Living Life Less Plastic: Lessons From Sea Turtles

In this video, sea turtle specialist, educator and business owner, Christina Trapani, takes us on a personal journey of discovery and action. She began her career as a stranding specialist for the Virginia Aquarium, saving many injured, cold-stunned or entangled sea turtles and marine mammals and researching why the unlucky ones had died. She responded to and examined hundreds of animals during her 12 years with the Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Response Program. What she found changed her life, and it may change yours, too, when you hear her story.

Stranding responses took Trapani all over Virginia, to remote beaches including barrier islands and National Wildlife Refuges. The amount of plastic debris and balloon litter was shocking. On occasion, a stranded marine animal was treated for, or had died from debris ingestion or entanglement. These experiences caused Trapani to commit herself to reducing her use of single-use disposable plastic items, and to help others do the same by offering alternatives. Thus, Eco Maniac Company was started in 2008. Using a list prepared by the Ocean Conservancy for the International Coastal Cleanup of the top ten items found during this annual cleanup, Trapani researched alternatives and began to offer them for sale through her website:

In her presentation you will see and hear about Trapani’s experiences with sea turtles, marine mammals, and aquatic debris. She will motivate you with stories of the people who are making a difference, such as students who combine art and science in their Trash Talking Turtles to educate others and change trashy behavior to trash-free. Trapani will also tell you about alternatives to single-use plastics that are available. After the presentation, you will have an opportunity to purchase some of these items such as stainless steel straws, bamboo utensils, and reusable sandwich wraps. Trapani will inspire you to do your part and live life less plastic!