While checking out an article about the 2013 Surfer Poll Awards, I stumbled across a video clip of pro surfer and MMA fighter, Dustin Barca, as he received the “Agent of Change Award”. Little did I know, Mr. Barca not only kills it in the lineup and in the ring, but he is also on his way to smacking down some of the world’s most powerful companies within the biotech industry, mainly Monsanto, and their destruction of Hawaii’s sacred lands and surrounding seas with their toxic chemicals and experimental GMO crops.
This got me thinking about the connection between surfers, the environment, and sustainability. The surfing community is directly related to the cleanliness of our oceans, and the cleanliness of our oceans is directly related to the cleanliness of our land. I then thought about the reasons why those of us that are connected to the ocean in one way or another, may want to consider purchasing clothing made from organic cotton and sustainable materials versus conventional cotton and synthetic materials. Cotton is famous for being “the fabric of our lives”, we come in contact with it every day, from the beds we sleep in, to the clothes we dress in. But growing conventional cotton requires the use of enormous amounts of pesticides, which has a huge environmental impact.
Cotton has long been the most valuable non-food agricultural product produced. Unfortunately, cotton is also labeled as the “dirtiest” crop around. It is a sad fact that growing conventional cotton for clothing requires more chemicals per unit than any other crop and accounts for 16% of the world’s pesticide use. Conventional cotton is grown from GMO seeds, and treated with fungicides and herbicides to increase germination rates and produce higher yields. In clothing and textile production, the cotton is treated with toxic dyes and chemicals that are harmful to both the environment and our own health.
By choosing organic cotton, you are helping to alleviate these problems and helping to improve the wellbeing of our ecosystems and your overall wellness. Benefits of organic agriculture include protection of purity of surface and ground water quality, conservation of biodiversity, and elimination of toxic chemicals. Someone can’t do everything, but everyone can do something! By educating yourself, you empower yourself to be a positive force in this world, especially when you apply this knowledge to the everyday choices you make. The effects of all of the little choices amount to huge results, just as every drop in the ocean counts!
Just as Dustin Barca is sticking it to the man with his relentless efforts to evict Monsanto from the sacred Aina of Hawaii, we can also have a voice and a choice to choose the kind of world we live in. The use of powerful pesticides, GMO crops, and experimental chemicals are not only taking a devastating toll in Hawaii, but in agricultural lands all around the world. By keeping a conscious mind when you purchase clothing and textiles, you can help in Barca’s efforts, and the efforts of all the ocean lovers around the world in keeping the ocean clean, pure, and pristine for the creatures that live there, and for the future generations to enjoy. I am sure you can all agree with me when I say I have enormous amounts gratitude for all that the ocean has provided me with throughout life. From the most magical playground, to a comforting place of solitude, the ocean is always there for us. By choosing to be eco-friendly consumers, we have a chance to return the favor to the environment and the ocean. Long live the surf, long live the pure ocean!