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Merman of the Month Oktober – Aleksis Oreschnikoff

Aleksis is a sailor with a lot of love for the ocean. He came to Norway in 2016 to work on sailing boats in the Arctic waters, and to study in Northern Norway. But being out in the ocean wasn’t enough for this Finn- he wanted to do something to take care of it too. That is why Aleksis has now started Nordic Ocean Watch in Finland! He has brought the tavaha spirit to the country of a thousand lakes (and a pretty long coastline) and we’re certain that if someone will be able to spread the tavaha-spirit, it’s this guy!

Who?

Aleksis, 26 years old, student, nomad, sailor.

What are you doing nowadays?

I will be starting a masters degree programme at the University of Helsinki this fall,
meaning that I’ll probably spend the next 2 years mostly in Helsinki. I’ve been
working onboard sailing ships and boats around the Nordics for quite awhile now,
and hope to continue aside my studies.

I’m really excited about launching NOW in Finland, and I’m scouting for partnerships and collaborations with Finnish companies and organizations; I hope to help spreading the tavaha-spirit among sailors, surfers and all landlubbers in Finland!

What do you do to take care of the ocean? What does tavaha mean to you? 

Personally I try to pay as much attention as possible as a consumer. I do think, however, that consumer behavior is not always enough, and sometimes political action should be taken to make change visible. I also try to motivate people to
realize their own potential in regards to sustainability. I understand tavaha as the way to realize the significance of the oceans in our lives.

What do you consider the most important challenge we have to solve in order to save
the oceans?

I consider the growing amount of microplastics in our oceans as the most important
challenge we’re currently facing. In order to address the challenge I think it’s
necessary to invest in technological solutions, but we should try to find
ways to live and consume without (micro)plastics in general. It’s not enough to prescribe medicaments, but to find and eliminate the source of the disease. Divest from plastic!

What are your three tavaha tips for taking care of the ocean?21362748_1428157980601184_1467475978_n

1) refuse to use and to consume plastic; when shopping, pay attention to the
amount of plastic and packaging. If you’ve forgotten your reusable shopping bag,
come up with a solution (ie. ask for a cardboard box to carry your groceries in).

2) prefer natural products when buying cosmetics or clothing; make sure that the
products you buy do not contain microplastics or microfibers

3) reduce and refuse to eat meat; prefer locally harvested plant-based sustenance. When buying any
agricultural produce prefer local and organic (specifically in meat and dairy).

What is your happiest ocean moment?

My happiest ocean moment occurs always when I’ve sailed far enough not to see land anymore. Out at the open ocean, knowing that I can sail anywhere, is where I’m happiest.

What do you want to thank the ocean for?21325962_1428159030601079_888408824_n

It’s hard to come up with a thank you note without seeming corny, but I’d like to
thank the ocean for showing me the complexities and all the intriguing pieces of
nature, for being the environment for cultures to flourish, and pretty much for
producing life.