/2020/05/26/greater-capitalism-how-the-pandemic-is-permanently-reshaping-our-economic-system-for-the-better/?sh=7bda803a71c1

Your role

You play an important role in the course which is taken from today on. Yes, we are a lot of people on the planet and it might look like, one’s decisions are not making an impact. But no, it is the opposite, one’s decisions are essential to what will be there tomorrow and to what won’t be there anymore tomorrow. Changes in our society where always driven by the people (except for major environmental changes). These changes come slowly, most of the times. Once more and more people adapt a new habit, the system will change accordingly.

Every action is leaving a trace and a signal. For instance, every move you make on the internet can be and mostly is analyzed to understand habits, to improve pages and to personalize what you see. I guess you know or notice, once you searched for something, shortly after you will get advertising for the same thing. The same thing counts for actions outside the internet. Every time you buy something in a certain shop, the signal is there, and the shop is going to refill the same thing. For example, years ago there were only very few gyms for climbing and bouldering. Since more and more people are going there, several are coming up in each city like mushrooms come out of the ground. More recently the amount of zero waste groceries is rising. This shows more and more people are using this option to do their grocery. And like said at the beginning, you as well play an important role here, to set the right signal.

Understanding

We need to know the impact of our actions. To do this in a comprehensive way is really difficult. There are endless information and they all focus on different parts and most of them leave some things unconsidered. Hence, we need to go on a pragmatic depth of the cause. There is one event which marked me a lot. I was always sure to eat local is the best thing to do, to reduce CO2 of transportation. And of course, this is true most of the time. But then I Iearned that this depends on the season. Eating an apple from Germany in Germany is great during autumn and winter. But once summer comes around again, and apples are not yet ripe in Europe, the carbon footprint of the apple from overseas is lower than the own stowed in a cooled warehouse for about half a year. This is when I started eating not just local, but as well seasonal food (mainly).

This example shows that there is always more to be considered that we think in the first place. And there many points to think about:

  • Local, less transportation, less CO2 emissions
  • Fairly produced, good social and economical impact
  • Seasonal, less time in storage, less energy consumption
  • The more self-produced, the more control over ALL ingredients
  • Organiclly grown, less environmental impact, fewer pesticides in water etc.
  • No animal products from factory farming, limits the environmental impact as deforestation & CO2 emissions & water contamination
  • Zero waste distribution, less CO2 in packaging production, less resources wasted, less plastic in the environment (see as well in Beyond)
  • And for sure further subjects to be considered…

Choosing

Some subjects are yours to take on some others are not. The more points you can integrate in your daily life the more environmental responsible your action will become and the lower your environmental impact will be. On the way you will realize, that the integration of these points will get natural and easy. Talk about your projects of changing your habits, how to feed yourself. Share your ideas with family and friends. As you have gone through the process of understanding and researching, you have your own thoughts on why you to do this.

The course

We hope people will take the situation as an opportunity to adjust their way of thinking. Once the mindset has changed the actions will follow accordingly. Businesses could focus on sustainability; people could buy more local and only things really necessary. Politics do have a crucial role too; they can adjust the norm through laws and regulation. If these norms are eco-friendly, a foundation is laid for the society to move this way.

Two examples on this topic:

  1. In Wales and now also in England, organ donation after death is considered the norm. This means that the consent of the potential donor is assumed. The organ donation can be rejected by an objection. Obviously this leads to more organ donors. Reverse solution as a for example in Germany. (See: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/uk-laws/organ-donation-law-in-wales/)
  2. In Germany you need to put a sticker on your mailbox if you do not want to receive advertising. This leads to a massive amount of paper thrown out every year (about 1.2 billion Kg). Now there is the campaign group ‘’Letzte Werbung’’ who wants to turn around this standard, to allow advertising only in mailboxes with stickers asking for it. (in German only: https://www.letzte-werbung.de/)

Each of us adapted her or his lifestyle to go in the flow with our acquired knowledge. We collect plastic out of passion. We are happy about all the support we get.

We hope you find your new course and that you sail with the wind.

Stefan on the beach

Stefan from Pro Ocean

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You always have the chance to realign your current course by taking a new direction. You can change it dramatically by pulling the rudder around, or steadily a little bit by simply adjusting the course little by little. It is always a good time to think about the current course. The year 2020 in particular offers plenty of opportunity for this. We hope that you will find your course and that you will sail with tailwind.
Thanks a lot to all the helpers and involved officials for making our first organized CLEAN-UP such a great success.

First year’s result

Our path is far from over! We collected about 15.000 kg of plastic from our oceans - in our first year. Thanks to all the contributors out there! We will go on with our work and keep on going for a clean ocean !
Have a look at this well analyzed nature article about how plastic is getting from rivers into the ocean, written by: Laurent C.M. Lebreton, Joost van der Zwet, Jan-Willem Damsteeg, Boyan Slat, Anthony Andrady & Julia Reisser.

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