Supporting marine conservation in Southeast Asia through Seastainable

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Do you know someone whose hobby activity culminates in a full time enterprise that exists to inform, educate and give back to that same hobby?

Better yet, if that hobby is all about doing an ocean of good.

We speak to the avid diver and advocate of marine conservation, Samantha Thian on her business, Seastainable

How do you run Seastainable sustainably? We understand that this is a business outside of your already demanding day job. How do you manage to run both businesses?

In Seastainable, we aspire to run our social business as environmentally sustainable as well as financially sustainable as well. Seastainable is run as my side hustle, as I channel profits into marine conservation hence I never wanted to rely on the business as my bread and butter.
For me, I run both businesses by carving time whenever I need in the early mornings, or over the weekend. I also have someone in the Seastainable team who helps me with the marketing and that helps a lot!
With the pandemic, has Seastainable's goals changed? (in terms of targets and timeline or do we need people to be more aware of waste more than ever?)
I think principally our goal has never changed, to support marine conservation, and also be mindful of our consumerism. I wouldn’t say the pandemic has changed our goals, but we do see increasing importance in sharing about sustainability and the importance of mindful consumption (eg increase of plastic takeout for food delivery)

Practical Advice for Singaporeans who are starting to be more aware of the waste that they generate daily and want to start reducing their waste.
I would say start small and try to be consistent. It may seem a daunting task to look at reducing our waste, but I’d always like to share, “we don’t need one person doing zero waste perfectly, we need everyone to do it imperfectly”.
I’d say to look at the concept of only buying if you need, and reducing wherever possible.  
How would you tell an indifferent person about the importance of saving marine life and the bigger picture?
To me, I’d share the importance of the ocean for our planetary health. Did you know that the ocean is responsible for absorbing 40% of carbon dioxide from the planet? I’d always share that the ocean plays a big part in the ecosystem, home to marine life, and a source of sustenance for coastal communities.
What insights have you gleaned from your regular beach clean up activities at East Coast Beach? How can people volunteer to join the effort?
Through the regular beach clean up activities, we have noticed medical waste such as mask, gloves and even syringes! However, we have also enjoyed and appreciated the support of the community, who just joined us through our sessions on our telegram chat. If people would like to join us, feel free to join us on telegram @eastcoastbeachplan

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