5th June is World Environment Day – #BeatPlasticPollution
I’m sure by now most of us have seen this disturbing video on social media of the disgusting island of plastic floating in the Caribbean Ocean.
Perhaps it’s easy to put it out of our minds as it is so far away and has little to do with our day to day lives.
But nothing could be further from the truth. In our everyday lives we can make small changes that would all add up to create a huge impact – as big as that island but in reverse!
Seeing the world though the eyes of a child
Last year we travelled to South Africa as a family and visited a couple of places in Simon’s Town where I spent 5 years of my childhood from age 8 to 13. Some things have stayed exactly the same and it was really like stepping into the shoes of my eight, nine, ten year old self.
During those years we lived in the house my Dad grew up in, above Boulder’s Beach, that was our view! It was the perfect place for us three little kids to grow up in, my mum gave us the freedom of the beach, the rocks and the sea. (She was a much braver mum than I am now with my own kids.)
Boulder’s Beach Penguin Sanctuary
Now things have changed there. Around the time we left a few African penguins (also called jackass penguins because of the braying noise they make) started to nest amongst the rocks and in the bushes and now the whole stretch along from Boulder’s to Seaforth has become a sanctuary and has been declared a Natural World heritage Site. You can access the beaches if you are a resident otherwise you have to pay to enter.
As kids we were disappointed to discover that our beloved beaches and rocks had been taken over by noisy stinky birds and that we no longer had access to some of the best playground in the world.
But bringing my own children back made me see again how precious an experience it is being able to care for and watch creatures in their natural habitat rather than in a zoo or even worse, extinct in a museum!
They enjoyed discovering the birds between the boulders and I loved seeing them exploring the same places I did when I was their ages.
Cape Point Nature Reserve
After we watched the penguins for a while we took a drive all the way down to the stunning Cape of Good Hope – or Cape Point.
Oh my goodness, I can’t even begin to describe how awe inspiring this reserve is, photos definitely don’t do it justice!
This the view from the tip of Cape Point looking out across where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. It is breathtakingly beautiful and there’s no way you can not be moved by how magnificent our seas are.
But sadly, they aren’t beautiful everywhere anymore. I’ve always wanted to go to the Caribbean but now I’m not so sure.
Why is World Environment Day Important?
As I said above, one day our children may not be able to experience, care for and watch creatures in their natural habitat if we continue to pollute at the rate we currently are. At the moment many species are only accessible to us in zoos or tragically are extinct and now stand stuffed in a museum somewhere.
If we would like our children and grandchildren to enjoy this world then we need to be proactive and not just reactive in the way we treat it. In other words we need to go out and DO something about it – today!
Our current global population is over 7 billion people and this is increasing at an alarming rate. Litter and plastic use will inevitably increase too if we don’t make changes. Having a specific day with a dedicated theme helps raise awareness, gives us ideas of how we can make changes ourselves and presents us with opportunities to teach our children about the importance of caring for our world.
We have a responsibility to care for our world, we are the only species capable of doing that. We only have one world, I’m not prepared to move to mars or the moon or anywhere else!
World Environment Day
So World Environment Day is on 5th June and this year the focus is on plastic pollution. Apart from that video I mentioned above, I know there are other distressing images of sea creatures disfigured and killed by plastic that we carelessly toss away.
We can make a start by making small changes in our own lives about how much plastic we use. Some of the things we do here are:
- use reusable shopping bags
- stick to the guidelines of our local recycling depot (don’t contaminate the recycling)
- avoid using shower gels but use bars of soap instead to cut down on bottles
- stop buying twist-up crayons that come with plastic tube surrounds and buy ‘normal’ ones instead
- pick up litter that lies in the ditches on the roads outside our house and in other public areas in our neighbourhood.
- Swap family cars for Full Hybrid Electric Vehicles
- Pick up litter people have left on our local beaches and rivers here in Wexford, Ireland.
World Environment Day – #BeatPlasticPollution Tag Game
This year bloggers as well as anyone who uses social media are invited to play a global game of tag!
Thanks to Katie from Living Life Our Way for the tag!
(If you are a blogger writing a post, this is the part you can copy and edit! No need to write a whole post as I have above.)
If you’d like to join in, here are some guidelines:
How to Play
The major issue of plastic pollution has been gaining much awareness lately, thanks to numerous documentaries and high profile campaigns. As we wake up to the level of destruction to our planet caused by single-use plastics, people are increasingly switching to reusables. Join us in this global game of tag by sharing photos of your reusables to help #beatplasticpollution Let’s play!
All games have rules 😉 These ones are very simple…
1. Take a photo of between 1- 3 reusable items that you personally have switched to, in order to help tackle plastic pollution.
2. Caption your photo with a short message to raise awareness.
3. Also include your top tip for beating plastic pollution.
4. Share your photo and caption, along with your top tip on your blog, plus any social media channel, tagging at least three other people.
5. Please also link back to me in your blog post and tag me on social media, thank you!
That’s it, just 5 easy steps!
Oh, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #BeatPlasticPollution and #WorldEnvironmentDay in your posts too!
My Top Tip
Get the kids to help you clean out any plastic items properly before putting them in the recycling bin – get them involved with caring for the future of our world.
Here’s my photo…
What switches have you made to help #BeatPlasticPollution? Tell me all about it!