You can make a difference!

Martin County has adopted a single-use plastic reduction strategy find out you can help make a difference.  Shop local vendors that support sustainability practices, join advocacy groups with missions you support and most importantly incorporate reduction strategies into your everyday routine.

At present, global plastic production is equivalent to hundreds of millions of tons per year and is predicted to double within the next 10 years. Less than one fifth of all plastic is recycled. Approximately 40 percent of all plastic produced is in single use disposable plastics. These plastics include non-biodegradable beverage bottles, plastic bags, packaging, food containers and plastic straws. Each year an estimated 10 million tons of plastic enters the ocean mostly from land. This plastic waste stream joins the approximately 150 million tons of debris that are caught up in the word’s ocean currents forming massive collections of marine trash. Eventually, as the plastic is exposed to the elements, it breaks down in to smaller pieces that are consumed by marine life In place of food causing starvation and death.

Plastic waste can sicken or kill coral reefs by blocking sunlight from reaching coral or by abrading the coral and Introducing pathogens and infection. We now know that microplastic fibers have contaminated virtually all the world’s water and the health implications of consumption are not yet fully understood.

Plastic pollution that collects locally on the beaches, shorelines and waterways impacts the health and aesthetic beauty of our environment. Litter is costly to clean up and if left unchecked has impacts to recreation, tourism and to the economy. It is recognized that there are a number of local businesses, organizations and individuals that are taking affirmative action to reduce and eliminate use of single-use plastics. It is recognized that a collaborative effort is needed to preserve, protect and enhance coastal waters and to further support their environmental, ecological and socioeconomic value

One Planet Living

One Planet Living encompasses 10 easy-to-grasp principles along with detailed goals and guidance. “Together, these provide a clear, practical route map to create a sustainability action plan for any organization that can engage hearts as well as minds,” according to the One Planet Living website.

  1. Health and Happiness: Encouraging active, social, meaningful lives to promote good health and well-being
  2. Equity and Local Economy: Creating safe, equitable places to live and work, which support local prosperity and international fair trade
  3. Culture and Community: Nurturing local identity and heritage, empowering communities and promoting a culture of sustainable living
  4. Land and Nature: Protecting and restoring land for the benefit of people and wildlife
  5. Sustainable Water: Using water efficiently, protecting local water resources and reducing flooding and drought
  6. Local and Sustainable Food: Promoting sustainable humane farming and healthy diets high in local, seasonal organic food and vegetable protein
  7. Travel and Transport: Reducing the need to travel, encouraging walking, cycling and low-carbon transport
  8. Materials and Products: Using materials from sustainable sources and promoting products, which help people reduce consumption
  9. Zero Waste: Reducing consumption, re-using and recycling to achieve zero waste and zero pollution
  10. Zero Carbon Energy: Making buildings and manufacturing energy efficient and supplying all energy with renewables.
Blue Community

The Blue Community Consortium seeks to protect oceans, coastal habitats and marine environments in Florida through implementing Blue Community and other sustainable tourism strategies. The Waves of Change Clue Community program is an opportunity for coastal communities to declair their own work to protect the oceans and promote ocean sustainability. The oceans are under increasing threats from pollution, overfishing, impacts of climate change including coral bleaching, acidification, and increased storm intensity. The Waves of Change campaign is responding to these issues with ocean clean-up programs, improving ocean literacy, supporting ocean champions, ecosystems restoration, and programs to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Unless policies for protection of the oceans and promotion of ocean sustainability are increased, coastal communities are likely to experience adverse impacts. The Blue Community program is a place for learning and sharing those best practices, which mitigate those impacts. It currently has 12 strategies in place to protect coastal habitats and marine environments:

  1. Improve building design – build more sustainably and for disaster reduction
  2. Promote mass transportation – reduce carbon emissions
  3. Reduce energy use
  4. Water conservation
  5. Improve waste management
  6. Reduce use of plastic
  7. Promote local Organic or Hydroponic food
  8. Promote sustainable seafood
  9. Protect coastal habitat and cultural heritage
  10. Clean marina initiative
  11. Education
  12. Planning, policy and management
Sustainability Resources and Local Organizations
Surfrider

The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.

Find out more about the mission and programs of this advocacy group by connecting with the local. Treasure Coast Surfrider chapter here.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center!

Loggerhead Marinelife Center is one of Florida’s most unique nonprofit cultural destinations focused on ocean and sea turtle conservation.   They have several valuable conservation programs learn more here.