How can a plant pot protect the sea & make people fall in love with it?

How can a plant pot protect the sea & make people fall in love with it?

Kid learning to surf at Surfers Not Street Children in Durban, South Africa

When we love something deeply, we will always protect it. This is the premise of Ecotribo and one of the reasons I started it. It started out as a passion project and side hustle. I wanted to make a difference for people and the planet through thoughtful eco-design. My mission is to help promote positive outcomes for coastal communities by cleaning our oceans and promoting recycling. I want to demonstrate how people can renew, rejuvenate and restore, not only the ocean but themselves by connecting to the sea. 

I’ve been a surfer and ocean lover pretty much as soon as I could walk in fact here’s a picture of me enjoying the beach before I could walk! Cute hey?

Tyrone Probert Foundr of Ecotribo as a child loving the beach
Little Tysie when Ecotribo was a twinkle in his eye!

I grew up on the east coast of Africa so was lucky enough to surf with dolphins and other more challenging fish. The ocean has always been the happy place that I have returned to for healing throughout my life. I think you’ll agree, that the world could do with a lot more healing.

During Covid, I spent a lot of time travelling around France and Northern Spanish beaches in my van thinking about how I could make a difference. How could I help our environment with the skills I have as a designer and ocean lover?

I have always loved the sea and done my best to look after her via beach cleaning, recycling and doing what I can whilst living in this weird oily imperfect world. I know how passionate I am for the ocean and what a motivator it is for me to do all I can for her. I realised I have to make people fall in love with the ocean so they looked after her too. So I set about finding a way to help people from all walks of life connect to the ocean, to make them fall in love with it.

So every month I make donations to a variety of coastal charities, people who are cleaning our beaches and helping people connect with the sea through outreach and coastal cleanups. The charities work with people from less privileged backgrounds, sometimes people who have never even seen the sea. There’s no point preaching to the converted. We need to get new people on board!


They feel the circular rhythm of the ocean and how
by loving the sea, it heals and loves us in return.

— Tyrone Probert, Founder

I’m now making plant pots from Ocean plastic and 10% of the profits are going towards coastal charities. I love what these charities are doing in their own unique ways. The passion that they have for the ocean and marine environment and how they all work with local communities and outreach programs. They get people from all walks of life who are struggling and need some healing. When these people start to connect to the sea they feel less anxious, happier and fulfilled. They feel the circular rhythm of the ocean and how by loving the sea, it heals and loves us in return. So a simple plant pot can make people fall in love with the sea and make them the new generation of ocean guadians.


A plastic@bay beach clean in Northern Scotland

I am currently supporting the wonderful people at plastic@bay who are tackling marine plastic pollution in NW Scotland and beyond by monitoring, researching, developing, recycling and providing educational outreach. I also buy my material from them which gives the charity a source of income for the beach cleaning.

I also donate to Surfers Not Street Children whose model fuses surfing, mentorship and care. The Organisation has dedicated local teams that include social workers, carers, lifeguards, surf coaches and administrators. Many children empowered by Surfers Not Street Children have transformed their lives. Some have gone from ‘street children’ to becoming coffee baristas, lifesavers, surf shop staff, restauranteurs, surf coaches and even pro surfers. All of them love and care for themselves and the sea.

A beach clean with the crew of Clean Ocean Sailing in Gweek, Cornwall

Clean Ocean Sailing is based down in Cornwall. They fish for marine plastic sustainably under sail and are able to find ocean plastics in all those hard-to-reach areas in coves and at sea. They also do outreach programs with locals helping them experience the ocean at sea, clean beaches and connect with the ocean.

I’d love to support more charities and the aim is to continue to grow this aspect. Currently, I am still a small startup but I do believe this is a really positive way to help our environment. Thanks for your continued support and please reach out if you want any further information.

Oceans of love

Tyrone

New Recycled Ocean Plastic Sculpture to raise awareness

Ocean Plastics Suck Sculpture made from recycled ocean plastics, wood and bio-resin. The sculpture is in the shape of a ice-cream lolly as if its dropped and melting on the floor

‘Beach plastics suck’ – A new sculpture made from recycled ocean plastics, wood and bio-resin collected from my beach cleans. I’ve been working on this behind the scenes since lockdown. Now I’ve made my ‘Oceana plant pot’ made from recycled ocean plastics I have had the headspace to finish this sculpture.

Inspired by my road trip to France and Spain and hanging out on beaches I saw a kid drop her lolly. She burst into tears at the loss and I wondered how we will react generations from now when we see the massive ball/lolly we are dropping by not looking after our oceans and planet.

Ocean Plastics Suck Sculpture made from recycled ocean plastics, wood and bio-resin. The sculpture is in the shape of a ice-cream lolly as if its dropped and melting on the floor and the room is dark but the sculpture is lit with an internal light
Ocean Plastics Suck Sculpture made from recycled ocean plastics, wood and bio-resin
Ocean Plastics Suck Sculpture made from recycled ocean plastics, wood and bio-resin. The sculpture is in the shape of a ice-cream lolly as if its dropped and melting on the floor
‘Ocean Plastics Suck’ Sculpture made from recycled ocean plastics, wood and bio-resin

Immediately the sculpture also reminds us of the devasting effects of climate change with the lolly looking like it’s melting. I wanted to create an iconic and memorable image to grab attention and remind us of the fragility of life on this planet. With all my work whether it’s the design of my Ocean Plastic plant pots or these sculptures, I hope to create memorable pieces that start conversations and amplify environmental messages without preaching or being too heavy. It is an important conversation but if we are to speak to the masses I feel that playfulness is a way in. I want people to fall in love with nature and protect it rather than guilting them into any action.

A visual of a giant ice lolly sculpture made from recycled ocean plastics. A proposal for Bristol waterfront
Ocean Plastics Suck Sculpture proposal made from recycled ocean plastics, wood and bio-resin. The sculpture is in the shape of a ice-cream lolly as if its dropped and melting on the floor

The sculpture is approximately 38cm high x 48cm wide. My dream is to make these sculptures at a much larger size utilising the collected trash from coastal cities. It would be great to work with schools, NGOs and charities to raise awareness of our environment, plastic recycling and materials want to do beach and harbour cleans with the community and then use the very trash collected collectively to make a giant sculpture to raise awareness.

If you are a city councillor or know of any communities who may be interested in commissioning such a piece please do get in touch.

UPDATE: Super excited to have been featured by @realpreciousplastic on their Instagram account with nearly 94 000 followers. They have been a big inspiration for many years. I have also received a few commissions from interested people which has been fantastic. Thank you for the support!

Instagram post of Ocean Plastic Ice Lolly Sculpture

Transforming ocean plastic waste into recycled ocean plastic plant pots

Ocean plastic plant Pot

For many years we have been working towards how we can turn the tide on ocean plastic and marine waste with design and creative thinking. A small business in Bristol, we started our sustainable journey from humble beginnings in utilising waste materials for our fire cluster lamps, created the ‘Ocean Chair’ in 2018 and now our latest plant pot made with 100% recycled ocean plastic waste called ‘Oceana’. It’s been a long journey of discovery putting one foot in front of the other facing one challenge at a time.

Oceana – A plant pot made from the ocean plastic waste we find on our beaches

Winning the war on ocean plastic & empowering coastal communities

It’s our mission to use beautiful design and creative business thinking to empower coastal communities, clean our coasts of plastic pollution and demonstrate solutions through positive action. We believe our plant pot is the beginning of a beautiful story in the war on plastic and ocean pollution. We hope to inspire people with a positive story of a battle that was won recently in the war on ocean plastics.

Along the coast of northern Scotland in a beautiful area called Balnakeil bay, a ghost net has laid buried in the sand dunes for 10 years. As each tide moved in the sand would bury it deeper and deeper. A small and little known charity called plasticatbay.org that has been cleaning and monitoring marine debris in the area for years came across this massive net.

Cleaning Balnakeil bay
Plastic@bay cleaning Balnakeil bay of ghost nets and ocean plastics

It quickly became clear that it was much bigger than expected. Spread over 100m of the beach, It was buried deep under the sand so they would have to monitor it and cut off what they could to prevent marine animals from getting entangled. It was a slow and painful process.

Cleaning our seas planting positivity

In early February 2020, there was a huge storm that would change things. The winds moved across the coast whipping up the sea and creating massive swells which surged onto the beach. Soon the dunes had shifted and moved and the net was released from the clutches of the sand. Within days Julien, Joan and their team had freed the net and collected several hundred kilograms. For nearly a year the net has been washed by storms and rain stored and is finally being cleaned and processed. The net was progressively cut, dried and shredded and is now being turned into our ‘Oceana’ ocean plastic plant pot.

The ‘Oceana’ – A plant pot made from recycled ocean plastics

The material was dispatched a few weeks ago and is now being made into our designer plant pots. We are humbled by all the work the charity does on the ground and happy to support their work. It has always been a dream of mine to turn trash into treasure and demonstrate how we can turn ocean waste into a valuable resource.

I am now making a small batch of these plant pots and aim to scale and grow the business with a product range of plant pots and other products. Each plant pot is made from recycled ghost net plastics creating a beautiful and unique item for your home. The material is super strong, the colours are beautiful and totally unique. We pay a premium for the material which provide a sustainable income to the charity and community. A percentage of the profits also go towards charity which provides an income to support further work and research.

Ocena Plant pot made from recycled ocean plastics
Plant pot made from 100% recycled Ocean plastics

So all around it is a beautiful circular recycled material story creating wealth and abundance for coastal communities, helping nature and germinating smiles in peoples homes. thank you for joining us on the journey and for your continuing support.

6 Reasons why this plant pot is different to most on the market

Ocean Plastic Plant Pot

Production has started on a unique, designer, decorative plant pot made from recycled ocean plastics. The Ecotribo ‘Oceana’ plant pot is being made locally on the south west coast of England, Bristol. The idea is different to any other plant pots on the market for a number of reasons. All of them are positive and exactly what people and the planet needs.

  1. Positive outcomes for coastal communities.
    This plant pot aims to provide positive outcomes for coastal communities by cleaning our oceans, promoting recycling and demonstrating how we can renew, recycle, restore and regenerate the planet and our economy. Post covid there has been a lot of talk about ‘building back greener’. This local business and product is actually doing it. It will grow a social enterprise that aims to help people and the planet by starting locally and growing around the world. It aims to demonstrate how business can do things differently – where profit does not come before the planet. This plant pot demonstrates how we can help coastal communities take control of their plastic waste turning their trash into treasure and at the same time providing jobs and incomes.

  2. Made from recycled ocean plastics.
    We have utilised recycled fishing nets in our products production. Constructed from high-quality plastics, the material is extremely strong and robust and should last a lifetime. (If it doesn’t you can send it back to us and we will recycled it again for you). Fishing nets are the most abundant form of macro-plastic in the ocean and also the most lethal form of plastic debris for marine life according to the WWF. Currently, 640,000 tonnes of the stuff is produced every year. By using this material we give fishermen alternatives to landfill, as well as financial incentives to recycle their nets at the end of their lifecycle, returning the material back into a circular material loop. The material is recycled and processed here in Bristol and we turn it into products with a positive purpose – cleaning our seas, planting positivity.

  3. Made locally. Made different.
    This plant pot is made with a Precious Plastic ‘Plasticpreneur’ machine. A simple yet extremely effective machine which is part of a big community working to fix the plastic waste problem. The machinery for this planter is extremely cost effective, taking the means of production away from big manufacturers and empowering communities and small makers such as ourselves. This enables grassroots access to turn plastic waste into new opportunities to create and launch innovative products and set up new, income-generating projects and social businesses around the world. With these mobile machines it is possible to start recycling workspaces and the production of recycled products anywhere. We have plans of continuing to demonstrate our materials work and educating communities about the plastic problem from schools to the beaches we love.

  4. Local production means less C02.
    By keeping manufacture and the material we source local there is also the added benefit that we reduce C02 emissions by ensuring transport costs are kept to a minimum. We have shredded and processed our material right here in Bristol at the KWMC Factory. We would like to thank this amazing organisation for all their help and assistance over the years from when a seed of an idea germinated when I started doing material design research and local workshops with them till now.

  5. Different colour ways.
    Initially the plant pot comes in black as we have sourced nearly 1 ton of black fishing net plastics. We like to say, like the great designer Henry Ford, currently its available in a variety of colour ways, as long as it’s black!

    Rest assured we do aim to introduce different colour ways! The design is made up of 3 parts so that it can be mixed and matched in a variety of different colour ways as we ramp up production. We also want to use other local Bristol waste plastics to give us a broader colour palette.

  6. Scientifically proven to boost wellbeing
    Indoor plant pots reduce stress and anxiety. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, active interaction with indoor plants (like touching and smelling) can reduce physiological and psychological stress. Researchers at Exeter University, UK found that indoor plants improve concentration, productivity and boost staff well-being by 47% at work. Being around plants can also increase memory retention by up to 20%.


Our recycled fishing net process


All these reasons combined creates something truly unique and exciting for garden lovers, pot plant lovers, environmentalists, nature lovers and the planet.

There are so many reasons why we love what we do and are excited to launch this new product!


We have grand plans to grow this local Bristol business and continue to introduce new sizes, colours and products into the range. Our mission is to clean our seas, grow plants and germinate smiles. I hope you can now see – it is so much more than a plastic plant pot…it’s a shining ray of light. 


Production is currently limited. Please sign up to the newsletter form below to be the first to get one of the first runs to be made for Christmas 2021!

Ecotribo – Positive Eco News

I am a designer and environmentalist, and in my research, I come across a wide range of positive eco stories. We have some serious challenges as a species, but to give people hope, I am keen to focus on the good ideas that are being developed. I respect the protestors and believe this is an important aspect, but I chose to focus on positive action – I hope you will join me. I will be curating a positive eco news stories that I come across on a bi-weekly basis so I hope you can feel energised and be inspired to work towards positive outcomes for our planet.


Microplastics

Biodegradable capsules that could help solve the problem of microplastics

Paris-based startup Calyxia are hoping to ensure micro-plastics are a thing of the past. The company, which has recently secured $17.5 million in a Series A round of funding, is developing coatings that can be added to plastic products to help prevent the material from shedding off micro-plastics as it wears down.

Earth Shot Prize

The Earth Shot Prize Winners

It was so exciting to watch the recent Earthshot Prize this last week. This is the most ambitious and prestigious Environmental award of its kind – designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years.

The Earthshot Prize is centred around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all, for generations to come.

Gulp and new filter for your washing machine
Eco-friendly Technology

Plastic Free Washing is here with a new Bristol start up

Stop micro-plastic pollution from your laundry – one gulp at a time. Gulp is a Microfibre Filter that works externally with all washing machines. Removing plastic waste from our water and protecting our precious oceans. Designed and engineered by a team who worked at Dyson, you can now be one of the first to sign up to get this incredible new technology.

Ecotribo ‘Ocean Tide’ Planters’ available in Prior retail outlet
Ocean Plastic Plant Pots

Ecotribo plant pots now available in new eco retail outlet in Bristol

PRIOR SHOP is a not-for-profit independent shop, workshop space, gallery and community hub in Bristol’s City Centre right near the Apple Store! Our ‘Ocean Tide’ plant pot made from recycled Ocean plastics and oyster-shell biomaterials, have been selected for the store and online.

Plastic-free wetsuit hangers. Made from recycled wetsuits and sustainable FSC wood

Wetsuit hanger made from recycled wetsuits

I’ve always been looking for a wetsuit hanger that can hold all my surf gear in one place. Also something with a mission to help our environment and find solutions to ocean waste. Ecotribo has been my side project for the last few years and it’s gathering steam- Designing products that ‘Clean our seas and plant positivity’. I’m always looking for ways to tackle and utilise waste streams in the production of my art, design, and recycled products. So far I have been making plant pots from ocean plastics and collaborating with Rideguard to make mudguards from recycled industrial plastics. And now I have launched a wetsuit hanger made from recycled wetsuits and FSC wood and manufactured right here in Bristol.

Comfortably dries a full length mens wetsuit, gloves & booties

Easily hangs from just about anywhere

Proudly made locally in Bristol, United Kingdom

Our oceans demand we do better.
In the United Kingdom alone, around 380 tonnes of old wetsuits end up in landfill every year according to research done by the University of Exeter. Countless more pile up in our sheds, garages and clubhouses. As surfers and ocean lovers, we like to think of ourselves as a pretty eco-friendly bunch. We love the natural world that we play in and ensure we recycle everything we can.

But surfboards and wetsuits are unfortunately responsible for some pretty damaging pollution. PU surfboards are a notoriously harmful mix of chemicals, that damage the environment in the manufacturing process and are near on impossible to recycle. 


Some positive outcomes for our planet.


Fortunately​,​ due to awareness around the problem, we are beginning to see some fantastic new surfboard manufacturing processes. The​re are​ new product​s that​ utilise​ converted locally abundant sugarcane biomass that is polymerized and expanded into the rigid foam​ with links to biotechnologies based in the Netherlands​.​ Whilst Entropyresins make a bio-based surf resin, which is what I use in my #handsupforthesea coat hanger product.


​We​tsuits have similar challenges​,​ as the material​s​ ​are generally made from a variety of ​petroleum-based ​composites.​ Patagonia has made some big strides in finding eco-friendly alternatives to petroleum-based neoprene. They have a great product made with sustainable natural rubbers called Yulex. It’s still early days in the industry so in the meantime most of our wetsuits are not recycled and end up in a landfill.

Wetsuits are currently made from a number of different composite materials

Wetsuit material ​is ​complex​.​ A single suit can use up to 15 different types of neoprene and/or rubber composites​. When these materials are combined in these ways it makes it hard to separate the materials at the end of their lives. This makes​ wetsuit recycling nearly impossible​ at this point​.​ 

Be the change you want to see

I have been fascinated by sustainability and material design and how it can bring about positive change for several years. With a variety of my design and art projects, I have always tried to utilise waste materials and create a circular economy. I admit it’s not perfect but am on a journey, taking steps towards a very idealistic goal, so please bear with me!

By making and trying new things I hope to raise awareness and find solutions. I hope that by utilising this recycled/upcycled wetsuit material I can make a product that is useful and brings positive outcomes for our environment. The wetsuit hangers straps are made from wetsuits I get from surfer friends and local surf clubs. (Please get in touch if you have any and I would be happy to take them off your hands and ensure they don’t ​end up in land-fill). The hanger body is made from a sustainable FSC wood which is CNC’d locally here in Bristol by a KWMC Factory, a community based digital fabrication factory. The wetsuit straps are then sewn by a local seamstress with an industrial sewing machine providing local people with work.

 
I am so grateful for the positive messages and reviews of the product so far. I hope that by bringing awareness to this issue I can be a small cog in the machine that brings about lasting positive change.​ Please subscribe and join me on the journey.

10 Reasons to use Bee Friendly Rape Seed Oil and where to get the best stuff

Bee friendly

Love bees, nature and healthy living? My partner and I have started to move away from Olive Oils using the local British rapeseed oil for a variety of reasons. Here are 9 good reasons to use Rapeseed Oil over any other oil and where to get the best Rapeseed Oil in Britain helping our bees at the same time!

To be clear we are talking Cold-pressed rapeseed oil, sometimes labelled premium, virgin or extra-virgin which has many health benefits over other traditionally used oils.

1. The oil is celebrated for its health benefits as it has less unhealthy saturated fat than ALL other cooking oils and fats.

2. It is also high in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats omega 3, 6 and 9.
That’s good for brains and may help you fight against cardiovascular disease.

3. It’s a rich source of vitamin E.

4. Cooking benefits – rapeseed oil can be used at high temperatures so no burning & smoking!

5. It’s great used cold as well, for salad dressings, sauces and marinades.

6. Great flavour that lets the others shine through! Rapeseed Oil has a very light and delicate flavour so you get the best from the flavours of other ingredients in your dishes

7. Baking – rapeseed oil is a great substitute for butter (we haven’t tried this yet but heard its can!

8. Great to cook with, on salads etc.

9. Its made in Britain so it’s supporting local sustainable businesses

10. Ok maxed out and can’t find another reason but here are some fantastic farmers who are supporting bee-friendly practices by not using neonicotinoid seed treatments on their land. Please try to support them as they try to keep a natural balance in farm ecosystems: visit http://www.rapeseedoilguide.com/

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