I was born in Bermuda and am from there but spent a lot of my time growing up in New York City. Even though I lived in a city, my family valued being near the ocean so we travelled to the beach every weekend. Having this opportunity to experience the ocean in Bermuda and New York through all kinds of weather and seasons gave me an appreciation of the sea in all its forms.
When did you first realise that ocean conservation was something you wanted to be a part of?
Since the ocean was such a big part of how I spent my time as a child, it became something that I valued above most things in my life. My dream as a child was to grow up and be an ‘explorer’, as I got older I realized that there wouldn’t be anything left to explore if we didn’t protect our Earth and our oceans. I went to University to study Environmental Science and Art; since graduating I’ve combined my love of the two into creating content on social media to hopefully inspire other people to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. I decided I wasn’t done learning about the environment and how we can protect it so I’m currently getting my Masters in Environmental Management in Australia.
What are your favourite ‘beach/ocean’ activities’?
I love snorkeling in the ocean, the feeling of dipping my head underwater and entering a space of silence and beauty is unbeatable! I also love paddle boarding but I’m keen to learn how to surf and kitesurf - those are my next goals.
What is your greatest achievement about protecting our oceans?
I don’t know if I have any particular events or achievements about protecting our ocean that I can pinpoint. I have felt accomplished in my contribution to protecting the ocean when people have told me that they have been inspired by me to make changes in their own lives. It’s one thing to reflect on the changes I’ve made, but it’s extremely cool and rewarding to know that others have been influenced to do the same by my actions or words!
Whose work is currently inspiring you?
There are a lot of people and companies that inspire me! One of my favorite ways to learn is to go on Instagram and browse through different environmentally-themed hashtags and see all the amazing and innovative things people are doing to protect our oceans. Some of my favorite tags to follow are #plasticfree and #zerowasteliving, I’m also stoked to see other people using my tag #plasticfreebabe to see what they’re doing to eliminate plastics from their life! I’m inspired by companies like La Luna Rose who create beautiful products without compromising the environment. Companies like this show us that you don’t have to sacrifice beauty and style in order to be environmental. Another inspiration is an environmentalist named Lauren Singer who has managed to live an almost completely waste-free life, I believe she only produces about 1 jar of trash each year! There’s so many inspiring people out there, it’s really encouraging and makes me feel optimistic!
What are the little things you do each day to live an eco-friendly lifestyle?
I started my journey to becoming a ‘plastic free babe’ by first eliminating single-use plastics. The big three single-use plastic items that are causing a lot of damage to our oceans are bottles, bags, and straws. I started with these and got myself a couple reusable water bottles so I wouldn’t ever have to buy a disposable plastic bottle, I got a couple metal and glass straws that I could take to restaurants with me and started asking for my drinks with ‘no straw’ so I could use my own, and I brought my own bags to shops and grocery stores. Once eliminating these three single-use plastics from my life became a routine, I focused my attention on other ways I could eliminate plastic from my life.
It is sometimes difficult for people to know how to help and protect our oceans, what advice could you give us?
My advice for someone trying to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle is that anything is better than nothing. It can be intimidating to live a ‘green’ life if you’re trying to protect our oceans, go vegan, reduce plastic, etc all at once. Going green can be fun if you remind yourself that you don’t have to do everything all at once and instead make small changes. Over time, those small changes add up and you’ll find yourself living a much more sustainable lifestyle. I would start by picking something that interests you, researching the problem, and then finding a solution. Fashion and jewelry interest me so I’ve had a lot of fun finding and supporting brands, such as La Luna Rose, that create jewelry in a sustainable way and don’t use plastic in their clothes. I’ve been curious as to how my eating habits can affect our climate and ocean so I’ve done research into that and modified my diet accordingly (ie. Giving up beef and un-sustainably caught seafood). Someone else may be interested in sports so may want to find athletic brands committed to sustainability or may want to send letters encouraging their favorite teams or athletes to donate to ocean conservation charities.
What do you think about the role of the fashion industry in the environment? Is it important for you to buy and/or collaborate with brands that produce ethically?
The fashion industry plays a large role in the environment! Everything that we buy ends up in the earth somewhere, whether it be thrown out, recycled, repurposed, etc. The concept of ‘fast fashion’ is particularly damaging to our environment. Brands have been encouraged to make clothes as quickly and as cheaply as possible without regard to the impact on the environment and people making our clothes. If a brand’s focus is purely profit and not ethics, then other concerns take a backseat to achieving that profit. Another issue with the fashion industry is that a lot of clothes contain plastic in them! Anything made with materials such as polyester or acrylic have plastic threading and these fibers often shed off our clothes when we wash them and end up being carried into our oceans. I’ve made a conscious choice to only buy clothes made from organic materials like cotton and support brands with ethical production practices. I think that the more people voice their support of ethical and environmental fashion practices, the fashion industry will be encouraged to move in that direction.
We heard about your project #10 beaches10weeks that you ran lately which is a wonderful project! Can you tell us more about this initiative? Which kind of object do you create with the waste you find?
Before I went to Australia to pursue my postgraduate education, I was living at home in Bermuda and noticed how much trash was washing up on our beaches. My two girlfriends and I were talking one day about what a shame it was that there was so much plastic on our beautiful beaches and so decided we should do something about it. We started an initiative to do 10 beach cleanups over 10 weeks so that we were doing something to help our island home each week. We used the tag #10beaches10weeks on social media to show our efforts and encourage anyone to join us! We had a variety of people help out and it was a great opportunity to get outside each week with different people, all while making our beaches just a little bit cleaner.
Any last words you want to share with the La Luna Rose customers about the Ocean?
Oh gosh I could go on forever but I don’t want to bore anyone ! I would say the coolest thing about the ocean is that it impacts literally everything, I used to lived in the mountains in Colorado far far away from any coastline but we would experience weather that was a direct result of weather that was happening in the oceans. Even if you’re not near the ocean or your heart is in the mountains or desert, the ocean affects all of it so it’s super important to protect ! I’m really encouraged by brands such as La Luna Rose and customers like you who are committed to protecting the ocean and I’m excited to see what more we can do together to help our environment!
Thanks Alaire, you're a bloody inspiration and we absolutely LOVE what you are doing. You can follow Alaire and her Plastic Free mission on instagram over here and get your daily inspiration / plastic check through the 'gram.
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