“Planting a sustainable future, one order at a time”
Imagine if I told you there is an ecosystem that stores carbon thirty-five times faster than tropical rainforests, is a vibrant resource for all UK marine life, protects our coastline from erosion and cleans our ocean?
I imagine you’d probably say that sounds too good to be true…
Luckily for us, this special ecosystem called Seagrass truly is a dream come true!
But this ecosystem receives a very small amount of attention compared to others like tropical rainforests and coral reefs; furthermore, seagrass is experiencing a significant level of damage throughout the globe. We have reportedly lost one-third of our global seagrass meadows in the last century, resulting in seagrass being one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems.
We at Pineapple Island knew that something had to be done about this. We didn’t want to do something small for a limited amount of time, we wanted real action with visible results.
Hence our Green Friday campaign, which we have chosen to support Project Seagrass, was born!
- It raises knowledge and understanding of seagrass and everything it does for us, and the threats it is facing
- A 20% discount on all products will be active on Green Friday, and £1 for every order made from the 23rd to the 27th of November will be donated to Project Seagrass, to contribute to its research, restoration and protection
- We will be encouraging our audience to use Seagrass Spotter, an app designed for the user to record any seagrass that they find, which is used by Project Seagrass to watch and protect this vital ecosystem.
We interviewed two campaign ambassadors to dig deep into the importance of seagrass and marine conservation, as well as how each of them strives to make a difference in their own unique way.
The first of our interviewees is Natalie:
Tell us about you
"The quickest way to describe myself is as a beach lover! Due to growing up on the South Coast and spending most of my spare time at the beach whether it be walking the cliff paths, swimming, surfing or beach cleaning, I have a real connection to the ocean, which also means I have a real desire to protect and conserve the marine environment. Consequently, I regularly clean my local beaches, having collected over 1,234kg of rubbish since I started, and have completed several challenges centred around conservation such as a 20km beach clean over three days in 2021 and founding a campaign called ‘Clean Our Seas’, which focuses on beach cleaning, reducing plastic consumption and raising awareness of the negative impact of plastic pollution.
I have dedicated my professional life to positively impacting the health of our seas by graduating from Bournemouth University with a 1st class honours in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation, where my dissertation was based on the effectiveness of policy and law at protecting our native seahorse species, which is what gave me the appreciation for seagrass, as it acts as a seahorses habitat"
What does sustainability mean to you?
"For me, sustainability is about trying your best. One of my favourite phrases is how we do not need a handful of people acting perfectly, rather we need as many people as possible trying their best. Each of us will have a unique way of contributing to sustainability and when lots of people work together, the impact is significant!"
Please can you describe the benefits of seagrass?
- Seagrass provides a vital habitat - especially to our two native seahorse species who use it as a holdfast to prevent drifting away. Seagrass also provides a nursery habitat for larger fish species and a feeding ground for waterfowl.
- Seagrass sequesters carbon- acting as a natural carbon sink! As seagrass absorbs carbon during photosynthesis, these plants can help us combat climate change.
- Coastal defence. As seagrass root systems bind sediment together and the leaves reduce the flow rate of ocean currents, seagrass meadows reduce coastal erosion and act as a great natural sea deference to coastal communities.
Can you describe practices we can adopt to benefit seagrass?
"To protect seagrass, we must reduce trampling and damage. Seagrass has a fragile root system which can be easily disturbed! Make sure not to step on seagrass at low tide when the leaves might be exposed and if you are exploring the sea by boat be sure to know where seagrass meadows are found so you can avoid damage from propellers and anchoring! Seagrass Spotter is a great tool for this. We can also use our voice to share the importance of seagrass and help support charities and organisations working towards restoring our seagrass meadows- such as Project Seagrass"
Please can you describe our Green Friday campaign and why you wanted to work with us for it?
"I was keen to support Pineapple Island’s Green Friday campaign in support of Project Seagrass as seagrass is often an overlooked ecosystem that doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. By supporting this campaign, I hope to bring awareness to the many benefits of seagrass and encourage others to have the same enthusiasm for protecting it as I do"
The second person we interviewed is Lizzie, a social media influencer/advocate who specialises in paddleboarding and who is a passionate advocate for our ocean.
Tell us about you
"I’m Lizzie, and I’m a Paddleboarder and Ocean Advocate based on the South Coast, UK. With so much time being spent on the water and exploring the coastline, I see first-hand the damaging effects that plastic pollution is having on both the environment and wildlife.
Through my adventures, I hope to inspire and encourage more people to get outside and experience all the benefits our blue spaces have to offer but to also raise awareness for the plastics crisis we’re currently facing, the importance of a healthy ocean and ways that we can all live more sustainably"
What does sustainability mean to you?
"For me, sustainability is all about those small changes you can make to your life – even by something as small as using a reusable bottle. It’s about being realistic about the changes you make and doing the best that you can for your circumstances"
What does conscious shopping mean to you?
"Conscious shopping can probably mean different things to different people but for me, it’s linked to two things. The first is taking a moment to think about whether I really need the item, whatever it might be, so reducing the ‘impulsive’ buys. The second is looking at the brand/company and their environmental impact or contributions"
Please can you describe our Green Friday campaign and why you wanted to work with us?
"I’ve been wearing and loving Pineapple Island jewellery for years! I absolutely love highlighting local businesses that are doing wonderful things to help our ocean, so to collaborate on this campaign was an easy yes for me. As a huge ocean dweller, I understand the important role that Seagrass plays so to be able to help raise awareness alongside Project Seagrass is an incredible opportunity and I really hope other people will want to get involved too!"
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start shopping consciously?
"To be honest, starting small is the best advice I can give! If you are an avid impulse shopper like I used to be, thinking about whether you truly need an item stops you from impulse buying. I would encourage you to look at a brand’s ‘eco credentials’ and spend your money with brands that are doing more for the environment, or offering a long warranty cover because a key part of sustainability for me is how long something is going to last"
We hope that this blog has highlighted how indispensable seagrass is to every single life on this planet and how proud Pineapple Island is to be campaigning for the preservation of this essential plant.
Don’t let this blog be the extent of your knowledge; we cannot urge you enough to take power into your own hands and join us in this fight. We know how small you can feel when fighting an enemy as over-consuming as climate change, but please remember that action, even as small as adding your own data to Seagrass Spotter, is still action! It is a thousand times better than nothing at all.
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Seagrass image credit: Michiel Vos / Ocean Image Bank