From left

Ocean friendly business campaign for Tofino

"It’s very much in the planning stages as they’re still seeking funding and grants."

  • Nov. 29, 2016 7:00 a.m.

NORA O’MALLEY

nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

Why stop at plastic straws? What about eliminating plastic bags and plastic water bottles too?

That’s the kind of feedback Michelle Hall, volunteer chair of the Surfrider Foundation Pacific Rim chapter, said she received after introducing the “Straws Suck” campaign to Tofitians last April.

With that general community consensus in mind, here’s a look at what the non-profit environmental organization is focused on delivering over the next few months.

The Surfrider Pacific Rim executive team has been playing around with a new campaign idea called “Ocean Friendly Businesses”. It’s very much in the planning stages as they’re still seeking funding and grants, but already restaurants like Wolf in the Fog and Wildside Grill are interested in completing the certification.

Supporters of the campaign would be required to comply with a checklist of mandatory criteria that includes deploying water conservation efforts and following the West Coast’s recycling and food waste regulations.

Non-mandatory criteria includes switching to re-useable tableware, eliminating plastic bags and providing water dispensers instead of plastic water bottles. Eliminating single use plastic items like stir sticks, milk cartridges and condiments is also on the non-mandatory list.

“It is for any business in Tofino and Ucluelet. But I quickly realized when I went to both businesses [Wolf and Wildside] that it was a way bigger picture than I anticipated. Like the auditing that would be involved to actually seeing through the business practices,” said Hall.

 

Business Curriculum

This goal is part of a two-fold initiative that also involves creating an Ocean Friendly Businesses curriculum for Ucluelet Secondary School.

“We will be reintroducing an evolved curriculum of Trash to Treasure and working with more classes including Oceanography and Outdoor Education,” Hall said.

“This is an amazing opportunity to encourage the youth to become stewards of the environment and lead the future of the economy in sustainable practices and business.”

Last year, Surfrider partnered with Nanaimo Science to deliver a program called “Trash to Treasure”.

Spanning over 12 classes, the students were taught the science of plastics, including types of plastics used in everyday items, what happened to them in water, and what marine animals could be affected by that. The students also collected their favourite pieces of trash and used these materials to make an art piece with the help of local artist Pete Clarkson. The piece is on display at the Ucluelet Aquarium along with a storyboard and the data collected.

 

Wetsuit Recycling Depots

Thanks to a recent partnership with California-based company SUGA, surfers can now recycle their old, surfed-out wetsuits at the following locations: Surf Sisters and Pacific Surf School in Tofino and Howler’s and Relic in Ucluelet.

A representative from SUGA will regularly collect the deposited wetsuits and deliver them to their headquarters in Encinitas where the neoprene garments are then recycled into yoga mats. Hall said to make sure suits are properly dried before being dropped off.

 

Beach Cleans & Meet Ups

Surfrider public meetings take place on the first Wednesday of every month at the Tofino Brewery. The next one is scheduled for Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. If you are interested in leading a beach clean or want to help in any other regards, Hall said Surfrider is actively recruiting volunteers who can commit to a full year with the organization and “own their volunteer jobs”.

 

Just Posted

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Hack sends malicious emails from Alberni School District

Tofino and Ucluelet residents urged not to click on attachment.

VIDEO: Surfrider Foundation invites Tofino council candidates to cigarette butt cleanup

“I am picking up butts for Surfrider so they don’t wash down the drains and get in the ocean.”

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Get ready for a week of sunshine across Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the high teens all this week

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Vancouver Island designated as foreign trade zone

Designation simplifies importing and exporting and provides duty relief

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

Most Read