Wellbeing
Comments 42

There’s no such place as ‘Away’

Picking up litter on the beach for wellbeing and self care of me and the planet

Rubbish from my early morning beach walk today #australia #beachwalk #litter #plastic #sad

I went for a walk this morning on a local beach near Byron Bay; the tide was super high, as there’s a storm sitting off the East coast, so the waves were frothing and pounding.

Without searching for them, I picked up these pieces of plastic directly in my path- the red one is a balloon. I always collect rubbish, and have written about it before HERE, including my top 3 tips for reducing plastic consumption.

A couple of days ago, I watched a pelican swooping down to the same sand; I dread thinking about plastic shards in its belly.

A friend summed it up terrifyingly: there’s no such place as ‘Away’. No plastic we use just disappears… it takes generations of time.

So carry your own takeaway coffee cup: Australia uses over 1 billion a year.

Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups every year, and 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles every hour.Carry Your Cup website

I simply want ’17’ to be able to walk on a beach NOT covered in plastic, with his grandchildren…

Please help me out. We need to behave responsibly for all our future great-grandchildren don’t we? Gun control, climate change, and misuse of resources especially plastic are all linked to our beloved children and their futures aren’t they?

Picking up litter on the beach for wellbeing and self care of me and the planet

Rubbish from my early morning beach walk today #australia #beachwalk #litter #plastic #sad

 

42 Comments

  1. Thank you for this post, G. I confess I’ve been very down lately, and have been feeling very frustrated at the (apparent) lack of caring or lack of understanding over all these issues. I have one acquaintance who is on the same page as me, but he keeps saying “we must not lecture”… to which I invariably think, “I have cloth grocery bags that are 27 years old. I’ve been working on *be[ing] the change* for SO long. How bad do things have to get before we are *allowed* to lecture?” (It’s not that I want to lecture; I just want people to connect the dots and take responsibility for their actions…)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, the ‘not lecturing’ isn’t working, is it? … so, lecture away, I say. Get righteously angry and let all and sundry know you are angry. Find like-minded people who are also angry. That’s how movements begin. No change was ever driven or brought about by ‘not lecturing’.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 🙂
        In fairness to my acquaintance, his feeling is that lecturing causes people to further dig in their heels and to become purposefully obstinate. At this point in time, though, I agree with you, and I AM choosing to speak up, his lecturing me not to lecture aside. I had what can only be called a vehement discussion with a cashier the other day, about the inanity of the store charging for bags but NEGLECTING to tell people they were charging for bags. (How on Earth are people to be incentivized to bring in their own bags (or to forgo a needless one) if they don’t even realize (unless they check their receipt) that they are being charged for bags?)

        Liked by 2 people

        • Good on you Marian. I’m delighted to say that our local big supermarket has banned plastic bags, and now sells cotton ones if people forget to bring their own; like your previous point, I remember my Dad using calico bags 25 years ago too, so we do need to keep ‘being the Change’, but also being vocal about why. Sounds like you’re doing an awesome job, thank you- and perhaps your friend is just not the ‘vocal’, assertive type? It takes all sorts to ‘be the Change’, as long as he’s not using plastic! Blessings, G

          Liked by 2 people

    • Yes indeed! I hear you Marian, and I’m sure all my readers do too. We DO need to lecture- to protest- to disobey- to organise- to strike- our politicians are sending us all to Hell with their short term policy decisions, and I’m ready to rebel along with all those wonderful teenagers in America #NeverAgain #guncontrol #TIMESUP

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The sad truth is that every plastic that has ever been made is still with us, and although it breaks down, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces – to a plastic ‘soup’. Now for the good news; just one example; Ellen MacArthur, the British round-the-world sailor, has set up a foundation that is actively working towards a ‘circular economy’. One huge part of their focus is the plastic problem. There are some BIG names signed up, the kind of companies that own all the companies you’ve heard of. And they are making huge strides towards a better future. Just wanted to throw some light out there because we try and do our bit but can feel so helpless faced with the big picture. If anyone is interested in taking a look, there’s alot of ‘business speak’, which goes over my head, but I feel so encouraged that those who are in a position to beat this at the heart of it are really trying to find solutions.
    https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awesome- thank you Lockwood : )
      And there are plastic-eating mushrooms being developed too, which is fantastic. We each need to do our little bit in our pocket of our world don’t we? The big companies, and the average householder walking quietly on the beach: together we are powerful. Thank you for sharing the link- it looks great : )

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s so bizarre because so many more people are becoming more thoughtful and more aware of the environment but the impact does not seem to be happening in the right places

        Liked by 2 people

      • Higher population on your side of Au would be very much responsible for that. I don’t know any SA beaches that have rubbish, and I go to a few. Having said that, the problems is definitely growing and in some places, enormous.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Coyote from Orion says

      Venice beach, CA was my first experience of seeing that much plastic. The plastic surgeons must have been surfing in money.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I would like to add, teach your children to pick up after themselves. As a former high school teacher, I can say that I was discouraged by how much garbage kids drop and leave. Pet peeve – sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It drives me mad the still lack of environment conscience in people.Our school got the green flag and I m one of the green parent,well this is what I thought because I am actually the only green parent.Not a committee tha gives you enough visibility…..waste of time as nobody sees what you do but,after bringing the kids along with the teacher to the local recycle center I understood a lot:one example over all…….some kid was convinced that throwing the apple s core was not littering as the birds could eat it😱😱😱sorry for the rant.its just that if we all do our little everything would work better

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gabrielle, this is a fantastic message! It’s so important to be environmentally responsible. I really appreciate this, and you for picking up the rubbish. 🙂 Thanks. Hope you are doing well, and blessings to you. Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We all have to do our bit, and not leaving plastic shrapnel in our public areas is a huge part of that, but I wish manufacturers would get the memo as well. When I go to the supermarket I refuse to put fruit and vegies in clear plastic bags unless they’re so small they’d fall through the bars of the trolley if left ‘naked’. Even my local IGA refuses to replace the clear plastic with paper, yet paper bags can be so easily recycled. In fact, if we replaced the clear plastic bags in supermarkets with old-fashioned paper, we might be able to recycle all the paper that currently has no ‘use’. Grrrrr…
    We are going to kill ourselves and everything else off in our pursuit of ‘convenience’. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agree 100%. I try to not even go to the supermarket or mall, I find them SO depressing. It is absolutely up to us as consumers to realize what power we have, and just say No to as much plastic as possible. There’s really no excuse anymore- there are reusable glass coffee cups available/bamboo or tin straws/bamboo biodegradable toothbrushes/wax wraps and paper for food/canvas bags for shopping/refillable stainless steel water bottles- GET ONTO IT PEOPLE I say! Thanks for commenting : )

      Like

  7. thetotalfemme says

    Same same, whenever I walk the beach in Provincetown! Darling, how about stopping by The Total Femme this Friday to be featured on Femme Friday as a femme concerned with environmental justice (along with all the other things that you do and that you are!)? I would love to feature you!!! Email me? thetotalfemme@gmail .com xottf

    Liked by 1 person

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