It was in 2009 when Chris Keet, the Executive Director of the Surf Happens Foundation, began learning about the North Pacific Garbage Patch and the environmental impact it was having on the ocean and its inhabitants. What he learned inspired him take action which led to the development of The Plastic Experiment, a local awareness campaign to reduce the use of single-use plastic items.
The Experiment was simple - save all plastic waste for 30 days and remove at least one single-use-plastic item from his daily routine.
Over the 30 days Keet dedicated himself to the task, becoming increasingly aware of his own over consumption of plastics, further inspiring him to spread awareness to his community and to reduce his personal use of plastic. His quick and easy solution of reducing his personal use of plastic, Keet stopped using single-use coffee cups which are often lined with plastic and began using a reusable coffee mug.
While saving all your plastic waste is not for everyone, it’s a surefire way to open your eyes to our patterns of over consumption. To illustrate this, Chris and his wife, Jenny, created a film appropriately titled “The Plastic Experiment”. The film has been presented to various schools throughout the district to educate viewers about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean, which is filled with generations’ worth of plastic waste. The film concludes with simple solutions we can all adopt into our lives that will make a big difference in our oceans and communities.
Our goal is to reach out not only to local schools in Santa Barbara but ideally across the country and abroad. With the generous help of donors such as yourself the Surf Happens Foundation can continue to present and discuss the short film while encouraging youth to make simple changes in their personal daily habits that have a global and lasting impact.