This great interview is about Emma Veritay one of our fantastic customers. It was originally published in theladyslide.webs.com
"We have become so unconnected to the most important thing we all need to survive - and it doesn't come plastic wrapped - it comes with dirt, colour, spirit and full of life. We stand on it everyday, yet we abuse her and take from her everyday.
We should be worshipping the ground we stand on, the trees that give us air, the oceans, the lands, the essence of what we all need to survive. We need to reclaim and reconnect with the earth and its needs, and stop being selfish and putting ours first."
Wise words from this lovely inspiring lady who is not only connected to the ocean through surfing, but is dedicating a lot of her spare time to spreading the awareness of the overuse of plastics on this planet, and in particular coffee pods. I had a chat to Emma Veritay about what the ocean means to her and how we can help in our own little way to reducing the use of plastics.
Hi Emma - tell me a bit about your love of surfing and how it emerged. What does surfing mean to you?
"I dabbled in surfing around the age of 16, but even though I knew it was something I wanted, I never passed the white water stage! After that life happened and I fell away from the ocean and it wasn't until leaving a very controlling marriage 5 years ago that I decided that it was my time to regain my independence, confidence and be a role model for my 2 boys, so I joined a women's surf club at the young age of 30 and my obsession began. It began slowly, being shark phobic, worried about all the possibilities of every danger and leaving behind 2 wonderful kids I again stayed in the white wash, until one day I read this quote.. "Want it more than you fear it", and from there my surfing changed. I took more chances and progressed. I met wonderful friends in the water who help me, push me and inspire me. I also have an amazing partner who surfs and understands the need to be near the salt.. I decided to push myself and joined a South Australian long boarders club 'Maladjusted' which helps push me and drive me to improve and all the crew are so supportive and helpful. Every time I paddle out I have the biggest grin on my face and I know somebody in the line up. I still get scared, and worried but now I can take control and push past that fear. After a surf my soul always feels fresh and awakened and I'm energised beyond belief.. addicted to say the least, the ocean has my heart and this passion is slowly being passed down to our family.
And how does your love of surfing relate to you wanting to help stop plastic ending up in our precious oceans? How do you ensure this happens in your household?
The ocean is such an important vulnerable place that needs our protection. Education is the key to its sustainability and that starts at home. We teach our children the importance of not littering, polluting as little as possible and reducing our carbon footprint.. They are well aware of organisations that support mother earth and the fights that they face. Captain Paul Watson is our hero. Every time we go for beach walks and see rubbish we pick it up, we don't leave it and ignore it because its not ours, we take it and dispose of it properly. We also spend hours wandering collecting washed up ocean treasures like sea glass and old shells and turn them into art . In order to protect our oceans we need to make drastic changes.. Plastic is one step... its pure evil! I cant believe even though we as a society know that plastic stays around for so long and creates so much distress and devastation to the planet our "need" for it grows. New products should not be passed onto the public until they meet a sustainability criteria and have minimal environmental impact.. There are even individually wrapping oranges now. How does this even happen? Out of sight out of mind I guess, once you've thrown that bit of plastic out its gone in our minds. We cannot connect with the fact its not gone, not by a long shot. They say that the majority of sea creatures will have some traces of plastics in their stomachs. Every inch of my being is not ok with this. We need the oceans to survive, and our way of life is killing it."
Now tell me about your love of coffee and how that coupled with your love of the sea brought you to start advocating the use of biodegradable coffee pods.
"Like it or not, coffee pods are here to stay. Being a working mum to a 10 year old, 8 year old and a step mum to a 12-year-old life is hectic, to sum it up our household is a happy, chaotic hurricane.
"There are 2 things I thrive on to keep sane... The ocean and coffee.... "
Surfing washes away all the stresses, white noise and helps me relax and recharge so I can re-join my hurricane that is life. Coffee however is life. Without my morning cup upon awakening, I am to say at the least a tired, exhausted dithery mess. As I mentioned earlier we are an environmentally aware household. The reduce, reuse, recycle sort. We used the old fashioned coffee machine for those reasons (the type that took 10 minutes of valuable extra snooze time to make a cup, so I would usually just end buying one every morning on my 2 hour drive to work) this was until we were given a dreaded coffee pod machine...
We swore we would not be that family, but like so many others we were instantly taken in by its quick easy, convenience. But then with this convenience came the guilt. We tried to buy the most locally made pods, to help ease that guilt, all which I found were individually wrapped and none recyclable. Some were made from aluminium, but rarely recycled..
Then one evening while doing the mandatory Facebook scroll I came across an article from Sea Shepherd, outlining the amount of pods used annually in Australia and ending up in landfill and my heart broke.. 3 million Pods PER DAY! Over 1 Billion Pods per year in Australia alone!! 1 Billion Pieces of plastic and aluminium sitting in landfill, not going anywhere anytime soon, just multiplying forever!
Immediately I researched biodegradable pods, knowing that I could not stand by and be part of this problem to appease my morning addiction. Luckily, I came across EcoCaffe. I had not seen or heard of this product. At the time my partner (a known coffee snob) was not too keen to jump aboard my "biodegradable or nothing" band wagon. We worked out costs and placed our first order. Since then we have never looked back, the coffee is amazing, and each pod breaks down to nothing in 180 days. Made from vegetable fibre it takes less time to break down than toilet paper, or an orange peel, and magically its gone - not just taken away and placed in landfill, but gone, given back to the earth. The cardboard box is even recyclable, and the plastic the 10 pods come in (no not individually wrapped) breaks down.
This is a Game Changer. Coffee pod machines are not going anywhere, they are here for life, but now you can have the best of both worlds! We can be a pod family without the guilt, without adding to a problem, without harming mother earth. I can sip my hot mug of black energy and enjoy its taste, warmth and enjoy it, and look outside and know that I have found part of the solution and am no longer a part of the pod problem."