Continued on from Part One..
You dive deep, holding onto air, pushing yourself against gravity and your natural buoyancy heading for the sea floor
Ears beginning to feel the pressure, you pinch your nose and equalise between strokes. Repeat, deeper, now you’re at five meters grazing the sand and grabbing onto rocks, propelling yourself forward. After a minute of the air in your lungs being processed and pumped through your veins, the sensation as it’s running out spreads throughout your body, and your mind.
Your airways, your throat and lungs, are feeling the burn. Just a little longer. you know you could stay, push those boundaries. You turn upright and ascend to the mottled, distorted surface world above.
Air, beautiful air floods in. The rush filters through to the tip of your limbs, tingling with fresh oxygen.
Spent. Hungry. Time to head back..
Bobbing in the drink you tread water and regain your bearings – locate your towel and mates layer out on the sand. There’s a bit of drift today, so you crawl back to shore slowly, avoiding taking in any more salt water. Getting closer to the break, something slimy sticks to your arm..
Is it a jellyfish? You flinch, projecting yourself away from the slime. But its stuck. In a flash of movement you’ve unstuck it and brought it to the surface..
In front of you bobs confusion.
What’s that doing here? Pure confusion, as an A5 sized slither of discoloured plastic bag floats lifelessly on the surface.
The moment only lasts a couple of seconds, before you grab it a fist and continue back to shore.
You discard the bag piece behind your gear. The beach chatter continues beyond drying yourself off.
How was it?
Good. Really good. Wish I had my mask though hey. You’re gonna laugh, but I’m hungry though!
A box of bbq shapes does the rounds around the group, eagerly devoured in moments, fending off hunger for only a second but tasting oh-so-good. Anything for salty food at the beach, despite being immersed in it!
Sun’s giving up, dropping to sleep rapidly. we’re approached by the cliffs shadows, once they reach us we’ll pack up. It might be warm out here but it’s still October lingering in that evening darkness on the beach.
The shadows arrive. We depart. Rinsing off at the top of the stair, juggling possession whilst balancing on one foot wiping sand off the other. Repeat for the opposite.
What a day!
Check this out – could be worse hey
A text pops up with a link.
It’s true. It’s everywhere. You’ll go to a beach this summer and you’ll see it, without fail.
But where do we begin? How do approach this problem??
I’ve been active and watching people worry about ocean plastic pollution (link to amcs site) for some time. People see the scale of it, the impact on marine life and whole ecosystems, the extent of the waste, and they want to know what they can do? What can one person do? Where do you begin??
Here’s a couple of tips to get you started, or, if you’re already started, reminded 😉
- Break the problem up into smaller pieces
Any task we approach we first break it down into smaller pieces to assist in making things easier. You’ve had a massive party, and there’s stuff everywhere. It looks like a bomb’s gone off – where do you begin? You do the rubbish, put everything away, wipe down, sweep up, wash, mop and finish with a big breakie feast to reward yourself for getting it sorted.
This issue is the same: best broken up into a range of areas of life. At home, at work, out eating, at school, travelling, at others homes etc. It can also be broken down into local, state, national, and international focuses.
The beauty of breaking it up is you can then focus on one area at a time, rather than getting caught up in many. For example, spending your time worrying about the extent of pollution coming from SE Asia and what you can do about it. Before you can comprehend this, you need to focus on your own backyard – something you can change right now, before turning to complex international issues.
- Start with one change. One simple change.
Say you’re focusing on your plastic use at home, or whilst travelling. Focus on one item that you’re going to introduce to your life to reduce your plastic use – let’s say, a bag – and grow from there. Once you’ve nailed remembering that at all times, then move onto other items, like your own coffee mug, reusable cutlery, and takeaway containers. Most of these can go into said bag, making it all the more easier not to forget.
Again, it’s breaking it up and forming many small but strong habits over a year. And, when you succeed with that one simple change, you continually reinforce your efforts by knowing you’re doing a great thing!
- Involve other people
Involve your mates, family members, co-workers, and more. If people ask, tell them about why you’re doing it, and consider showing them a video like this – videos say a million words. And on top of the why, let them know your successes. People have to know the truth of the issue AND know that there’s people around them that they care about working on putting an end to it.
There are many, many, many aspects to positive change and making a difference, but globally they all start with a simple few steps taken by the individual. Begin with these three steps and lead by example, and prove to yourself that it can be done.
Two weeks ago I attended Beyond Plastic Pollution – a three day conference in Sydney, that brought together industry leaders from all over the country (and overseas), to take a moment to focus solely on the issue of ocean plastic pollution.
I’ve kept it separate to this piece, and will load it up next week – AMCS will also be using it for their online blog on their website.