PADDLE BOARDERS - YOUR OCEAN NEEDS YOU!
“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”
Annie Leonard, Proponent of Sustainability
Working in the water-sports industry is both a blessing and a responsibility.
For as long as I can remember, my dream was to live in a beach house, have a surf shack .... on the beach, selling smoothies to surfers ..... on the beach, talking all "surf jango" and quoting Point Break at every opportunity .... whilst sitting on the beach!
"Surfing's the source, man. Can change your life. Swear to god" We've all said or at the very least, thought that right??
However, in the 28 years since that movie was first screened (yes really ..... 28 years!!), things have changed drastically for our oceans and its inhabitants and the problem is growing at an exponential rate.
Being on the beach or by the river, every day, in some kind of capacity, is an eye opener. Our waterways are choking with the plastic waste, while chemical and oil spills create hazardous conditions for wildlife to survive in. As someone who relies on the ocean for both work, play and healing, I have taken on the mantle ... along with thousands of ocean advocates world wide, to do something about it.
Below are some of the amazing things that you can do to eliminate single use plastics from our bins, our beaches and our oceans!
GET INVOLVED - COMMUNITY BEACH CLEANING
Up and down the country (and across the globe) people are giving up some of their spare time and beach cleaning! There are many benefits to this. First and foremost - clean beaches, which means that our wildlife both land and sea wont suffer as a consequence of digestion, entanglement or worse.
Equally, being part of a community of people that care about the same things you care about, is good for the soul. Its easy to get over whelmed with that feeling of "how can I make a difference on my own" well hey presto .... you aren't on your own, and every thing you do, however big or small counts!
Groups and organisations such as SAS (Surfers Against Sewage), MCS (Marine Conservation Society) and Keep Britain Tidy are prolific with their engagement and beach cleans. Just google beach cleans in your area and you will find a location or a date.
GET INVOLVED - HAVE YOU GOT TWO MINUTES?
OF COURSE YOU HAVE!
Have you ever been walking down the beach with your dog, kids, paddle board or all three and found washed up trash, or the remains of someones BBQ, or a manky old flip flops? Did you think to your self "Its not my problem"? Did you turn away and pretend you didn't see it? After all its someone else's problem right? WRONG. BIG MASSIVE WRONG! It's all of our problem, and slowly and surely, there are signs that there has been a shift in attitude.
Now, even if you only have two minutes to spare, you can make a difference. Download the "Beach Clean App" and next time you spot some rubbish ... Pick it, snap it #TAGIT #2minutebeachclean ... and you will make a difference. Watch the video below and find out why it's so so important to make time to care.
GET INVOLVED - BECOME A CITIZEN SCIENTIST
The following information has been taken from Earthday.org
"Citizen science involves members of the public in scientific research, to meet real world goals. Members of the public collect and share information at scales and resolutions previously unachievable" Citizen science projects vary in themes, scale, and type of activity. Projects investigate a huge range of topics; for example, projects explore local water quality parameters, find and classify galaxies, and investigate personal genomes and health".
I recently collected micro-plastics from the River Adur, for our friends at REPLASTIC. They are currently running a "Washed Up" campaign, which involves volunteers from around the country, sending plastics found on their local beaches or river banks, which will then be analysed, to extract data, on what types of plastics are washing up on different parts of coast lines, as well as demonstrating visually the extent of the problem.
I spent one hour, on one stretch of the river and very quickly filled a bag up with rubbish.
GET INVOLVED - ECO BRICKS!
“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, designed or removed from production.”– Pete Seeger, Folk Singer & Social Activist
Whilst looking to find ways to eliminate single use plastics from the general waste, I stumbled across this fantastic idea, and have been "Eco-Bricking" ever since! An Ecobrick is a reusable building block created by packing clean and dry used plastic into a plastic bottle, to a set density. Ecobricks enable us to take personal responsibility for our plastic. Around the world people are using Ecobricks to build in a whole new way. From indoor furniture, to gardens and parks, to structures — your imagination is the only limit!
It may not be the perfect solution - but it is a solution none the less. You can find out more on their website, or join one of your local Ecobrick Facebook Groups, as its well worth going to a demonstration, due to a relatively strict set of procedures.
The additional benefit to eco-bricking is that it really makes you look at the amount of plastics you inadvertently purchase on a daily basis and makes you re-think every single item you buy
If you want to find out more about any of these projects, or how you can get involved get in touch.
#DoSomethingDifferent #InspireToInspire #plasticfree
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