My Plastic Free Future

Feb 24, 2021

Hi! My name is Eden. I am a 16 year old high school student living in Malibu, California. Throughout my whole life, I have lived less than a 30 minute drive away from the beach. The beach has become one of my favorite places to go with both friends and family. I have always been drawn to its beauty and the spectacular wildlife. I began to learn the importance of maintaining the ocean and environment at a young age. The need for change and my love for nature sparked my passion for environmentalism. Through activism, I hope to educate individuals about the negative effects of pollution, climate change, and plastic waste, so future generations can enjoy the beauty of nature, just as I do.

This past summer, I wanted to make a club at my school that was focused on protecting the beaches and reducing plastic pollution in my community. As I was looking for organizations to make a club for, I stumbled upon Algalita, who let me know about Wayfinder Society and the Surfrider Club Network. From there, I founded a Surfrider Foundation Club at my school, in which I organize biweekly meetings where we discuss current environmental issues and solutions, as well as arranging beach cleanups. Through our individual beach cleanups this year, we have collected over 200 pounds of trash, from local beaches. Additionally, with the use of my club’s instagram, @surfridermalibuhs, I have been able to engage and educate over 100 of my peers, as well as recruit 18 people for my club.

Through Wayfinder Society, I am able to learn more about my surroundings and how plastic pollution directly affects me and my community. The interesting content and points system of Waymarks keeps me motivated and excited to learn more about the issues the environment is facing. Wayfinder Society has allowed me to understand different perspectives on how plastic pollution affects every individual. Through my new and unique perspective on the issues that the planet is facing, I am able to better understand how to reach and educate a wider audience. I love how the program is continuously changing and improving, in order to better engage activists.

I am most passionate about solving the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans. As I live so close to the ocean, my community is directly affected by this. During the summer months, I find that there is more and more plastic on the beaches and in the ocean, due to an increased amount of tourists. Although this may not affect the lives of non-residents, this greatly affects the lives of community members, such as myself, as we are forced to clean up after careless individuals. Not only does maintaining the beaches affect community members, but it also allows for beaches to stay beautiful and inviting to outside individuals.

It is important that everyone remains conscious and courteous of the environment, in every aspect of their life. Carelessness and ignorance are major factors in the destruction of the planet, due to plastic pollution. In addition, individuals must speak out in their community and demand change. Communities, such as my own, have taken action to reduce plastic pollution, by banning the sale and distribution of single use plastics and host many beach cleanups. With little effort, by recycling and using more sustainable options, plastic pollution can be lessened, allowing for more generations to continue to enjoy beaches and nature.

– Eden

**Congrats to Eden for being the first ever Wayfinder to earn 100 Points! Whooooo! Thanks for keeping us stoked Eden!