I grew up in Ohio where I never truly thought about the ocean and our impact. Sad to admit that, but it was very much out of sight out of mind.
I traveled to the beach and enjoyed being there but it wasn't something I felt connected to.
Fast-forward after I spent part of my 20s in Australia and time in Bali, I started to see how many people were very aware of the ocean and its impact . Not just enjoying it for leisure but for celebrating its amazing wildlife, resources and opportunity to provide the world with 70% of our water. I couldn't get enough of it. I would spend every week at the beach. Cleaning up trash here and there but never the piles we started to see turn up.
While living in Oz, I was already making changes in my life to reduce my waste. I watched a docu-series called The War on Waste Australia and was shocked at the waste we create, with little respect for how to dispose of it. I began to bring my own coffee cup to cafes or opt for canvas bags over paper, and I'd hit the farmers market for fresh, naked produce. Whilst in Oz, one day I had a photoshoot on a beautiful Sydney harbour beach. We walked up and the ground was strewn with plastic waste. Plastic bottles, bags, glasses, straws; everything that belonged in the trash and not in the sand floating near our oceans. I had to move everything out of the way to shoot, and my heart sank.
How could we be so careless? Was anyone talking about this?