Speaking Up For Oceans

The 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race is a little over halfway. That’s halfway through 9 months of gruelling sailing right around the world. During their journey, the 7 participating teams stop in 12 cities, on their way to crossing the final finish line in Holland.

In December, one of the race’s early pit stops was in Cape Town. And GREEN HOME’s MD, Catherine Morris was invited to speak at the Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit. She leapt at the opportunity to share why she started GREEN HOME, and why biodegradable and plant-based packaging solutions are so important.

The Volvo Ocean Race is described as one of the toughest professional sporting events in the world – the ‘Everest of sailing’. A feat of endurance that only happens once every three years. It brings people together who love sailing and racing. And who are passionate about oceans.

When Endurance is not a Good Thing

But in the oceans, another kind of endurance is causing tremendous damage. Oceans are on the front-line of our plastic crisis. Designed to not biodegrade, the huge quantities of plastic entering our seas endure and persist. Tragically, this plastic kills millions of seabirds and hundreds of thousands of ocean mammals every year.

In response, the current Volvo Ocean Race has organised a series of Ocean Summits. These showcase innovative solutions to the plastic crisis and create a platform for individuals and organisations working to raise awareness.

At the Cape Town summit, Catherine shared the stage with a group of incredible ocean advocates, including Emily Penn, Chris Bertish and Boyan Slat. The summit was held at the V&A Waterfront. At the event, the Waterfront pledged to eliminate single-use plastic bags and bottles from its operations. The final Ocean Summit takes place in the Hague, Holland at the end of June.

As they sail, the boats in the race are also able to collect data on ocean pollution, with instruments they have on board. And one of the teams, called ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic‘, has a special mission to collect data on ocean microplastics and promote the UN’s Clean Seas campaign.

The ocean can push us to our limits, setting an incredible stage for extreme sporting events, like the Volvo Ocean Race. But our behaviour is pushing the limits of oceans too. It’s going to take a great many people coming together to solve this crisis. Join us in being part of the solution and taking a stand for oceans!


Photo: Matt J. Bow/Volvo Ocean Race. Cape Town stopover. Ocean Summit, day 2. 08 December, 2017.