News ID: 267945
Published: 0924 GMT April 20, 2020

Ocean groups plan wave of environment action after Earth Day’s 50th anniversary

Ocean groups plan wave of environment action after Earth Day’s 50th anniversary
CRISTINA MITTERMEIER/SEALEGACY

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day probably couldn’t come at a worse time, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, when people are supposed to “stay at home” and practice “social distancing” and newcasts feature daily death counts.

On the other hand, this may actually be one of the best times to celebrate Earth Day, two environmental activists, forbes.com reported.

Cristina Mittermeier from SeaLegacy, a company which is on mission to create healthy and abundant oceans for the planet, and Dune Ives from Lonely Whale, an incubator for courageous ideas that drive impactful change on behalf of our ocean, said Earth Day matters now more than ever. And before you roll your eyes, take a second to consider how the world has changed just in recent months.

And consider that these activists were of course planning like other groups to be roaming outside for Earth Day 50 on Wednesday, April 22, doing activities like cleaning up beaches. Instead, COVID-19 forced them, like other groups, to shift their efforts online

But even that online component didn’t come together in time for SeaLegacy and Lonely Whale. Have they given up? No, but they’re planning something epic for later this year: Launching a first-of-its-kind ocean conservation action platform called “Only One.”

 

SeaLegacy and Lonely Whale offer these ideas:

 

Take a moment to ask yourself how you can live as minimally as you can with the lowest footprint. How can you minimize food waste, use everything in your kitchen (for example, replanting celery and green onions)?

Be conscious about what you buy at the grocery store (while wearing a cloth mask). Reach for organic produce and food that isn’t wrapped in plastic.

“It’s a good opportunity to just take a deep breath and see how we are living our values in our own homes,” said Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale.

Pay attention to how the shutdown and our lighter footprint has affected nature in a positive way. How many birds do you see coming back? Do you hear the wind now, when before you only heard traffic?

“We all are having a different experience with his particular crisis,” Ives added. “The thing we all share in common though is we all love fresh air and breathable air and we all love a little bit of silence ...

“So this is a way for us to reconnect even if we can’t be outside doing the beach cleanups. This is an opportunity for us to be observant and pay attention to how a lighter footprint on the planet, which we’re all doing at the same time, is really affecting nature in a positive way.”

 

What’s coming next?

 

Ives, along with Mittermeier, co-founder of Sea Legacy and a National Geographic conservation photographer, have amassed a total of more than 100,000 social media followers over the years along with the Blue Sphere Foundation, another collaborator in their upcoming project.

They did it by organizing and bringing people together to get things done ... with the knowledge that pretty pictures are worth thousands of words.

Ives and Mittermeier have launched several previous campaigns, from encouraging people to question how they hydrate without single-use plastic water bottles to sharing visual stories through expeditions across the world.

“I think this pandemic and this moment of reflection should be one where we decide how to want to live in the future,” Mittermeier said. “It’s going to take courage to be more informed and more involved.”

About six months ago, the two activists started working together on a storytelling platform. The platform will be called Only One, and it was to launch on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

But like many things these days (see going out to eat, or the movies, or to a concert), the plans have been delayed due to circumstances like having to work from home.

They’re planning to launch the platform later this year (and promise to update readers before it launches).

What can we expect, and what will make this something worth waiting for? Do we really need another social network?

“This is a platform where you can choose your own adventure,” Ives said.

The platform will be a central place for ocean content, action and entertainment, helping organizations around the world amplify their messages and campaigns for helping the oceanonerecover and thrive, organizers say.

“Stunning” photos will be a big part of drawing people in.

“You can use photography to lower the price of entry into environmental conservation,” Mittermeier said. “If we can lure people into where a photo was taken, then can introduce more complex subjects.”

   
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