Making a Change: Chris Figgener and The Footprint Foundation


I have referenced Lovecraft quite a bit in my writing, both in newspaper and in my own writing projects. The reason why I bring up Lovecraft is because of his most well-known phobia – hydrophobia, the fear of water and the sea. Now back in the 20s when he was alive there wouldn’t be much to fear, but nowadays, with the trash in the ocean, and marine animals washing up on the shores, choked by plastics, there is definitely something to fear about the ocean today. Luckily, there are a lot of people who see that fear and turn it into motivation and drive to make a change in the world. One of those people is Chris Figgener, who came to our school last quarter to talk about how to help in getting rid of the trash in the ocean.

Image from the video posted by FIggener of the Turtle getting a straw out of it’s nose

Christine Figgener is a marine biologist and became well-known a couple years ago from a video online of taking a plastic straw out of the nose of a sea turtle. This video became one of her main talking points as she went around the United States, talking about keeping trash out of the ocean and all around environmental health. During the presentation she also talked about how and why plastics are dangerous to our environment and to ourselves. She said a lot of interesting and honestly, quite worrying things. Like how we eat about a credit card worth of plastic a week, and how only two types of the commercially available plastic are actually recyclable, or how 60% of the plastics nationally produced in the entire history of earth are still around. This was honestly terrifying to hear about because with the amount of damage done through plastics it is getting to a point where we wouldn’t be able to fix it even if we used all the resources we could.

Now while all of this does seem very dire and depressing, there is a light at the end of the tunnel; we just need to climb towards it. The Footprint foundation is a group dedicated to minimizing our ecological footprint by organizing beach pickups, spreading awareness, and helping smaller communities set up ways to recycle. You can look at their website here, known as pledge 2050, which is something you can do to pitch in. Pledge 2050 asks you to pledge not to use one single use plastic item for a few years, and while this may not seem like a lot, if a lot of people do this, then it would have a tremendous, positive impact on our environment. We all hope that the world can get better, but that change won’t happen unless people listen and people pitch in to help. We hope you can help alongside the Footprint Foundation in some way, not just for our generation, but for those that come after us