As we observed Australia Day yesterday, along the coast of South Australia the beaches were packed. We’re experiencing a heatwave here in Adelaide, so it's no surprise so many family and friend groups fled to the sea to cool off, a rather idyllic picture I’m sure you’ll agree.
Thus, I started my day today with a revitalizing sunrise SUP (stand up paddle). It really was sublime - that is, until I came across a mass of floating debris 20 metres offshore. A bobbing collection of discarded wrappers, coffee cups, ice cream tubs and spoons. My floating platform became a collection site for these containers and plastic wrapping. This section of ocean is frequented by dolphins, crabs, rays and is home to a plethora of unassuming, shy ocean life.
16kms away my partner was training his horse along a stretch of beach where - every 200 metres there is a council rubbish bin provided - from Largs Bay to Grange. Dozens of glass beer bottles were strewn around on the beach.
Perhaps many of us don’t deserve to share this natural privilege? Perhaps we need to underline to our kids that rubbish should be disposed of. Perhaps it's not kids leaving their waste behind at all but people who don’t know how to respect the environment.
Alarming ocean debris statistics
When it comes to sources of ocean pollution, it is estimated that approximately 80% comes from land based sources. The remaining 20% comes from marine sources such as boats.
As a result of ocean pollution, over 1 million marine animals die each year. This includes fish, birds, and other sea life.
National Geographic reported back in 2015 that...
...the numbers are staggering: There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea.
It seems that a refresher of best practice conduct would be helpful as a reminder that to continue to enjoy the natural beauty around us we must respect it. Here’s a video that highlights how we can keep plastics out of our ocean through working together.
It might seem insignificant, but it’s not
Simply take your rubbish with you. Dispose of it on the way home. That way everyone benefits from the natural beauty around us - and for longer.
Kineo’s Environmental Awareness course is also a great way to get into the reduction of waste spread headspace. Everything we do contributes to the carbon footprint we leave on the planet. The planet is gradually getting hotter, causing the climate to rapidly change. By striving for a smaller carbon footprint, we can reduce the number of harmful greenhouse gases and slow the warming of the planet we call home.
Those conscientious folk, for now, will have to take on the duty of others in minimizing the spread of waste to keep our environment clear, clean and safe for the use of everyone.
Be green people, please.