Sustainable Fashion Tips Featuring T-Shirts and Salty Treasures!

Well it is officially fall, and that means (drumroll please)…fall fashion! I know we can’t wait to break out the long sleeves, the sweaters, and all the good stuff that  comes with a new year. Even though fall is a great time to be looking your best, the ocean doesn’t go away with the summer sun! Recently we’ve just made some pretty cool shirts which you can check out in the shirts section. We understand that being young usually means not having a lot of disposable income, and the money you could be putting towards a t shirt may ultimately be your ramen budget. But don’t fret, our shirts, unlike some brands, won’t break your bank, are high quality, comfortable material, and 20% of our proceeds becomes a donation to savethewhales.org.

So far we only have a few colors, but hopefully we’re going to make more. We’ve also teamed up with Salty Treasures by the Blondie Boutique, a lovely boutique that specializes in making handmade, recycled, nautical jewelry. They’ve decided they want to help too! So while we’re just starting out, we thought it might be nice to show you some of our stuff, tell you our plan for the future, and perhaps give you a little insight in how to be fashionable as well as sustainable this fall.

Fashion can be so empowering. Wearing things that reflect who you are on this inside, outside is one of the beautiful factors that makes fashion to popular today. In our society , it is so simple to run to the nearest mall and buy cute clothing at a cheap price. But not many think of the ethical price of what they pay for. Fashion has a dark side, one that abuses and takes advantage low-wage workers in foreign countries, and creates high levels of pollution in the environment.

One sure way to shop sustainably and look fashionable is to go thrift shopping, and yes i’m talking Macklemore-esque in nature. By going to thrift shops and Good Will, you are repurposing clothing that otherwise would’ve lived its final days at the bottom of a landfill. Especially now that thrift shopping is trendy, being fashionable, affordable and sustainable has become really easy. While buying from these stores is great, giving to these stores is even better. By donating clothing you don’t use or wear, you are giving someone, even perhaps someone less fortunate than yourself, the opportunity to express their style, and do good for the environment. Its easy to let old clothes pile up, even one’s you’ve barely or never worn, so donating is the perfect remedy for reducing clutter and being charitable, so really everyone wins.

Shopping local is also a great opportunity to be sustainable. By shopping local, you’re buying from small business who could use the money, rather than large corporations. Odds are you’re also getting better quality apparel, since you’re investing in someone’s livelihood. But by shopping small, you reduce your footprint because odds are that small business orders materials locally rather than having it shipped, so the transportation pollution is cut down significantly.

It is also important to know your fabrics. Some sustainable fabrics include bamboo, organic cotton, soy, hemp and lyocell. when purchasing printed clothing, invest in companies that do water based printing, which reduces the amount of chemicals in the dye and in the process.

Investing in brands that care is also important. A lot of companies have policies and goals to be more sustainable. For example, Patagonia, a really popular clothing company, has made strides in using recycled materials and switching to organic cotton. They have also made an effort to  invest in Fair Trade Certified factories in India, and Sri Lanka. Patagonia also has a pretty neat policy where if your old Patagonia clothing becomes to worn and it’s time to retire it, you can put it in a box and ship it back to them. Their statement is,

“One of the most responsible things we can do as a company is to make high-quality stuff that lasts for years and can be repaired, so you don’t have to buy more of it.The Worn Wear program celebrates the stories we wear, keeps your gear in action longer and provides an easy way to recycle Patagonia garments when they’re beyond repair.”

There are many other companies out their that are doing their part in creating sustainable, fashionable clothing that work with Fair Trade and treat their workers fairly. So while we’re working on getting our shirts out there with as little impact as possible, you can take the necessary steps to reduce your carbon footprint…even in heels. screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-11-36-52-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-29-at-11-36-36-pm

One Less North Atlantic Whale

It is with great sadness to report that one of the remaining 500 North Atlantic Right whales was found washed ashore on the coast of Maine. The creature was completely entangled in fishing line. The most unfortunate thing about this story is that it is not uncommon, it wasn’t the first time this has happened, and it ultimately will not be the last.These whales, North Atlantic Right whales, are considered both the rarest and most endangered of whales protected by the Endangered Species Act.

According to Nature World News, 85% of whale deaths between 2010 and 2015 were linked to entanglement by fishing gear.When fishing equipment is left or discarded in the ocean irresponsibly, they drift, ultimately causing “ghost fishing” where marine life is captured and entangled by these devices just because it is drifting freely. Unsuspecting creatures swim into traps and fishing line and can slowly or immediately drown, or if the gear is in their mouths it can hinder them from feeding properly. 

Just last week the Jersey Shore’s Sea Isle city had a humpback whale that washed ashore completely entangled in fishing line. This was the second whale this year to wash up on a New Jersey beach according to NJ101.5. The whale was said to be a juvenile, and was confirmed to have died due to entanglement. The whale was also struck by a vessel after the whale had died.

Both the west and east coast face issues with an excess of fishing gear in the ocean. This gear includes traps like crab pots and nets as well as other traps.

According to an article by NPR,

“It’s estimated there are more than 85,000 derelict traps in the Florida Keys, affecting 79 species and killing 630,000 lobsters a year. An estimated 450,000 pots used to catch blue crab are lost each year in Louisiana. In the Chesapeake Bay, where nearly half of all U.S. blue crabs are landed, 160,000 crab pots go astray annually. And according to the environmental group World Animal Protection, of the 3 million lobster pots that go into the water in Maine, an estimated 10 percent are lost each year.”

While some precautions have been taken to limit the amount of equipment that goes adrift, It has ultimately not been enough. Because of the competition to catch seafood, marine life is suffering. Although there’s not much one can do alone, there are petitions and other ways online to get involved. But one way you can help is by potentially eating less seafood.By eating less seafood, there is less demand for fisherman to put their traps and lines out there.

If enough people do this, there may be some change. Until then whales will keep washing ashore in great numbers. Hopefully if more people become aware, and it takes a whale to wash up on their beach to get through to them, a difference can be made and a shift in consciousness will occur where people  begin to understand that what they put into the ocean matters, and that there is always a price to pay for what gets taken out of it.

 

 

 

 

3 Simple Ways You Can Save the Ocean

While it may seem impossible to make change as one person, all while juggling school, work, and relationships; there are so many small ways to incorporate ocean conservation into your lifestyle – without drastically changing the way you live. For some, these methods may already be in use without you even knowing it! Many of these tips go hand-in-hand with sustainable living, which makes the argument that what we do on land affects the ocean as well. So while you many not live near the ocean, the choices you make can often heavily impact both environments at the same. If enough people make good choices, then making a difference becomes that much easier. Whether you’re waking up on oceanfront property, or in a rural area in the middle of the country, these tips will help you save the ocean, without cramping your style.

1.Use Fewer Plastic Products – More often than we probably even realize, we are using plastic materials. Whether it’s the 30 pack of Poland Spring sitting in our fridge,the leftover candy wrappers, or the Forever 21 bags laying around from that impulse shopping trip after pay-day, we are constantly in contact with plastics. Plastic is cheap to make and convenient to use, and when we’re finished with it we just throw it away and forget. However, plastic’s lifecycle doesn’t stop in the trash can.

By irresponsibly throwing away plastics, they can end up in the ocean, and can ultimately do a lot of damage to marine life. Sea turtles can mistake bags for jellyfish and ingest them,which can possibly kill them. Marine life can also become trapped in plastic materials like soda can rings, which can hinder them from moving, eating, or even breathing. By doing small things like switching to a glass reusable bottle, not only do you save money buying water bottles, but you are helping the environment by not circulating plastic. When shopping, bring a reusable tote bag, or canvas bag. This will reduce plastic circulation, and it might also help clean your room up in the process!

2.Be Mindful of your Seafood Intake – While seafood is often claimed to be a healthy part of one’s diet, and rich in omega 3’s, sometimes the fish we eat are  actually species being depleted because they are in such high demand. It is also important to limit our Mercury intake in the process. There are many helpful and sustainable sites that can help you determine which fish are high in population, rich in omega 3’s, and low on Mercury. For example, stay away from fish like Marlin, Shark, Swordfish, and Tilefish. These are often referenced as “Big Game” fish and are usually overfished and high in mercury levels because they eat smaller fish and collect larger amounts of it in their system. For more information visit EWG.org’s Safe Guide to Seafood.

3. Be Clean Without Using Harmful Products – Even though you might not always have the time to clean, when it comes to be that time it is so easy to go crazy  by spraying household cleaners to get the job done as quickly as possible. But you might be surprised to learn that while these cleaning products do their job, they are also very harmful and contain chemicals. Now there might be some of you that may wonder how your Windex is affecting the ocean. Well anything that goes down the drain, whether it is toilet cleaner, certain soaps, and any other chemical containing products, those chemicals are them transported through your sewer system and eventually end up back to its’ original source.

Instead of using mainstream off-the -shelf products, non-toxic products do just as well of a job and will probably cost you less. These products include baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. If that seems like too much work, ther are less harmful store-bought alternatives out there, which may cost you more, but may cost your planet and your ocean a lot less.

These tips are low maintenance methods that can improve the environment substantially! Try it out and see how simple it is!

The Humpback Whale is No Longer Endangered!

As of September 7th, most humpback whale populations have been taken off of the endangered species list. According to an article by The

Associated Press, federal authorities believe that their population has risen enough to be considered normal.

It wasn’t that long ago that  humpback whales were being hunted almost to extinction, so this is very exciting and wonderful news. In 1946  the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling regulated commercial whaling of humpback whales. Twenty years later whaling of humpbacks became prohibited by the International Whaling Commission.

It wasn’t until 1970 that humpback whales became listed as endangered by the Endangered Species Conservation Act. Since then multiple species of humpbacks fell under the endangered species category due to various threats which depleted their numbers. in many cases these whales struck by ships in passing. Whale watching ships have also contributed to this whether they have actually struck them, or have caused them stress and harassment.

Oceanic traffic has also contributed to separating groups of whales by creating noise and making it difficult for whales to communicate with each other. More threats include entanglement in fishing equipment as well. The overwhelming human presence in areas have caused humpbacks to move to areas they otherwise wouldn’t occupy.

However, recent conservation efforts have made an enormous difference in the last few years. Some of the efforts include conducting studies, informing and educating whale watch ships on the possible threat they pose and how they can reduce risk and provide a safe environment for both the whales and and their clients. These educational programs include ‘Whale SENSE’ and the ‘See A Spout’ program. In addition, reducing the bycatch and trap/pot fisheries in the North Atlantic has also helped immensely.

In a statement by the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, otherwise known as the NOAA,

” In September 2016, we revised the ESA listing for the humpback whale to identify 14 Distinct Population Segments (DPS), list 1 as threatened, 4 as endangered, and identify 9 others as not warranted for listing. We also issued two final rules governing approach of humpback whales in Alaska and Hawaii. The first re-codifies existing approach regulations in Alaskan waters under the ESA so they apply to both threatened and endangered humpback whales, and adds similar approach regulations under the MMPA to protect all humpback whales found off Alaska.”

Rather than treating the humpback whales as one single population, they have been split into 14 segments in order to properly give them the help they need. The MMPA, or the Marine Mammal Protection Act serves to protect these whales by creating restrictions on how close ships can get to the whales in both Hawaii and Alaska.

While much has been done to help these populations in these areas, the job is not done. Populations of whales residing in Mexico, Central America, are still listed as endangered or threatened.

Under these new rules the various populations of whales are a mixed bag, especially with varying migratory patterns. However, progress is progress, and hopefully with these new programs and federal rulings in place, the entire humpback population will rise and ultimately be removed from the endangered species list.

Sources:

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov

http://www.npr.org

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Photo taken from Pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Obama Creates the First Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean

Happy Thursday!

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Photo taken from sciencenews.org

So some exciting news has been brought to my attention today! According to the White House’s official statement released only a few hours ago,

“President Obama will designate the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, protecting fragile deep-sea ecosystems off the coast of New England as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The new national monument – which encompasses pristine underwater mountains and canyons – will provide critical protections for important ecological resources and marine species, including deep-sea coral and endangered whales and sea turtles.”

Now some might be thinking, “What is a monument going to do to protect the Ocean?” Well this particular monument is set in a region of the Atlantic ocean about four times the size of Rhode Island; that contains deep-sea canyons,  extinct volcanoes, and a diverse amount of sea life.The White House statement also mentioned a study conducted by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), highlighting the unusually warm ocean temperatures in that specific area. The study found that oceans
with higher temperatures can harm the various species of fish, such as salmon, and lobster.

By designating this a safe area as well as a national monument, the region would be under permanent protection, significantly decreasing unnatural threats to the ecosystem such as pollution, oceanic dead-zones and unsustainable fishing practices. Immediate action has been put into place save for local lobster and crabbing industries, which have been given a seven year time-limit to leave the area. Such immediate action has banned mining, drilling, oil and gas exploration, as well as commercial fishing, and has also given fishermen 60 days to finish their operations completely within the area.

Although it is only a small portion of the ocean being protected,  it is an enormous step forward for sustainability and ocean conservation. By creating more areas like this one, we are so much closer to creating a healthier Earth. By having our world leaders care about such things, we are moving forward and growing together. People have started a dialogue that has reached the ears of  people who can enact change. There is power in having your opinion heard and getting involved, even if you are just one person. Hopefully we see more countries adopt this idea and create more safe havensbeach for marine life and wildlife as well. 

Living right on the Atlantic ocean I am overjoyed to know that I am close to where change is happening. It should be very interesting in the next few years to see how this develops and the environmental impact of this monument. Perhaps we’ll see a healthier ocean and more marine life. This is a great way to follow closely what the ocean is like or what it can be like without human interference and the threats we pose to the ecosystems within it.

For more information you can read up on the monument at http://www.whitehouse.gov

“It reminded us that nature’s actually resilient, if we take care to just stop actively destroying it.” -Barack Obama

 

Welcome!

Hello everyone! me

Thanks for visiting this page. Although this site is pretty new, it is really going to pick up within the next few weeks!  Wishing Whale is a startup organization and clothing company spreading awareness for ocean conservation and sustainability. Wishing Whale is the brainchild of an average college girl, just trying to live sustainably and do her best to help out the environment and protect our favorite ocean-dwelling mammals. This blog will cover a variety of topics, including news and updates on marine life, tips to be sustainable in your 20’s, fashion tips, trends in pop culture, features on women in science, how celebrities are doing their part, and how you can do yours! The aim of this blog is to be both informational and fun. More than anything it’s going to be a helpful lifestyle blog for young women who care just like me about doing small things to enact big change.

Going to college in close proximity to the ocean has really changed my perspective on just how important it is to care about our environment, and even though we do not live in the ocean, we can still directly impact it both positively and negatively.With that in mind my hopes are to spread some awareness and hopefully launch a  casual, comfortable, and most importantly, affordable clothing brand, where a large amount of  the proceeds will be donated to organizations that specify in the wildlife conservation of  whales and other marine life. Overall the goal is to help both ourselves and the environment and contribute in a mutually beneficial way that won’t break the bank.

I really hope this blog is helpful and inspirational. I feel now more than ever young people have the power to step up and make a difference about the things they are passionate about. There is so much technology out there that is pretty accessible to  all of us, so making dreams a reality is not only possible, but easy. Although we are young, it really isn’t that difficult to reach out, to lend a hand, and to be present and aware. The first step is to be educated, the second step is action. It seems that being environmentally conscious has not only become socially acceptable today, but trendy as well.It seems that clothing companies and celebrities have made it their mission to propel these issues into the limelight and make sure people are talking about them. I hope to do the same just on a much smaller scale. Overall, Wishing Whale’s goal is   to incorporate coastal clothing for a cause, as well as educate and inform young women that they can do their part in saving the ocean through sustainable practices and volunteering, and most of all they can look cute doing it!

“I like to dedicate myself wholeheartedly to a cause so that I have more impact. My goal is to shed light on the beauty of the ocean and how important it is for our planet.” -Hayden Panettiere

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