Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
                                                        -African Proverb

I saw this proverb on my in flight movie on the way to the British Virgin Islands. I read it and processed it after a minute, the movie was emotionally draining and processing this proverb took minute. Fortunately I had the luxury of rewinding. This trip is all about coming together as nonprofits as women and as mothers and daughters to change the world. Anyone who works in the nonprofit world can tell you sometimes coming together can be difficult. Some people view each other as competition, as in we are all competing for the same all mighty donation. To us we just want to make a difference and the only way we see that happening is if we come together.

We all come from different walks, but not so extraordinarily different. We all hail from the U.S. but we all have traveled pretty extensively so we understand some of the issues we face, but we have never lived it. How do you tell someone living in extreme poverty to think about the products they use in terms of the environment?

Jennifer Palmer, a lovely woman and marine biologist on the boat, has just come back from a four month trip traveling mostly through villages in Indonesia. In some of these places the only clean water is is through a water bottle. Or now the only way they could find laundry detergent was in single-use packets. Not only is this not cost effective, in an area that could use cost effectiveness more than anything, it is extremely wasteful and not ecomonically sound.  In a place where there is literally nowhere to put waste. Who is running the dog and pony show over there? To create change globally, we need understand the way others live.  As Tonia Lovejoy, founding member of Beautiful Nation  often asks, "How does where you live effect how you live?" This question is one of many this crew has been wrestling this past week.

These are the big questions with multifaceted answers, this trip is about making a roadmap to those answers by way of educating children around the world. Olivia Ries has been giving us been educating us through the OMG curriculum, helping us get the tools we need to go out into the world and educate others. Because we won't have all the answers, but we may spark the interest of the kids who will.

Monday, January 19, 2015

WOmen, Water, and Waves

We have very little access to Internet but we do have  Beautiful Nation telling our stories from three mother daughter teams and of course the other 8 who all have mothers that created these people who work tirelessly on behalf of Mother Earth. Please learn more by following this link!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mama Let Your Daughters Grow Up To Be Sailors

This week POP, Inc. will be joining Beautiful Nation Project’s leg with Pangaea Explorations, sailing from Tortola, British Virgin Islands to Turks and Caicos. And we just got word that One More Generation (OMG) is going to partake in the voyage as well. To say this is but a dream would be an understatement. Between our traveling art show making it across the United States and our matching campaign with All At Once as part of Jack Johnson Ohana Foundation, we can say we had our best year yet.  With all of the wonderful things happening it goes without saying for me and Bonnie it has been a whirlwind of excitement with a touch of exhaustive hard work that has left us with hope.

The payoff of our work will be a little more work, but who can complain when the work is being done on a sailboat! We have the unique opportunity to be part of a crew that will be conducting research by trawling for marine debris as well as visit local schools leading discussions about our ‘plastic footprint’ and the challenges their communities face because of it. The goal of this voyage is to create a toolkit for students to give plastic a global value. Our crew has the right combination of passion, brains and creativity that could inspire real change on the islands and ultimately the planet.

Hope is what keeps us going, not just at POP, Inc., but also as human beings. We all have something we are striving for and while we work our way to get it, hope is at the end of the tunnel. This voyage is particularly special because we will have three sets of mothers and daughters on board. From Beautiful Nation Project there will be Tonia Lovejoy and her mother Debbie Winterbauer. Their shared reverence for the planet has helped mold a geosocial network that provides free educational resources for schools across the globe. Take a look here and see how you can join the network Also joining the crew are Olivia Ries and her mother, Lauren. Olivia who is now 10 years old started One More Generation with her brother in 2009; to say she is a remarkable young person would be putting it VERY lightly. Olivia and her brother, Carter, have done more for conservation and education than most politicians, celebrities or maybe even the Dalai Lama. I am in awe of their dedication, creativity and their understanding of the importance of educating others, especially their peers. A simple google search of them returns accolades from all corners of the earth, or you can check them out here don't forget to watch the video below and be in awe for yourself. The last of the mother daughter teams is me and Bonnie (who I affectionately call Bon Bon), she is the reason I am here on this beautiful planet and why we get to be in such inspiring company for nine days.

Bon Bon and I may have started our journey together in 1983, but our desire to save our oceans started more recently. In 2008, Bonnie read an article about the North Pacific Garbage Patch and just like that an activist was born. She began reading, listening or watching anything she could get her hands on to learn about the problem our oceans were facing in regards to marine debris. It became all she talked about with me and my brother, at first, I’ll be honest, it was a little overwhelming. But we all changed our ways; her passion to save our oceans soon became my passion and I have been working with her ever since. The trouble is we are 700 miles away from each other and very rarely get to work hands on together, this opportunity is something we have been hoping for, for a very long time.

One way or another each of us embarking on this voyage has been inspired by our family, and it is the hope for our future generations that keeps us going. I think this group is on the cusp of something magical and truly believe we will make a great difference. Keep a lookout for our happenings along the journey #ImonTHEBoat 

For more information about Pangaea Explorations visit their website

And again, these kids...AMAZING!

Written by: Tricia Monteleone