Caz and Gem from the JK Team battled the delights of Storm Ciaran to travel from JK HQ to Bristol so they could attend the annual Surfers Against Sewage Ocean Network Event.
JK have been Ocean Network members (formerly SAS 250 Club) since 2016, and Gemma is a regional rep for Surfers Against Sewage, so it was great for us to get an insight into what the charity is up to.
Just Kampers and Surfers Against Sewage
You might say its an odd mix - a vehicle parts company working with, and in support of, an environmental cause charity – but we disagree.
For nearly all campervan owners (VW or other) there is a drive to access and enjoy the wider world and natural environments, as well as a deep-seated need to protect it – for now and the future.
Unless you are incredibly fortunate to live by the ocean using our vans enables this connection.
Over the course of the last seven years, we’ve been working internally too to make positive change.
We’ve had many successes - not least banishing the Haribo packets that used to be so gratefully received in our packages. You can’t be a part of the solution if you fail to recognise and act on areas where you are part of the problem. Initially it wasn’t popular but for the most part people understand what you are trying to achieve when you explain why.
About the Surfers Against Sewage Ocean Network
The Ocean Network is a collection of businesses who have come together because they care about the state of the oceans, plastic pollution, sewage spills and how everything is connected.
If you take all those businesses, local communities, groups, and individuals there is a ground swell of call for change.
SAS, among other amazing charities, are at the forefront of the drive for this change and have been since 1990. A lot has changed over the years. With a lot more people willing to listen and recognise that it isn’t just a movement of surfers protesting about getting ill after swimming in brown oceans.
One of the most inspiring speakers of the evening was Chris Hines. Chris set up SAS, he was there for all the direct action, sharing the ducking and diving required at the time to be seen, heard, and listened to by the people with the power.
Recounting tails of how they bypassed television ad’ restrictions by playing in cinemas, the showing of which was then reported and seen in full on the news networks, to private, unseen, donations from top Surfing brands who wanted no accolade just wanted to be a part of doing the right thing.
Over 30 years later, his passion was still clear, and infectious. There were also updates on the latest campaigns and focus.
An Introduction to the End Sewage Pollution Manifesto. A collaborative document produced by a coalition of water lovers and water users united by their ambition to End Sewage Pollution and recover the UK’s rivers, lakes, and seas.
This document sets out a five-point plan:
• Enforce the law,
• Prioritise high risk pollution,
• Stop pollution for profit,
• Empower a nature-led approach,
• Reveal the truth.
A mixture of transparency, accountability and action that would be hard for anyone, other than otherwise invested individuals, to argue against.
Beyond that the action against single use plastic continues, the building of Plastic Free Communities, the Million Mile Beach and River Cleans via Local Rep’s and a push to more designated waterway bathing areas – which in turn offer environmental protections, and the real time, interactive, map App detailing sewage discharge and pollution risks around the UK.
It would be easy to feel overwhelmed by the depth of the issues, however there is, (if you’ll pardon the pun), a sea change of public opinion and support.
And everyone can get involved…