Blue is the New Green

Written by on June 20, 2011 in Featured, Green - 4 Comments

Did you know that 70% of the world’s oxygen comes from the ocean? Or that 97% of the biosphere is in the sea? The oceans also absorb much of our carbon dioxide and hold 97% of the earth’s water. Every single human being, plant and animal is literally dependent on the ocean for survival. Yet we treat our oceans like a bottomless liquid landfill.

Recent events have elevated ocean abuse to a top of mind environmental crisis. The infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch – composed of small but strong bits of plastic waste – is estimated to be much larger than the state of Texas. The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion left BP’s corporate reputation bruised, but continues to poison sensitive marine life that supports both local communities and global ecosystems.

Human activity has been punishing the oceans for decades. In the past 60 years, 90%-95% of many once common fish have been consumed. Half of all shallow coral reefs, which are a hotbed for biodiversity, are either gone or threatened. Climate change is leading to dangerously high sea levels and acidification that makes the water harmful to many marine species.

While the green wave keeps accelerating at an encouraging pace, we need to pay more attention to the color blue. Viewed holistically, the green and blue worlds are inextricably linked. Clean energy reduces carbon dioxide emissions, which in turn relaxes pressure on the ocean’s role as a carbon sink. More sustainable human diets can reverse the decline of endangered sea life. And a reduction of consumer packaging and increase in recycling will allow us to focus on cleaning up existing plastic waste rather than constantly compounding the problem.

Thankfully, our ocean heroes are emerging. Dr. Sylvia A. Earle is a tireless oceanographer and activist who has spoken for TED and testified before the U.S. Congress. Advocacy groups such as 5 Gyres and Oceana are in the trenches and taking action to protect our oceans. I’m privileged to be a part of Ocean Aid, which is a new Greenopolis-sponsored campaign using creative tactics to raise public awareness about oceans as our life support system. We launched while celebrating World Oceans Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is another renowned champion for the ocean and all its diverse inhabitants.

Melissa McGinnis from Greenopolis TV interviewing Ashok Kamal from Bennu during the Ocean Aid launch in Monterey, CA

All of these efforts are necessary to enact the structural and policy changes that will better serve our oceans. But let us not forget the role that each individual can play in solving big problems. Just as every vast beach is built by small grains of sand, every incremental step toward sustainability contributes to a larger movement.

I approach my daily life by considering its environmental impact. For example, fishing has decimated marine ecosystems that are a building block for the food chain. I’m a vegan because I believe that a plant-based diet conserves resources and reduces suffering for animals and fish. With climate change wreaking havoc on our oceans, I mostly take public transportation and purchase wind energy credits to lower my carbon footprint. Finally, whether it’s cooking at home or re-using my water bottle, I try to minimize waste and I recycle religiously! The ocean sustains all life on Earth; we owe it our utmost appreciation and respect.

Bennu, LLC

Bennu_Logo

Bennu is the leader in green social media marketing. Our sustainability solutions increase enterprise value by aligning clients’ business objectives with consumer demand and environmental resources. Bennu’s mission is greening the standard for a new lifestyle.


Ashok

Ashok Kamal is Co-Founder & CEO of Bennu, which is the leader in green social media marketing. Ashok coined the term “green gamification” and has worked extensively with FORTUNE 500 clients and startups to develop game-based campaigns that promote sustainability while creating enterprise value. Ashok’s career as a social entrepreneur spans the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, including launching a progressive entertainment company, leading a youth development organization, and working on Newsweek magazine’s inaugural Green Rankings while at KLD Research & Analytics, the pioneering sell-side firm for socially responsible investors. Ashok holds a BA in Sociology and Environmental Analysis & Policy from Boston University and a master’s in Nonprofit Management from Milano The New School. He earned his MBA in Entrepreneurship from Baruch College’s Honors program, where he served as President of the Sustainable Business Club, Baruch’s Net Impact chapter. He has also studied abroad at the Indian Institute of Management, India’s premier business school. Ashok has received numerous awards related to social enterprise. His writings on sustainability are regularly featured on leading websites and he is a frequent public speaker at events such as the White House’s GreenGov Symposium, South by Southwest, Gamification Summit and Sustainable Brands. He is also a board member of the Entertainers 4 Education Alliance and volunteers for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). In 2011, Ashok joined a distinguished team of eco-advocates to launch Ocean Aid, which is a campaign dedicated to protecting the health of our oceans.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Google Plus - Flickr - StumbleUpon - YouTube

  • http://twitter.com/TiffanysToyBox Tiffany C.

    Great post. We really should consider every day World Oceans Day. Unfortunately, I don’t think people really understand how important the ocean is to humans, as well as marine life. I am confident that Ocean Aid’s initiatives will continue to raise awareness. Keep up the great work, Ashok!

  • Pingback: Blue is the New Green | SocialEarth « arnoneumann

  • Nooraslp1

    gr8 post.,.,nyc concept and nyc ideas.,.really inspired.,.,thnx alot

  • mansoor m

    grt post…, thanks for your post…., mr.ashok.