11 • 20 • 2017

Meet Eva Holman, Surfrider Activist and Coastal Defender

Surfrider is proud to be partnered with our Surf Industry Coastal Defender, Electric to keep the eyes of Surfrider activists around the country protected from the elements as they carry out Surfrider campaigns and programs in their local communities. Support from Electric helps us achieve important programmatic work. Learn more about the amazing impact that Eva Holman of our San Francisco chapter is making to reduce the amount of single-use use plastics entering our ocean and environment!          

Tell us a little about yourself. Has the beach always been a big part of your life?         

Yes, I grew up in San Francisco and although people don’t always think of it that way we are surrounded by water and definitely a beach town. I spent every day after school hanging out at Kelly’s Cove with the CBS crew and spent as many weekends in Santa Cruz as I could.                                 

How’d you get involved with Surfrider, and what do you do with your chapter/ what's your role?       

I started my membership with Surfrider 17 years ago but didn’t get active in my Chapter until about seven years ago. I walked on my local beach, Baker Beach – which is just in my backyard - with my dog every morning and started to notice patterns of the same trash over and over again, such as plastic straws, butts, bags, bottle caps. I decided I needed to get active to find solutions and went to a local chapter meeting. Within a few months I was the Rise Above Plastics (RAP) lead and have been going strong ever since. I also started and organized Baker Beach clean ups once a month, which we’ve been doing for about six years now.  

Can you tell us about one of the initiatives your chapter is focusing on right now that is high priority/ of timely importance?  

We are strongly focused on straws right now. We are working on an incentive program with the local Restaurant Association and Bar Alliance to incentivize businesses to stop using plastic straws and to offer paper alternatives upon request. Bars and restaurants that make the change are seeing big reductions in their garbage bills by eliminating landfill waste and increasing compost.         

Please share any details about the campaign timeline (when did it start, what's the current status, when's the next update / decision, do we anticipate a Coastal Victory?)        

Plastic Straws Suck, our straw campaign, was started in 2015 but has been through some changes. It started as a door to door campaign asking restaurants to change from plastic to paper upon request. We then introduced a draft ordinance to the Board of Supervisors which was not picked up by the Board. On the advice of the Bar Alliance we moved forward with an incentive plan as SF’s bars and restaurants are having a tough time right now as rents increase, labor costs increase and health insurance costs are skyrocketing. So we're looking for a way to save them some money while also focusing on the greater good of our marine environment. We definitely expect a victory.       

Are there any specific challenges that stand out with this initiative that we can help raise awareness of?           

People think compostable plastic is a solution to plastic but it’s not. We need to spread the word to bars and restaurants that compostable plastic acts just like regular plastic when it ends up on a beach or in the ocean – or in a turtle. It doesn’t break down, it doesn’t self-compost. Choosing no straw, a reusable straw, or a paper straw are the only three viable options.                

For those of us who don’t already participate with their local Surfrider chapter, how can they support this initiative, support your chapter or make a difference for our ocean, waves and beaches?          

Evangelize among your own peers and in your community! Join the green team at your school or work and help let people know how little changes can make a huge impact. Come to a meeting and join my RAP team! We have a ton of work to do and love collaborating on campaigns and coming up with new ideas and strategies.                      

Anything else you want to say about your new shades?

I watched the sunset while wearing them at Ocean Beach last night. Picked out shapes in the clouds, watched the sky turn red, orange, yellow. It was incredible.            

About the Electric x Surfrider Partnership

All Electric sunglasses sold featuring the OHM+ Polarized Blue or OHM Sky Blue Chrome lenses will share a portion of the proceeds with the Surfrider Foundation. Every pair sold directly supports the extensive team of Surfrider activists who are on the ground, cleaning up our beaches, fighting development, and monitoring water quality. Electric pledges to protect our environment through a number of their best looking sunglasses, get yours now and help save our oceans. Surfrider supporters, use code COASTALDEFENDER30 for 30% off the Surfrider collection. SHOP NOW