What’s the mission of the Sea Monkey Project?
The Sea Monkey Project works on many aspects of aiding the problem of global plastic pollution. We started with just manufacturing small, portable, and sustainable plastic recycling machines. We distribute these machines all over Asia to poorer village communities to teach them how to recycle, so they can clean up their environment and earn more income. But recycling will never be the answer to this global issue, so our main goal is education, because the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. We also take materials such as kitesurfing sails, ocean-collected fishing net, sailboat sails, rejected seatbelts, old wetsuits, and much more. We rescue these and we give them a new life by up-cycling them into backpacks! These are 100% up-cycled material, water-resistant, and convenient eco packs! Perfect for any micro adventure!
When and, overall, why you decided to create the Sea Monkey Project?
Well, when we left our regular life behind in Brisbane, Australia and sailed our boat up the East Coast, then up through South East Asia. We saw plastic pollution literally everywhere, in the ocean, forests, villages, and beaches. We saw how it effects every villages livelihood and harms the marine creatures we all love so dearly. When we saw this, we knew we had to do something about it! And now 4 years later, we are still making efforts around the world to save the oceans from plastic pollution.
Let’s discover more… Tell us something about the team involved in the activities.
Well, in just a year we have gathered a staff board of 8 people working full time, including my dad and I. We have a Special Projects Manager, Project Manager, Events Coordinator, and 3 recycling machine workers. My awesome Dad runs the project with accounting and driving the business, and I do random things like the speeches, social media marketing, our kids program, video making, and newsletters. When we have a machine workshop, booth, or education workshop, all of us except the machine workers all come to teach and help make it happen!
Who came up with the idea of this curious name “sea monkeys”? Does it have a particular meaning?
Yes, it does! Our boat’s name is Sea Monkey, and it was named like that because we bought it when my brother and I were really young and just climbed all over everything! So we were Sea Monkeys! And it was such a unique name that it fit so well for a conservation organisation.
What are the activities that you carry out to achieve your educational goals?
From our own experiences and meetings with people around the world we have been able to have an open mind and tailor our work of bringing what we have experienced ourselves to kids’ education! We educate in the form of speeches, workshops, comics and workbooks (cartooned by my mum), and videos. Our main goal is to implement passion and enthusiasm into kids by showing them the wonder of nature and having fun while learning how to be part of the solution, not the pollution.
In your opinion, will be possible for humanity to finally win the fight against plastic pollution? If yes, how?
We believe that the biggest reason this problem is happening is lack of education. People these days are just oblivious to the truth and consequences of their consumption. If we can educate the youth and people of today on how their and the governments choices are contributing to the destruction of our planet, we can raise a more aware generation and get better/responsible politicians who can make the right choices for a better future.
How people can contribute to support Sea Monkey Project?
We have plenty of ways! Anyone can support our efforts by buying our 100% recycled/up-cycled products from our website. Also we have plastic pollution education comic books, video lessons (coming soon!), and a kids environmental program (also out soon) that you can buy/be part of! Or you can support us by either donating or giving us a shout out on your social medias.
Your mother, Sarah, is a cartoonist and apart for Sea Monkey Project, she is involved in other projects with the aim to educate future generations to live sustainably and connected to nature such as SUPKids founded by a great ocean advocate, Linzi Hawkin. So…
What does she think or imagine while she draws her characters?
Yes, the partnership with Linzi Hawkin has been a magic combination in producing fun and engaging environmental education for kids. They have just completed an epic environmental education curriculum that will soon be released into the world and we are all very excited about it. When she draws the comics she thinks about how amazing it would be that kids from all corners of the world could be inspired by these comics to protect our planet.
Sydney, you are 2 years younger than Greta Thunberg, young girl that is becoming the symbol of the fight for preservation of Mother Nature, but that too often is criticized by “adults”. So, my question is, how do you face people that think that people like you and Greta are too young to speak about preserving nature and new economy models?
That is a good question. I don’t really fell like I get suppressed by adults, because I don’t let that happen. I have always been a person who has never really acted their age and is a lot more mature that others. That trait has gotten me very far and has allowed me to be more outspoken and rational. We always have critics and deniers, but I just feel sorry for those people that they are oblivious to the truth. Whenever I educate young people, I always make it a huge point that you are never too young to speak up, and follow your passion no matter what.
Last question... What’s in store for the future?
We have a lot planned, big and little. But here are a few that we have here.
The world is changing pretty fast, and we are ready to evolve and adapt to it.
During this time of the virus, we have been creating video education courses that brings the outdoors right to your home, teaching you about nature and how to save it!
We are at the moment building a fishing net collection/buy-back scheme in a village in Malaysia. To collect old and damaged fishing nets from the local fisherman. Since when they discover their net is damaged beyond repair, they do not take the time and effort to bring it back to shore to be disposed of properly. No, they just dump them in the ocean (if only they were educated in pollution). And so, these nets float about the sea claiming the lives of any sea creature that gets entangled. This the nets are dubbed “ghost nets”. So, we collect these nets and up-cycle them into backpack, keychains, and other things.
THANK YOU SYDNEY
FOLLOW & ENJOY THE SEA MONKEY PROJECT
& STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT #LETSTALK!