Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Life Rolls On

For the past few weeks, I've been somewhat MIA.  From taking unplanned trips to visit family to a broken computer... it feels like forever since I posted.  fyi: Forever = 15 days ;)  In my last post, I mentioned the awesome AWESOME day we had at Wrightsville Beach.  Now... computer fixed and my feet firmly planted back in Wilmington... it's time to rewind to October 1!!  :)
Just like last year, my husband and I volunteered with Ocean Cure for "Life Rolls On: They Will Surf Again".  It was something that I decided I wanted to get involved with after attending a benefit concert in February 2010.  During the concert, I saw "Wrightsville Beach" pop up on the screen and wondered why I had never heard about this organization.  So... if you don't know anything about Life Rolls On (LRO)... it's a subsidiary of the Dana & Christopher Reeve Foundation that was founded by Jesse Billauer, a young surfer who was left quadriplegic after a wave pushed him head first into a shallow sandbar.  His story is really really inspiring and motivating... I would highly recommend everyone watching "Jesse's Story."

I would also... tell anyone and everyone (my friends will vouch for it!)... that if you can ever volunteer for "They Will Surf Again"... you must.  It's one of the most inspiring things to be a part of.  Words can't begin to describe it and  pictures can't capture how unbelievably amazing it is...  you have to be there to feel the energy... to see the hope, happiness and witness the freedom.

"LRO is an avenue to hope, independence, freedom, happiness, inspiration, and teamwork.  It is about bringing people together and changing lives one day, one program, and one person at a time.  Each of LRO's amazing programs offers the opportunity for the physically disabled to open their minds, help them forget about their challenges and to be thankful for the opportunity to still be alive."

While my husband spent the day in the ocean with our friends and community helping get the participants surfing, I (much like last year) hung out on the beach.  BUT... this year, I actually got to do a lot more!!  This year, I not only volunteered with Ocean Cure for the LRO event... but I was also doing double duty by volunteering with Surfrider!

During the event, I had a container of cigarette butts on display for playing "Guess How Many"... and we-- Bonnie, Ginger, my kids and I-- constructed a giant footprint in the sand to help raise awareness to the amount of litter-- especially plastics-- picked up off our beach!  From plastic water bottles to kids toys... all of the litter in the footprint (minus the containers  of cigarettes we displayed) was picked up by my friends Ginger and John on their Monday morning turtle walks during nesting season.  What they were able to do during their morning walks... is just more proof that with simple actions we DO make a difference.  

Having the footprint on display during the event, had many advantages.  The obvious is that people were interested, but what was also great about it is that kids came to borrow toys that were in the footprint.  :)

Since I'm now volunteering with my local chapter of Surfrider, this is an awesome opportunity to plug Raptoberfest.  Rap...what?! You ask. The whole month of October, Surfrider is dedicating to Rise Above Plastics (RAP)!  ...AND you know I'm ALL about Rising Above Plastics. :) 
So... without further ramblings....straight from Surfrider... Here are 10 easy ways to reduce your plastic footprint: 

  1. Stop using single-use plastic water bottles.  In nearly all cases, the water out of your tap is just as safe – if not safer – than the water distributed in single-use plastic bottles.   Instead, buy and use a reusable bottle and fill it with water.
  2. Whenever possible, buy food in bulk.  Buying food in bulk helps to reduce the total amount of packaging materials consumed.
  3. Buy your music electronically.  By purchasing your music electronically, you avoid the need to create plastic compact discs, plastic jewel cases, and cellophane wrapping.
  4. Stop using plastic grocery bags.  Each year over one trillion plastic bags are used worldwide.  Because these bags are so light and thin, they are easily carried by the wind out into the environment.  Instead, use reusable bags to get your groceries and other purchases home.
  5. Say “NO” to pre-packaged single serving portions.  These types of products are among the worst when it comes to excess packaging.
  6. Reusable containers are rad! When it comes to lunch and leftovers, ditch the plastic bag and use reusable containers instead.  Reusable containers are just as easy to use and far less harmful to the planet
  7. Buy a reusable travel mug.  Use a reusable travel mug or to-go cup for your coffee, tea and other beverage purchases.  Think of all the lids (as well as the waxed paper cups) you’ll save.
  8. Always look for alternative packaging. Many items such as soft drinks, detergent, cat litter, etc. come in alternate packaging (such as aluminum or cardboard) that can be more easily recycled than plastic.
  9. Buy and sell secondhand.  Clothing, toys, baby gear, furniture, household supplies, sporting goods and many other consumer items can often be found through secondhand sources, thereby reducing the amount of new plastic entering the waste stream.
  10.  Recycle! In those instances where you must use plastic, please make sure to recycle it.

Happy Raptoberfest... get your rethinking, reducing and reusing on.  Join your local Chapter of Surfrider... get involved in an organization that makes you feel awesome because you're doing awesome.  Do something that matters... and most importantly have fun. :) 

This post is dedicated to my Grandpa.

September 20, 1927- October 1, 2011