Ban the Bag in California!

Emily Hughes

Data Administrator

Regrettably, as the oceans go, so goes the rest of the planet. Our lives and fate are inextricably linked to the health of our oceans, waves, and beaches. In protecting the ocean, we protect ourselves. There has never been so great a threat to our wellbeing as now. Sadly, since we live our lives on such a small portion of that twenty-five percent which is land, we seldom see or recognize the damage and destruction we're doing. By the time most of us find out about it, the damage is already done, and it's nearly too late.  That's why working at Surfrider means so much to me. As part of the membership team, it is my responsibility to help analyze our communications efforts-- to ensure that our energy and resources are being directed to the proper channels so that we may effectively reach out to and educate as many people as possible about the critical issues that we face. As a community, it is imperative that we realize what a mess we are making of our world, our home. We are, essentially, destroying the web of life that we depend upon for our very existence. Our oceans cannot take infinite abuse. But if we protect them, they will provide us with continuity, eternal life, inspiration, refreshment and wonder, for generations to come.

Unfortunately for you, you, and you (you know who you are), finger pointing is not an option at this point. Each and every one of us needs to do our part in caring for our Mother Ocean. And, our part may not necessarily be our fair share-- like picking up other people's trash whenever we see it left behind. Each of us needs to be proactive in our mindsets, and incorporate those actions into our daily lives. At home, we need to shop smarter, consume less, walk more. In business, we need to be vigilant about our decisions, always considering the consequences that may follow. In our schools, we need to set up programs to teach the youth how to be good stewards of the Earth. We each need to jump in and make change our business. We need to take a stand, and we need to do it now. Change can only happen when people like you and I feel inspired to take action. And unless people like us care a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

Fortunately, for those of us who find value in life, and the planet which enables it; for those of us who care to understand the impact of our own actions, and our community decisions; for those of us who feel inspired to finally take a stand and be part of the solution; for those of us who know that we must act now-- we must commit to change-- for ourselves, for our future. For those of us... there is hope. Individually and collectively, we can make a difference. In a world that seems to have gone mad, beyond our control, one of the easiest, most effective ways in which YOU can make a difference right now, right this very moment: Join us.

It starts with me, and it ends with you... Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.