Talking with Ryan Willson about the Environment, Plastics, Pollution and How We Can Help.
“Being mindful of the environment and our impact as a manufacturer of strollers for babies is really important to us at Bumbleride. Ryan who heads up marketing is one of our major advocates and drivers of this in our company. So I wanted to pick his brain on plastics, pollution and what we can do.” – Matt Reichardt, CEO/ Co-Founder
Matt: How has growing up in San Diego and going to college in Hawaii affected your view of the environment?
Ryan: Growing up in San Diego our family spent much of our free time at the beach where we were taught at an early age to leave the beach a cleaner place than we found it. Living in Hawaii amplified how important that rule is. Being an avid surfer, learning about Hawaiian history and seeing first-hand how families live off the land, I was able to get a better understanding of how critical the environment can be to daily living.
Matt: You were recently featured by the Surfrider Foundation for your efforts to reduce plastics on our beaches can you tell us about that?
Ryan: I love hosting and participating in beach cleanups so when I saw that Method products was starting a program for Coastal Cleanup Day to upcycle ocean plastics into product containers I jumped at the opportunity to help. Method has an Ocean Plastic line of dish & hand soap bottles where a % of the bottles are made with upcycled ocean plastics, not just recycled plastics like most of their other products, http://methodhome.com/beyond-the-bottle/ocean-plastic/. With the support of the local San Diego Surfrider chapter and friends, we were able to fill a large pallet size container in a couple months. We look forward to filling up another container or two this year. Surfrider was kind enough to share about our efforts on their website here, https://sandiego.surfrider.org/a-local-members-efforts-to-alleviate-the-plastic-pollution-crisis .
Matt: What do you see as the major environmental issues facing us today and what impact do you see manufacturing have?
Ryan: Pollution (air, water and soil) and natural resource depletion are two of the largest issues facing us today. Most manufacturing has a negative impact on these issues which is why there is a huge opportunity for more sustainable and responsible options. As more companies show working examples of responsible manufacturing, it will soon become the norm.
Matt: How is Bumbleride working to reduce their footprint or impact on this crisis?
Ryan: At Bumbleride we are constantly evaluating our footprint. Part of the Bumbleride Promise is our commitment to responsible design which means we are mindful about the factories we work with and materials we choose. Currently we manufacture our fabrics with recycled materials and bamboo charcoal fiber but we’re researching new manufacturing processes and materials that reduce water and energy use even further. We recycle as much as possible at our offices and encourage public transit or cycling to work. We recently worked with the City of San Diego and their Green Business Network program to audit our energy in the office. They recommended improvements which we were able to take advantage of for free thanks to San Diego Gas & Electric.
Matt: What can we do individually to help contribute to a cleaner community locally?
Ryan: The biggest things you can do to help keep your community clean is by reducing and refusing. Reduce and refuse: single use plastic bottles (water, soda, tea, etc), plastic straws, plastic grocery bags and disposable silverware or plates. Another great way to help your community is to join a local group like the Surfrider Foundation, I Love a Clean San Diego, San Diego Coastkeepers , Sustainable Coastlines or Shoreline Cleanup (Canada). Buying items in bulk reduces plastic waste and if you see a piece of trash or plastic in the street or gutter, pick it up and simply wash your hands later. Urban runoff is the largest pollution source for our oceans and waterways.
Matt: I know you love surfing, what’s your favorite breaks around San Diego?
Ryan: Some of my favorite surf breaks in San Diego are Blacks, Trestles and Ocean Beach m/.