Monday, November 17, 2008

Olympic swimmer weighs in on oceans/Oklahoma

By John Sutter

In an interview with MSNBC, Olympic gold medalist and ocean advocate Aaron Peirsol name-drops Oklahoma as he plugs the idea that all of the world's waters are connected. While the U.S. swimmer probably spends most of his time in a chlorinated pool, he's campaigning for all of us to do our part to protect the world's oceans--even if you live super-far from them.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:
Q: What needs to happen to clean them up? What can the average person do to help?

A: I believe it's a matter of collective involvement. What I said about the little things making a big difference; I believe that to be very true. I’m a part of a program called Toyota’s Engines of Change Program. The message is that anyone can make a difference in their community or for whatever cause they feel strongly about. Everyone can be an Engine of Change.

For me, I work with Oceana to help save the oceans. But anyone can help. The canvas bags at the grocery market; the buying of sustainable fish at the market; and even the knowledge that every river does lead to an ocean. It really is the easy things that can add up to be a lot. They don't cost a lot of money, just a little time, and a willingness to make a change. It doesn't matter that you live in Oklahoma or Iowa; everyone has a profound effect on the ocean, and the environment in general. (emphasis added) Recycling seems easy enough, but here in Austin we only just received recycling bins large enough to take all of our recyclables. There is still a long way to go.

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