What is your pet peeve? Is there something that really gets you riled? Mine is rubbish. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and everyday our beautiful beach is inundated with garbage left by unthinking and uncaring visitors.
What is to be done? Pick up after the grubs? Ask around, you will be surprised how many people actually get down the beach and collect bags of the stuff. Every day…EVERY SINGLE DAY! I can think of three off the top of my head, four if you include myself!
We could always hire a person to collect all the trash left lying, not only on our beach, but in our streets and in our front yards. But who can afford that and why should we?
How about education? Educate people that it is not okay to just dump and run. Educate the visitors that have travelled millions of miles to enjoy our beautiful area that they need to show some respect. Educate our kids to look after this beautiful earth and she will continue to look after us.
But, and it’s a big but, we ALL need to rethink our attitude to consumables. We need to rethink our use of non-recyclables and start saying ‘no’ to plastic bags, ‘no’ to plastic straws, ‘no’ to one-use coffee/milkshake/ juice/ ice-cream cups.
The most serious offender is plastic bags. According to Greenpeace, Australians use around 4 billion plastic bags every year – that’s a huge 10 million or so each day. An estimated 50 million of these end up in our waterways and ocean. That is enormous.
We have to act. South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and ACT already have. Now it’s time for the other states to step up and take plastic bags off the shopping list.
Statistics show that Queensland beaches have more and more rubbish left on them every year. Environment Minister, Steven Miles, said there was more litter in Queensland than in any other state, with discarded rubbish recorded at levels almost 40 per cent above the national average.
He said marine wildlife, and turtles in particular, were bearing the brunt of the littering problem. Some of this garbage come from boats, but most of it comes from landed pollution, i.e. stuff people have thrown into stormwater drains and gutters and leave on the beach when they go.
Take it with you people, or better still don’t take it to the beach in the first place. Take water bottles from home, pack your lunch in reusable containers, take your own coffee cup to your favourite café and get them to fill it for you. Please think!
Next time you see garbage lying around pick it up, don’t just walk past. Otherwise you are part of the problem! Little steps, but they will all help.
And learn to say ‘no’.