This week I attended the Ocean Conference at the United Nations and it was amazing. As you know, I spend years studying and working in the international affairs space and while I was applying to graduate school, I had an 8 month internship as a Diplomatic Liaison with the NYC Mayor’s Office at the United Nations. So walking through those doors really brought back a lot of memories and when I was asked to attend this conference I jumped at the opportunity because after all, this blog is purpose-driven and I couldn’t be happier to share my experiences with you all.

So, what did I learn? Well, I learned that if we don’t take care of our ocean, we are basically fucked. I’m not going to sit here and sugar coat it or be polite.  Yes, of course we all know that plastic is bad and that we should all recycle but what we don’t hear is how bad it really all is. It broke my heart to see nets wrapped around marine life  due to all the garbage that ends up in our ocean.  I’ll be honest with you all, I’m terrible at recycling and even worse at not using plastic bottles – but this week I learned that even the smallest change can make a difference. These were my takeaways from the conference:

  1. Plastic takes 8% of our oil – plastic is an oil and gas product and it’s in everything we use.
  2. Half of the marine life has been lost in the last 40 years due to plastic and pollution.
  3. Fisheries already provide more than 3.1 billion people with 20 percent of their daily animal intake – but if the ocean continues to be polluted – guess where the plastic thrown away in the ocean ends up? Answer: Inside of the fish you’re eating….think about that for a second.
  4. Plastic debris is the cause of death of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals.
  5. Adidas came out with sneakers made from recycled materials! ( Did any of you know this? I sure didn’t!)
  6. It’s never too young to learn how to take care of our ocean – Splash and Bubbles is a cartoon that teaches young children how to take care of our ocean.

How can we take action: live with intention. Personally, I need to learn to stop, breath and look around to see how my daily choices have a ripple effect on our planet. When you live a meaningful life, you have no choice but to see how we play a much bigger role in our environment. Finally, I’ll leave you with this quote I heard at the conference  “partnership is the new leadership”…..what does that mean to me? It means that we need to collectively make a difference. Let me know what small changes you’re making to help live a more eco – friendly life.