By now, you know our story: we created the SlipIns brand to solve a problem that was taking some of the joy out of our favorite pastime. The issue of uncomfortable, inconvenient wetsuits was something we could fix ourselves. However, there are still countless complications that impact our time spent in the water and we can’t correct them alone. As Earth Day quickly approaches, SlipIns is taking the month to reflect on the things threatening our oceans and we are asking for your help in tackling them. Our DiveSkins/Surfskins are inspired by the ocean’s natural patterns, but the magic goes much deeper than aesthetics alone. The sea offers us solace, connection, and freedom without asking anything of us in return. The least we could do, as a community of water worshippers, is to join forces and give back to the big, blue beauty that provides us with endless bliss. Let’s dive into ways we can make a change every day, not just on Earth Day.
Excessive Waste and Careless Pollution
You’ve probably seen it as you’re waiting to catch a wave: loose trash floating around near the shore and plastic bottles littering the beach. If you’re like us, you don’t think twice and just pick up what you can before enjoying your day. While that is a move that (if everyone abided by it) makes a small difference, there’s more to the issue than we see on a local level. Think about all the beaches you’ve been to or dreamt about hitting one day. There are hundreds of thousands of miles of coastline and its nearby water that have that same garbage littering the shores.
Shocking Statistics Should Open Our Eyes
Plastic alone is one of the most prevalent contaminants hurting our oceans. It’s estimated that more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually. Studies suggest that 14 million tons of that plastic (or 5%) end up in our oceans every year. Out of everything found in the sea that most certainly doesn’t belong there, plastic accounts for 80% of it. The pollution doesn’t just sit on the surface waters where you can see or pick it up, it is mixed into deep-sea sediments. Plastic hurts sea creatures in countless ways; those who call the ocean home are entangled in plastic, ingest it, or are severely injured by the pollution.
Ways We Are Unknowingly Hurting Our Oceans
Plastic is the most giant offender when it comes to littering our oceans, but there are other routes that trash takes that we don’t even consider. When someone decides to throw their waste on the streets or sidewalks, rainwater runoff carries that garbage to nearby bodies of water. If a person decides to put an un-flushable item down the drain, they could be sending it to the sea. Improper waste management also puts the ocean at risk; when trash cans and dumpsters overflow, debris can travel and end up as aquatic trash.
One complication that slips our minds comes in the form of chemicals. It’s imperative to pay attention to what we’re using in our daily lives. What you cook with, clean with, and use on your body can trickle into bodies of water in a terrifying way. National Geographic says that "common man-made pollutants that reach the ocean include pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, detergents, oil, industrial chemicals, and sewage." What starts in the water miles away from coastlines slowly flows its way down to oceans. The damage does more than you might think; chemicals produce harmful algae that rob the water of oxygen, toxins kill our marine life, and pollution ultimately ends up in our food.
Reduce Use and Increase Awareness
You are in control of what you’ll contribute when it comes to loving our oceans, but we know the ways we will give back (and we hope you’ll join us). Together, we can join the waves of ocean lovers who are fighting to protect our waters. Whether you choose to join local environmental groups or attack pollution on an individual level, we hope you’ll consider bringing these practices into your sea-saving strategies.
- Ditch unnecessary plastic as much as possible. Unfortunately, there are certain items we buy where we’ll still have to put up with plastic. However, you can start incorporating alternatives into your routine that will drastically reduce your use. When you’re heading to the grocery store, grab a reusable bag to carry your haul. Purchase a metal straw and throw it into your purse or forgo them altogether. Carry an eco-friendly water bottle and coffee cup and stop needlessly buying one-time use options. Research swap options for your go-to products; sometimes you can get the same kind of soap in a bar rather than a bottle. Start small but think big: what you’re doing matters.
- Do what you can to slow down pollution. If you’re as passionate as we are about caring for our waterways, you should consider joining a local group or national organization that takes on trash together. Even if you don’t live by an ocean, you can take care of bodies of water near you that lead to the sea. With the online access we have today, it’s simple to organize a local clean-up initiative in your community. Share articles that show how your community’s waste practices impact oceans at large. Join social media groups that have networking opportunities for like-minded individuals. Go directly to your local government to talk about waste management red flags.
- Go green with beauty, hygiene, and fashion choices (for starters). Does it really matter if you look pretty if you’re making the ocean uglier? Okay, we know this isn’t your intention, but we want to give you some ways you can love yourself and the ocean at the same time. There are countless cosmetic brands that make eco-consciousness their number one priority. Not only should you be paying attention to packaging but investigate your favorite products and see what kinds of ingredients they’re made of. One menace that releases toxins into the ocean, sunscreen! Wearing sunscreen before swimming or surfing contributes to the destruction of coral reefs and the quality of life for sea creatures. We’re proud to say that at SlipIns, we practice what we preach and wear our hearts on our sleeves (well, entire body). Wearing a diveskin or a long sleeve swimsuit instead of sunscreen is a way to have a passion for fashion that simultaneously saves the planet. Our products are made in the USA with ethically sourced fabrics and created with eco-friendly practices.
One with the Ocean:
Let’s Do This Thing Together
At SlipIns, we clearly value convenience, but what’s even more, is we’re eco-conscious. We want to continue bringing you products that make your time with the water easy and free; but what if one day our oceans are too sick to surf in? We’re big on surfing, scuba diving, and swimming sustainably and we know our customers are, too. Join us this Earth Day in doing one thing to give our oceans a big hug. We love connecting and hearing your testimonials; it makes us feel like a part of your story at sea. Whether we always remember it or not, we’re all on this planet together, and only together can we keep it alive. William James once said, "We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected on the deep."