If You Don't Know Where To Invest: Invest Into This Planet! 🌄 Sustainability Starts With Consciousness And The Will To ChangesteemCreated with Sketch.

in sustainability •  last year
The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. - Robert Swan

I couldn't have said it any better, Robert.

It seems that we're all waiting for miracles that will never happen.

Instead of doing the very first step by ourselves, we're pointing a finger at other people who should assume the responsibility for the future of this planet.

It's time to wake up!

@surfermarly exploring Maldives

We're losing our most valuable treasure! 🌄

A change in outlook usually requires a crucial experience.

I was raised in a family that has always been aware of environmental needs, and believe that I've done a lot of things right in that context. Yet I recently lived an experience that really woke me up and showed me: Things are far worse than I ever expected.

It was in September 2016 when I traveled to the North Malé Atoll (Maldives). I had just quit my job and needed a change of air. The 250 extra hours I had made in 6 months of work were enough to pay for the whole trip.

A surfing friend of mine who is also based on Canary Islands, cooperates with a local Maldivian partner on the island of Himmafushi. So he organized the whole trip for me, including my stay at a guesthouse and corresponding surf trips by boat.

This wasn't supposed to be an all-inclusive holiday at one of these five star resorts. I rather decided on entering the local Maldivian life and meeting new people form all over the world at the guesthouse.

When thinking about Maldives, immediately these postcard images come to your mind. And I can tell you: they're for real.

Exploring Thulusdhoo Island (Surf break: Cokes)

However, appearances are deceiving.

One day we went on a boat trip from Himmafushi towards Thulushoo in order to surf two new breaks called "Chicken's" and "Cokes".

After a heavy morning session the two surfergirls of the group (including myself) were a bit tired and decided on skipping the afternoon surf in order to snorkel around and explore some of the surrounding islands.

We picked our snorkel equipment and started to swim. After a while we spotted an island with a huge sandbank in front.

From afar it looked like The Beach located on Phi Phi island and which we knew "from the movies": a tourquoise coloured shore, a white and long sandbank and a nice dune full of palm trees.

Marly & Mel exploring the underwater world of Maldives

What then happened was supposed to be my key moment of consciousness.

We paddled towards the said sandbank, being full of adventuresomeness and wanting to explore this piece of untouched nature.

When arriving at the shore, I spotted something between the beach area and the bordering bushes I couldn't really relate.

Suddenly I knew what it was and it took my breath away.

@surfermarly sitting in the middle of a huge pile of garbage

The way the very same island is officially promoted on a holiday website

This beautiful island ("a surfer's paradise") called Viligilimathidhahuraa is FULL of garbage!

I was really shocked and still couldn't believe my eyes.

We started to walk around on this little island and somehow wished that the pile at the beach was an exception and that the rest of the spot would be impeccable.

But it wasn't.

The whole piece of land was littered with garbage, especially plastic. It stank like hell, and we couldn't stay very long there. After a silent while of time we decided to leave this place and paddle back to our boat.

While we were full of enthusiasm when starting our little snorkel adventure, we were really depressed on the return path.

How unconcerned could these people be?! While most of them are relaxing at the private beaches of their clean, beautiful five star resorts, the whole world around them goes down the tubes. Seriously?

When we came home to our guesthouse in the evening I asked the owner if he knew about the situation.

He confirmed but added that there was nothing they could do about it. He said that everybody was aware of the serious waste disposal issues the islands were facing, but that there wasn't enough money to solve them.

So there isn't enough money to clean up at a place that is considered to be a luxurious travel destionation? Doesn't that sound very weird?

I actually know these problems from home. On my island it's even worse I think, because people don't even hide the garbage anymore.

It's everywhere.

Canary Islands are supposed to be one of the most demanded travel destinations in the world, but they're definitely last when it comes to sustainability.

Our beaches are full of plastic, packings, cigarette stubs or whatever mess people are able to forget there.

At my local surf spot which is one of the most frequented places on the island (both by tourist and locals), there are not even public toilets. The pretty sand dunes behind the beach area are literally full of shit and toilet paper. Does that sound like a modern travel destination to you?

Then every year in summer these islands are facing serious water quality problems.

The so called microalga pollutes the coast-lines, and people suffer serious health issues. Every now and then one of the beaches needs to be closed for public for this reason.

There is no consciousness about sustainable solutions at all. Believe it or not: The wastewater of hotels and industries that are located close to the coast, is directly introduced into the Sea.

I've been watching all these things for years now, but then there is a point of time when you just can't stand it anymore.

Whenever I come out of the water after a surfing session, on my way from the shore to my car I pick up everything I can carry with one hand: plastic bags, cans, bottles. But that's just a drop in the bucket.

Sustainability needs two things to prosper: consciousness and culture (both to accomplish through education).

It's time to wake up, to stop looking away and to act!

As I mentioned in the very beginning of this article, there is nobody else who will safe this planet. We are all in charge!

Throwing gargabe on the ground is completely way off and intolerable. It's not contemporary and it has never been.

Here's one organization that sets an excellent example: 4ocean dedicates their time to cleaning up the ocean and beaches.

The team of 4ocean collecing 112 pounds of trash!!! Read more about it here

These guys have inspired me to start a similar project on my island.

That's why I'm in contact with one of the local surf schools in order to organize a "Fishing for Litter" event at my local surf spot.

Since the authorities are not able to do anything about it, we have to take matters into our own hands. I want to round up a group of volunteers, take them to the beach one day and clean up the coast-line.

There have already been activities like these on neighbour islands, and I believe we can't have enough of it.

One can make a differene, but many can have an impact.

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.

Let's do it steemians! We are the change.

Marly -


Thanks for your valuable time!
This blog was launched at the end of July 2016
aiming to provide stories for open-minded
people who enjoy living on the edge of their lives,
stepping out of comfort zones, going on adventure,
doing extreme sports and embracing the new.
Welcome to the too-much-energy-blog!

PS: Don't forget to visit my new site surfermarly.com

Original content. Quote found on feedingchildreneverywhere.com and pinterest.com.

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The best investment: protect, care and love our planet. Solidarity of our generation for the next generations. Let's act now, do not expect the point of no return.

Thanks for sharing your post. See you soon.

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Solidarity of our generation for the next generations.

I couldn't agree more!

We need to stop treating the planet as an endless source of money and a trash heap. It's limited and we have to face that fact. We have nowhere else to go

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YES YES YES. I couldn't agree more!!!

Thank you Marly for you post and encouragement. As you now in Germany many people, but not enough, pay attention to environmental protection. I think having to pay for a plastic bag is a good way to start. I love the "zero waste" community and it's amazing how little waste a couple can produce over a year if they really try hard. My wife and I try to cut as much waste as possible, try to buy local products and recycle a lot.
Working in the health care industry doesn't fit this kind of lifestyle. The laws are so strict that more and more products are single use. The amount of waste we pile up everyday is ridiculous but we cant't change it😁
I think everybody should start daily to think about what she or he can do on a daily basis to protect the ocean and our planet.
Keep it up!

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I like your point of view! Germany is very up to date when it comes to environmental consciousness. They're systems are much more developed than many others in Europe and they're a very good example to follow.

I love the "zero waste" community and it's amazing how little waste a couple can produce over a year if they really try hard.

You're right. We can't completely avoid trash, but we can make a difference if we really try. I don't use plastic bags at all, for instance. And whenever someone is offering it to me at the supermarket's cash desk, I refuse it like that: "No thanks, it's better for our environment to not use plastic bags at all." Sometimes they look at you like "Oh yeah, you're right." So at least I have the sensation to spread the word, even though I don't know if it really changes their mind, too.

The more we talk about it the merrier! :-)

Totally agree. Living on a small islands like Hawaii really makes surfers and people conscious about the environment. It's sad though that there are many mainland type corporations that come into Hawaii and don't care about that. Changing up the environment so they can build more tourist resorts... ugh. Plus the increased number of people activity on coral reefs is hurting them lots. Seen my beloved local reef, Kapoho Tide Pools progressively die more and more each year. Luckily, the outer reef is more or less protected by waves, which discourages people/tourists from swimming out there.

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Oh you're from Hawaii, how exciting! I'm planning to travel there next year :-)
I guess we're facing these problems all over the world, especially where ressources are scarce and people are not fully educated.

Are the corel reefs you mention also suffering due to climatic changes (like it's happening at the Great Barrier Reef for instance)?

The tragedy of the commons is a bitch. Too many people just don't care, and nothing will make them care when no one can claim ownership to take responsibility. Kudos to the volunteer groups you mentioned though, and best of luck! Perhaps a gofundme or indiegogo campaign can help encourage people to pitch in from outside the region.

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"Too many people just don't care, and nothing will make them care when no one can claim ownership to take responsibility."

That is a good point, but there is also a good counterargument: most of humanity, even in the West, can't barely afford basic necessities. How do you expect everyone to care when most people are solely preoccupied with surviving day to day??

Of course, the present predicament we all find ourselves in is a direct consequence of the fake fiat money machine that has eroded the living standards and purchasing power of workers across the globe. Unless this cancer is removed, picking up garbage off the beaches - while a noble cause - won't do a damn thing to stem the tsunami of garbage.

Mass adoption of cryptos, which has the potential to lift the masses out of poverty, is our only hope!

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You are right. A lot of people in the world are facing challenges that are on another level.

However, the situations I mentioned here don't refer to these people. Someone who leaves a plastic bag, a cigarette, a can or whatever trash at the beach isn't somebody who's trying to survive.

Picking up garbage off the beaches - while a noble cause - won't do a damn thing to stem the tsunami of garbage.

Then you'd recommend to just leave it there and look away until cryptocurrencies come over to safe our planet? :-) I think decentralized systems will support our efforts to change the world for better - and they already do - but they're not the solution to all our problems.

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He said that everybody was aware of the serious waste disposal issues the islands were facing, but that there wasn't enough money to solve them.

The owner of your guesthouse pretty much told you what I'm trying to say.

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Got it. But still I'm not willing to sit and wait ;) Cryptocurrencies might play an important role in the future, but until then life goes on.

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Marly, you're a beautiful soul and I am fully behind your effort. Maybe you can launch your own SMT token to raised funds for cleanup. I'll invest just on principle.

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Thanks for your encouragement! You are right: too many people don't care. Most of them because the've never heard anything about environment or sustainability. They drink water from plastic bags, coke from cans - and once they've finished their drinks they through these packings out of the window of their cars while driving down the street. I've seen that MANY times here on my island...

It's all about education!

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I wonder what kinds of incentives can be offered to encourage better behavior. Threats of fines and punishments don't work.

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If there was a fine on these doings, I bet it would help at least a bit.

Look at places like Singapore where you're not even allowed to eat a chewing gum walking down the street. These locations are totally clean.

First of all, you need to educate people from the very beginning. If these things were taught at school, we wouldn't face the problems we're facing right now later in time. But the little ones learn form their parents - the ones who throw the plastic bottle out of the window...

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Well, "Don't Litter" is taught in the US from preschool Sesame Street programs through college, and it doesn't stick. And I am leery of just demanding more government control as a real solution. Perhaps tax breaks for those who participate in verifiable cleanup projects would be a better government incentive.

Ja.. traurig was in manchen "Paradiesen" abgeht...
Auf "meiner" Insel Koh Pangan sammeln wir auch oft Müll ein. An einem Strand, wo eigentlich nur "conscious people" rumhängen. Da fragt man sich wirklich manchmal, wie sowas zusammengeht. Einerseits schöne Fleckchen Erde genießen und dann so zurücklassen...

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I have no idea why I just wrote this in German... 😆

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Haha totally Ok for me ;-)

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Ich glaube, viele denken einfach "nach mir die Sintflut" - vorallem im Urlaub. Wird schon einer kommen, der es wegräumt (also in dem Fall dann Du oder ich :-))... Ich glaube, es hat weder etwas mit sozialen Schichten noch Bildungsstand zu tun. Vermutlich sind sogar gerade die Leute, die (zu) viel Geld haben, diejenigen, denen umwelttechnisch Vieles egal ist (siehe Privatjets, Speedboats, etc.).

yea, I remember it at famara, there is a lot of stuff just thrown on the beach, as a part of your project see if you can get some garbage bins installed along the street where everyone parks, that would already help.
Back when I was a resident we would always spend at least 20 minutes of our afternoon collecting plastic and cigarette buds and deposit them in a garbage bin somewhere else.
Our motto was:
always leave the beach with more then you arrived (where garbage was concerned of course)

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Great action, @felander!

Our motto was: always leave the beach with more then you arrived (where garbage was concerned of course)

That's totally cool for local people. However, you can't ask a tourist to clean up the beach on his vacation :-)

Actually it's mandatory for authorities (Ayuntamiento) to keep these places clean. However, they prefer to sit on their fat functionary asses, counting their money while the whole island goes down the tube.

We've got a highly increasing rate in tourists every year, but nobody is willing to invest anything of the huge amounts of money into the island itself. It's a shame!

I've to be careful here because I'm not a local. They hate it when foreigners try to give them tips on how to improve their doings...

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how about these... I saw them a lot in portugal on the at the entrance to the beacheshttps://www.alibaba.com/showroom/plastic-ashtray.html
the ones shaped like ice cream cones...
and they were put in something like this

why not put toghether an action here on steemit to raise the funds to order some with the steemit logo on there and you guys build some signs like that there and put those up...
we can see if we need to have those shipped to some other people out there that live near other beaches and want to help??
good for the environment and good for steemit publicity...

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Nice idea, @felander! I'll talk to a local surf school this week regarding some activities. If you wanna install something at the beach, you always need permitions here as you might know from your time in the past :-) Maybe the school can help since the're much better connected with authorities than I am.
Again, I love the idea! That's the right direction :-)
Have a great Monday!

That is so sad! I can't stand it when people litter like that, in fact I was just discussing this very thing with @jedau because they have a huge problem with it in the Philippines too, especially people throwing garbage from their cars :(

Though I don't litter and have taught my children how awful it is, there is definitely more I can be doing. Thanks for being an inspiration my lovely friend! xo!

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Hey sweetheart! It's so good to talk to you :-)
A lot of places in the world are facing these problems and I really hope that we'll somehow be able to manage them all. Besides education there will be a lot of money needed to fix it.

Maybe we can start making a difference by raising funds for projects that are dedicated to protect the environment.

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Aw, you too love!
I know, it's important for people to be conscious of these things, but you're right it will take more than just people waking up to the fact. Big damage has been done that needs to be repaired.

That certainly couldn't hurt!

Do the Islands incinerate their garbage or do you have land fills? Or, do they load it on a barge and send it elsewhere?


I walk my two dogs twice a day, if we see garbage on the ground, I pick it up and throw it in the can. It’s not much, but every little bit helps.

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You better don't ask how they do it here......:-) Their standard is far a way from being state-of-the-art.
Actually they bring it to one of these waste recovery installations on a mountain. Then the wind takes part of it and spreads it all over the area close to the installation (not kidding). Officially they recycle a considerable part of it since one year, but nobody knows if they really do. It's a well hidden secret which means that they supposedly don't do anything good out there.

Your dog walks are one of these famous little steps that matter. Nice move! :-)

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. ..

this is the best thought i came across today

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Thank you, I'm glad you found yourself in here :-)

Awasomeeee post ,,,,,,,,,,,The best investment: protect, care and love our planet,
......
......
Upvoted Resteem

Nice water enjoya thank uplode all post

Somehow a majority just doesn't seem to care enough, being to wind up in their own little worlds. And in a way I can't blame them. The way we grow up we take these consumerism behaviours, that make one forget what really matters the most.

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Sorry, but that's an excuse I can't accept :-) Yes, very much of our behavior is shaped through the way we grow up. However, no adult person that is participating in today's society should be allowed to ignore environmental issues. We're all in charge no matter where we come from or how busy we are in our daily routine. Yes, it's easier and more comfortable to not care, but that's exactly why we're facing these challenges now: ignorance.

Kind of reminds me of that phrase, when you point one finger at someone else, there are three more fingers pointing back at you. I will certainly try to do my part.

And wow, the Maldives look beautiful. I am surprised you did not run into @Sweetsssj there posing for highly saturated photos there. (sorry could not resist).

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Most of the time the ones who point fingers at others are the ones who are worst.

I didn't meet any steemians at Maldives, but probably because this was only 2 months after signing up, so my network wasn't very established still :-)

very good post ,,,,

Great Words to live by!!!!

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Thank you! I hope so...

Your posts are very interesting especially for me who is
still a beginner and I have to learn more do you want to be a
teacher for me.

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I'm happy to hear that. Enjoy your time on steemit! :-)

Underwater world is very challenging for beginner deving, I like your post, your story is useful for others, keep my work awaiting your story, let alone fridave world is very challenging, I like underwater world, friend hallo 👌 @surfermarly

Great ideas! As far as "It seems that we're all waiting for miracles that will never happen." Am fortunate to be alive twice over with experiencing two NDE's. Keep up the great ideas of improvements.

Plastic pollution is a world wide problem and not just the big stuff we can see, micro beads of plastic from cosmetics and the break down of microfibre clothing.
There are so many local actions taking place around the world it has to make a difference.
Think Global Act Local.

genial. como es tu rutina de entrenamiento ?

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Entrenamiento de surf?

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No entiendo la pregunta ;-) Cuantas veces surfeo a la semana, o a que te refieres con rutina?

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si exacto !!

Love the gift!!!!
Ur blog is always brimming with ideas which I graciously 'steal' everytime.lol

...we have to take matters into our own hands. I want to round up a group of volunteers, take them to the beach one day and clean up the coast-line.

This is a standing ovation!!!

I had the chance to work in the Maldives in the year 2012 my friend! I was in a very famous top 5 star hotel, the W Maldives. Some places are still in great state but some areas are really very bad with so much pollution going on. The tourism industry has caused a lot of damages to these islands but no one seems to care as big money is coming for now...but not sure this will last.

great idea thumbs up

I totally get what you mean. It saddens me and I can't wrap my head around it.

I stayed on El Hierro - have you been there? - for six months, from last September onwards.

It was promoted as very clean and 'green'. I soon discovered the dark side.

It seemed normal for people to just throw their trash, especially cans and empty cigarette cartons out of the car window and the recycling really was a joke. There might have been different containers for glass, carton, organic, etcetera, but people didn't seem to care about the container's labels.

Also, when the North African wind blew the big containers over (which happened twice), it took a week or so for anyone to put them back on their feet and clean the garbage.

I felt kind of disillusioned when I discovered this dark side of the island and couldn't understand why people do this to a place so pretty. I also decided to bring a garbage bag with me on hikes and fill it up. You need to start somewhere, right?

Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!

P.S. This is yet another reason for me to migrate to Portugal (or perhaps Spain) and try to live a self sustained, no waste lifestyle.

Great post, great effort and great work. We need more people with your attitude in this world, keep it up :)

Just think of all the good we could do if we just put our heads together! Thank you @surfermarly for your thoughtful and inspiring post.

Even in landlocked Kansas, I think about all the waste is involved with every purchase we make. The systems we have in place in the United States make no sense (why send chicken to China to be processed and then back here again to be sold, for example).

I teach Yoga and had a student yesterday (she's a teacher, so does not make a lot of money ~ sadly) and she was telling me of some Halloween tights that she bought for 3 dollars at Walmart. This same person tells me that she wants to eat right and cares about the environment. But I have to choose my battles. Out here in small town USA, crappy Walmart sometimes is the only place to shop.

Anyway, we all need to buy less, need less, and talk to each other respectfully more. God bless!

That photo of the trash on the desert island is brutal 😳

I'm doing my own bit by becoming an annoying vergetarian - Cows being the worst polluters on the planet thanks to are appetite for them.

Great job kickstarting the little project on your island, I hope it gains traction.

@osm0sis tells me Kathmandu, where the children's home we will be at, has bad litter issues. Going to take gloves and a mast and just start picking it, until I have a little team to educate and help!