Ryan Elizabeth

Hello universe! Welcome to Seven In the Ocean, my piece of the Internet where I like to rant about plastic. In my spare time, I also enjoy taking photos (mostly with my iPhone, of food and pretty landscapes), playing with chickens, and practicing/teaching yoga. Now that that’s outta the way…

Why the ranting space? It’s simple: I am absolutely, 100% fed up with the way our society views packaging, the lifespan of products, and the over-packaged lifestyles we have come to know as “the norm.” While I myself can’t change the world and rid it of this scourge of plastic (and that’s not my goal) What am I saying? Of course I want to change the world and rid it of this plastic scourge! While saving the world, I can also be a witness of plastic pollution, share my experiences, and lead by example. That is where this blog comes into play.

7 In the Ocean started in 2010 at the onset of my final year as an undergrad. At the time, I was in the middle of writing my thesis about plastics recycling in relation to the marine debris problem. That project was the result of a 2008 SEA research cruise I participated in wherein we sailed from Honolulu, Hawaii to San Francisco…and if you’re putting two and two together right now you’re nodding your head, likely thinking “Ah, yes, I see…right through the garbage patch.” Right? 😉

Garbage patch, garbage soup, garbage broth, whatever you fancy, I saw it and the terrifying thing was that it’s not the trash islands we think it is, but mostly a bunch of brilliant blue ocean with teeny tiny bits floating around in it. Sigh…ridiculous.

Fast forward 4 years and many rants later and I find myself on Midway Atoll in 2012, home of the Laysan Albatross with a helluva plastic problem. The timing of this 4-month volunteer stint was not lost on me as just 4 years prior, I was extensively researching Midway and sailing just southeast of it on that SEA cruise. Say what?!

This experience on Midway profoundly changed me and sets me on a path that I’m still tripping down. There were a lot of moments created, a lot of birds, and a sh*t ton of plastic on that little atoll in the middle of the Pacific. A lot of learning happened during that year!

Fast foward another 4ish years and that brings us to the present day: I have moved from Hawaii to Maine and now find myself in British Columbia, Canada. Throughout all of these adventures, I have used this blog space to document the things I see and the emotions I feel as these experiences happen. Whether it’s albatross coughing up plastic-laced boluses or restaurants using too many straws, if it has to do with plastic and society you can bet it’ll show up here. The goal is not just to hear myself yell into the vacuum of the Internet but to provide a perspective and hear from others on how they feel about the same issue.

So rant along with me and if you have thoughts, ideas, or just want to chit-chat about plastic, let me know. A good trash talk does the soul good. 🙂


8 thoughts on “Ryan Elizabeth

  1. Hi, Ryan!
    Found your blog from Beth Terry’s Fake Plastic Fish site…very cool!
    I’m so interested in this topic…should have studied marine biology when I was in school!
    Just curious what type of work you will do when you graduate. I have 3 sons who have a while to go until college (they are 3, 6, and 10) but I like to share different careers with them to expand their worldview. Yours is definitely an interesting one!
    I love your goal of mitigation and education….You could be the Jamie Oliver of plastic recycling – ‘The Plastic Revolution’! 🙂
    Best wishes with your research and will look forward to reading your blog! Kate


  2. Hi Kate!

    Thanks so much for your comment and interest! Frankly, I’m flattered by the Jamie Oliver association, it’s exactly his ideas of education and awareness that I’m trying to get across.

    I’m hoping to go to grad school within the next few years but for now, I’m just trying to reduce my impact and hopefully get more people aware of the dire straits our oceans are in!

    It’s wonderful to see that this topic is gaining momentum and attention, the world needs more curious and interested people like yourself! It’s especially awesome that you’re getting your sons involved, kudos to you!

    -Ryan E. 🙂


  3. http://beyondplastic.wordpress.com/

    Funny that the first comment I read over here is Kate E. Hey, I know her, I think. Yep. Well, not literally know her, but internetly. Blogly? Anyway, I also found you through Beth and considering that we are both based in Vermont, I thought I should leave you a message.

    This is it: it’s late, I will read more in the morning, welcome to the world of blogging about plastic, and more to follow…

    And, also, thanks for writing! I am a big fan of the snowball effect…



  4. Ryan! This is wonderful! I saw your travel tales on facebook and it got me curious. I’m so glad you’ve got a passion and a goal, especially one this important. Great to hear you’re doing well and I’ll try to keep in touch more often. As a Glass Engineer, I’m absolutely against plastics so I’m fighting with you! Good luck, have fun, talk to you soon!
    Greg Badger


  5. Pingback: What To Say? « 7 In the Ocean

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