Starboard is taking its role in protecting the environment seriously this year. This time it is in the form of The Whale Company charity, which was set up by Brazilian and British couple Carlos de Sousa and Carolyn Newton, with the aim to paddle the length of the Thames. The couple are no strangers to adventure and promoting environmental awareness having previously paddled their way across Europe completing 12 marathons in 12 different countries on SUP boards made from plastic bottles.
Paddling the length of the River Thames isn’t something new, but doing it on two stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) made from plastic bottles is. The Whale Company wants to make a difference and work towards a more sustainable future, which is why they’re taking their message to the UK’s most famous waterway. They are now in day 5 of paddling the length of the Thames, from source to sea, to raise awareness of the issue. They set out on World Oceans Day 8th June 2018 and plan to deliver the children’s messages to Parliament on 26th June after completing their 300 km paddle in Gravesend on 28th June 2018.
The Whale Company is a new charity that aims to promote a connection to nature through sports, the arts and crafts. They want to educate people about how to lead a more sustainable life and encourage children to come up with innovative solutions to the problem of plastic.
Having already started they stop along the route showing local community groups how to make their own SUPs out of plastic bottles they are on track to arrive at the Houses of Parliment. They have also visited Ministers of Parliments in the areas they pass through to discuss what can be done to curb our reliance on single-use plastics, talk to school children about the problems we face and what they can do to help, collect their messages and arrange clean ups. They also want to invite people to join them for any of the legs of their paddle – dates and distances can be found on The Whale Company website.
Day 4. St Edward's Boathouse to Radley College Boathouse. 16Km. 5hrs paddling. Thanks to the amazing pupils from St Swithun's CE Primary school from Kennington, Oxford for visiting us along route with their fantastic 'messages in a bottle' & to students from Radley College, Abingdon for trying out the boards & for storing them for the night.
There missions is to educate people in the UK about the dangers of plastic pollution, and deliver a ‘message in a bottle’ to the UK’s parliament – in the form of bottle bunting. They are inviting the public to write their messages on their own piece of bottle bunting, (a template and instructions can be downloaded from their website, which they’ll tie together to create a visual, innovative celebration of ideas for a more sustainable future. The two boards they will paddle the Thames on will be made of 220 two-litre fizzy drink bottles, showing how creative thinking can help tackle the problem.
“It’s been great to see public awareness of plastic pollution growing, but we need our politicians to stop dragging their heels and act now. The longer we delay in taking action, the more difficult it will be for our oceans and waterways to recover from the damage we’re causing through not only our plastic use, but also our poor recycling rates,” Carolyn explains.
Currently the five million tons of plastic used each year in the UK just 24% is recycled. Carolyn and Carlos believe that we need to completely rethink our use of plastic, and their passion to drive this change is why they established The Whale Company as a charity. Education is an important part of their philosophy, which led to the creation of their Bottle Boards workshops. By talking about how to use plastic waste in a different way and highlighting the problem to children and teenagers, Carlos and Carolyn hope to inspire the next generation.
Ahead of their Source to Sea paddle they have given several assemblies in schools and ran a Bottle Boards workshop at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival on 12/13 May, where they built their first expedition board with the help of over 200 children.For more information about their epic paddle, their plastic bottle SUPs or their efforts to promote more sustainable lifestyles, contact Carolyn Newton on 07870685994 or email@example.com.
Starboard continues to step up its environmental awareness campaign, only recently Starboard was invited to give a talk at the monthly meeting of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand to share how are we facing the future of the company and the planet. Chief innovator Svein Rasmussen explained that “While we keep improving on reducing the environmental impact of our boards it is also on our agenda to reduce and offset our carbon and plastic footprint. And we are actively doing this with the Carbon Net Positive project and the Plastic Offset Program”. Already with a few exciting projects under the belt we can look forward to more news and more projects from the Starboard brand.
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