Earth Day marks the birth of the environmental movement in 1970

Earth Day, fo reals? Silly me, thought everyday was Earth Day.

The Earth Day celebration marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. This day has had significant impact on uniting people across the political spectrum, raising awareness of environmental sustainability.

This year’s focus has been unsurprisingly, plastic pollution! Let’s work hard to inspire, educate and facilitate change. We got this.


Reduce,re-use,recycle

After trash party, I started seeing @cocacola products littering the streets. There isn’t more trash than usual – My perception has just changed. My eyes have started to hunt for trash. I’ve picked up so many coke cans that I now cringe when I see it’s packaging.

I am somewhat of a hypocrite. I cringe at coke cans but I probably consume more boutique beer than your average @cocacola drinker. It’s the same thing. I don’t think twice when I buy beer. To me, it’s an essential lifestyle choice, like a great bottle of wine, or a gooey (plastic-free) cheese.

Recycling is still a thing in our household. We have significantly reduced it by bringing our own containers, making our own beer and reusing/donating jars and bottles for food storage. It’s now taking roughly 6 weeks to fill the recycling bin when it used to take 2. I’d love to reduce this further.

 


2 people. 1 hour. 6 bags of trash.

2 people. 1 hour. 6 bags of trash.

Thank you @_jameslake for making this a trash party. While ducks quacked and cyclists called out nice things, we found plastic bags, @cocacola @jimbeamofficial@venergydrinkaustralia and beer cans, an empty bottle of Passion Pop, a shoe, a NSW licence plate, a styrofoam box, a large piece of soundproofing foam, a nappy, countless chocolate bar wrappers, chips packets, a pack of @johnsonsbaby baby wipes, a VHS, bottle tops, @mcdonalds cups, sunglasses, a never-ending amount of plastic straws and a whole lot of plastic bottles from @evianwater @mountfranklin and @colessupermarkets. Why do we still buy water in plastic bottles!? How is that acceptable?! So many things are destined for trash… Thank you to everybody that helped with #trashparty. I will certainly do it again, just going to have a little break. Looking at the area, I’m so proud of what we’ve all achieved together in only 5 weeks. Roughly 7 x 120L landfill bins all up!! You guys rock! @annie_walter @_jameslake@ameerkat_47 @_michaelacatherine@suey_g @kalaharihel @hoppingtonpost plus those I don’t have on Insta. What a great ending to @plasticfreejuly


Trash party

This Sunday is the last #trashparty for @plasticfreejuly.

A month ago, I set the goal of cleaning up a small part of the Merri Creek for one hour every Sunday in July. If anyone else came along, it was a bonus – and what a bonus it was!! So far, with the help of friends, we have filled 5 and a half landfill bins (120L each).

This is a big achievement for me, but it’s just another day for the legends at @friendsofmerricreek who have been tirelessly cleaning the creek for a long time now. I have so much respect for people who do this kind of thing regularly, even at a small scale. It’s hard work! One hour of picking up rubbish made my back sore. The walk to the car carrying loads of rubbish made my arms dead (Exercise? What’s that!?). We found some seriously gross items in the creek including a crack pipe and loads of syringes. Last week, I travelled interstate to get there on time and when I finally arrived, it rained heavily – yet we still managed to stick to the weekly goal.  I sound like I’m complaining but I have truly loved every minute of it.

This whole experience has created new memories from old junk, like this little rubber duckie… This toy was the first item I picked up one week. I was by myself, assuming nobody would turn up and I had a lovely surprise when friends appeared a few moments later. It made me so happy to see everyone that I kept this duck as a little memento. Trash Party has been more enjoyable than I had ever imagined and a nice excuse to be outside.

If you’d like to join, I’ll be under the Merri Creek bridge, near @ceresfairfood this Sunday from 3-4pm, weather permitting. If your heart is in the right place but your schedule isn’t, that’s ok. We’re all in this together. Special thanks to the following accounts for picking up trash and inspiring me to follow suit: @lifewithoutplastic @take3forthesea@seashepherdmarinedebristeam@_wastelandrebel_ @waronwasteau@plasticfreemermaid


Better packaging options

If I had my way, @invisiblezincau would be sold in a small glass container (100% plastic free) that I could return to them for reuse. It is an amazing product but it comes in a whole mess of plastic packaging. This is a company that has sound moral and ethical standards, its vegan and the product itself goes on smooth and lasts all day. I want to be able to support them but the packaging lets it down. It’s been hard to find an alternative. I’m currently using @sun.and.earth.zinc which is made from coconut oil and shea butter and comes in a reusable tin. It’s rock hard in winter and the mix is slightly inconsistent and clumpy on application. But otherwise, it’s a fair substitute for invisible zinc. I truly hope established brands are hearing our call for better packaging options


1 hour. 4 people. 6 bags of trash.

1 hour. 4 people. 6 bags of trash.

The things we dug up today made it feel like we were investigating a crime. Together, we found a syringe, an unused condom, a men’s wallet with membership cards, a pair of men’s jeans, a cardigan and maybe a small baggie of heroin!?

We also found loads of @woolworths_au and @colessupermarkets plastic bags, styrofoam, straws, @cocacola cans, @evianwater bottles, coffee cups, @cadbury and @nestle chocolate wrappers, a milk crate, an uneaten fun-sized bounty bar, a tyre iron, a @nikesoccer ball and an astonishing amount of @mcdonalds bags, burger boxes, cups and straws.

I think these McDonald’s straws are haunting me. Every week, there’s so many of them. They never die. Maybe they have special powers of immortality? Maybe if I hold one, I’ll become immortal too?? Thank you @_jameslake @hoppingtonpost and Kirsty from @girlsrockmelb for making this a Trash Party. Regardless of the never-ending straws, it’s been incredible to see our progress each week and have a different group of wonderful people helping out. You rock!


4 people. 1 hour. 7 bags of trash.

4 people. 1 hour. 7 bags of trash.

Thank you @ameerkat_47@_michaelacatherine and Peter for making this a Trash Party. We found a sock, a rubber duckie, a condom wrapper, 2 syringes, 10 golf balls, 3 @cocacola cans, 2 @carmanskitchen wrappers, 4 @mcdonaldscups, 5 beer bottles, a @jackdaniels_us can, lots of broken glass, countless straws (mostly #maccas), an unmanageable amount of plastic bags; and an alarming amount of highly recognisable chocolate wrappers including products from @nestle@cadburyoz and @whittakersnz.

It might be the designer in me speaking here, but the haunting resilience of this vibrant packaging seems like a terrible way to achieve brand awareness. I am hopeful that soon it will be normal for companies to take responsibility for the waste they generate by preventing it at a packaging and product design level.

I don’t believe this waste is created by people disposing of rubbish irresponsibly. It all appeared after the flash floods in December and looks like it’s been carried downstream from neighbouring homes.

To all the companies tagged here: How can we prevent this waste from being generated in the first place?


6 people + 1 dog. 1 hour. A trunk-load full of trash

6 people + 1 dog. 1 hour. A trunk-load full of trash. I could barely fit it all in the car!

Among the rubbish, we found countless straws, plastic bags, @mcdonalds cups, @cocacola bottles, @evianwater bottles, cans, chocolate wrappers, around 20 golf balls, a mobile phone, a phone cover, 3 syringes, a crack pipe, a raunchy playboy card, zippers, tennis balls and an unopened bottle of one of my favourite @valebrewing beers.
Thanks @ameerkat_47 @_michaelacatherine@annie_walter Cameron and @_jameslake for being total legends and making this a trash party.