Real Leaders

Sailing on an Ocean of Trash: Caribbean to Norway And Back

Three people journeyed across the globe to discover the health of our seas. The Zing Ocean Conservancy team members have an incredible passion for the ocean; the beauty of it, the diverse life, the roughness of the seas and what is yet to be explored. Unfortunately, what they found is that how we live today is not very sustainable for our oceans.

Every year, at least eight million tons of plastic enters the ocean. That’s the equivalent weight of three million Honda Civics per year, or 5.8 Honda Civics per minute.

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What’s so bad about plastic in the ocean, you may ask? Plastic takes about 400 years to biodegrade. Almost all plastic that has ever been produced still exits. The plastic that enters the oceans are broken into microscopic pieces from weather, sun and saltwater. These pieces are often mistaken for food and enter the food chain. Millions of marine animals are killed from eating plastic annually. Plastic chemicals can also be absorbed in our bodies and can cause serious health problems. Today, 94% of U.S. tap water is contaminated by plastic.

Zing Ocean Conservancy’s Co-Founders, Michele Donihe and Jonas Legernes decided to raise awareness around it. They embarked on a journey across the globe in a 30-foot sailboat to discover just how bad it is. Along the way, they documented it and cleaned some up.

The journey started in the U.S. Virgin Islands mid-May 2017 and ended in Spain late July 2017. In almost every port and country, they cleaned up beaches and spread their passion to save the ocean. The expedition included an Atlantic crossing and visits to three different continents.

What did they discover? An even bigger passion for the ocean within themselves. And that the health of our oceans is seriously threatened.

“We feel like we have to give back to the ocean, and encourage others to do so as well,” says Donihe. “Pick up trash for 10 minutes every time you go to the beach. Use less plastic. The average plastic bag is used for only 15 minutes; use reusable non-plastic bags. Anything and everything helps. Be cool and recycle.”

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