Special to the Westerly
Not far off were the days that we could meet up with some pals, give them all a hug or high five, and do a beach clean then dive into the surf. We could attend climate protests, or show up to an environmental event or meeting with our community. These quotidian aspects of our daily lives that allowed us to protect and enjoy the outdoors never seemed like a luxury that could be taken away, until the arrival of the global pandemic that has shaped all facets of our existence.
Though our ways of operating have pivoted in light of this public health crisis, our joy and care for the outdoors should not have to suffer. With this in mind, here’s Surfrider Pacific Rim’s top five ways to protect and enjoy the outdoors while self-isolating.
1) Indulge in a sea-inspired book that will deepen your understanding of ocean issues while exploring another locale from the comfort of your home. While some of us have more time on our hands, this is a great opportunity to learn more while entertaining ocean adventures that will have us at the edge of seats. Our top picks include Swell by Captain Liz Clarke, Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols, and Saltwater Buddha by Jamal Yogis. Shop local at: mermaidbooks.ca/
2) Dig into your Ocean Friendly garden. Go organic, put an end to using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, apply mulch and compost, plant native and climate-appropriate plants, shape your yard or garden to slow down and soak up rainwater, reduce the size of your lawn, and reduce impervious surfaces.This will reduce runoff, conserve water, eliminate pollution, and create biologically active and healthy soil which leads to more carbon sequestration. All of this equals ways to increase your vitality while self-isolating as well as fostering healthier beaches and waterways.
- COLUMN: Gardening is balm for your soul
3) Support local businesses. The Pacific Rim business community runs on unbreakable environmental values, which includes supporting nonprofits across the coast that work to restore and safeguard all elements of this biodiverse landscape. Now is our time to show up for local businesses, ordering eco-friendly and refillable products from zero waste stores like The Den and Frankly, and ordering food in plastic-free backyard-compostable containers from Ocean Friendly businesses like Wolf in the Fog, Ukee Dogs and Lil’ Ronnies.
4) Bring nature indoors. For those rainwashed days, put on a nature or environmental documentary like A Plastic Ocean, Fish People and/or This Changes Everything. We can still continue learning about the natural world and how we can protect it through media like this. You can also organize your own at home film festival with all of the short films that we’ve screened from past Surfrider Short Film Festivals. Visit the Special Events page on our website for access!
5) Build an environmental community online and embrace the virtual sphere. Now is the time to enroll in online courses, take environmental actions at home via petitions and letter-writing, as well as join online environmental events. Surfrider Pacific Rim has shifted in-person events to online platforms, which included the April 1 Public Meet Up, and the upcoming May 4 Public Meet Up. Be sure to follow our social accounts to stay in the know about Instagram live interviews, webinars, and other engaging goodies.
Lilly Woodbury is the chapter manager of Surfrider Pacific Rim.