A recent estimation suggests around 10,000 seabirds, and nearly 100,000 seals, sea lions, and whales choke or get tangled in plastic waste each year—a 100 percent human-caused disaster (www.wyndhamgreen.com). Before the most recent oceanic crisis occurred, leaking millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf Coast at a rapid rate, two eco-conscious groups sought to raise awareness about yet another threat to our waters: plastic. Wyndham Green, the sustainability program put forth by Wyndham Worldwide, is partnering with extreme athlete Tom Jones and Plastic Free Ocean, a subsidiary of the nonprofit Tom Jones Foundation, to raise awareness about the continuing threat of plastic pollutants in our oceans, something Jones explains is a “permeable oil spill.”
While Wyndham Worldwide has recognized their responsibility to lead a business with a minimal carbon footprint, mindful of conserving natural resources and protecting our environment, they have taken the lead support in hosting Tom Jones and his crew as they paddle their way up the East Coast from Key West, Florida, to New York. We spoke with Jones shortly after a six-hour stretch of paddling through North Jupiter, Florida. He set out on the 90-day, 1,500-mile journey on May 16th, enduring 17 to 20 knot winds and rain, with the intent to raise awareness about the immediate threat plastic has on our environment, wildlife, and human health. And, primarily, he adds, “to raise money and clean it up. There’s a good chance we can correct the issue if we jump on it.”
The time has come to take action and reduce our carbon footprint in a world where merely 3.5 percent of 200 million tons of plastic produced each year is recycled. Don’t just watch in disbelief as the out-of-control devastation spreads throughout our oceans and coasts today, think about the actions you can take to protect our earth—reduce, re-use, and recycle–and act! As Jones simply states, “Take the Gulf oil spill, make it global, and you’ve got plastic.” The issue is beyond real—join the campaign and follow the oceanic journey, educating and calling all to action on the severe threat plastic has on our precious, threatened oceans. Log on to www.plasticfreeocean.org to show your support and to help Jones reach his goal of raising $500,000 to clean up our oceans.