We shall fight on the beaches…

The Zero Waste life is eyeballing me. I can’t look away.

On Sunday night our family sat down, as we always do, to watch David Attenborough. It was Blue Planet 2. If you haven’t tuned in yet, I can’t recommend the series strongly enough.

Sir David, for the first time that I can remember, drew his attention to plastic in our oceans.

This issue has been on my mind for some time now. I go walking on the beach regularly. Even though I live in southern New Zealand, about as far from the large populations of the world as you can get, I find plastic rubbish to take with me when I leave.

Every time I walk, I “take 3 for the sea”, yet there is always more than I take, much more than I can carry.

take 3 for the sea

I take 3 for the sea every time I walk, but it’s just a drop in the ocean…

The thought of what lies beneath the waves of the world disturbs me. The beach – the ocean – is a place I have always come to in my life for peace and reflection. It’s a place I visit to collect my thoughts, to meditate and relax.

The sound of the water and the smell of the salt soothes me. It’s my heart place, the place I feel safe and calm.

Sometimes tragedies grow in your mind, looming larger, until they become so personal that they engulf you and you have to act.

This is what has happened to me. The tragedy of our oceans has become my tragedy.

So over the next year, our family will reduce our waste. I will reduce our waste. I don’t know if we’ll get down to the mason jar levels I’ve seen by the Zero Waste community of the world, but we’ll do what we can. I’ll talk about it, here at this blog.

This is my call to arms, and I’ve called others in too. It’s good to know I’m not alone. We’re building a community here in Dunedin, with our first meeting next week. All of us feel the same way and want to see change happen locally. We’ll support each other, encourage each other, and hopefully bring a few more on board. Create change for the better.

I’m not a granola-eating hippie. I don’t bake my own bread, make my own clothes or smoke pot (lol). I’m just an ordinary person who loves the beach and wants the beaches to stay beautiful for her great-grandchildren. Doesn’t everyone want these things?

So I’ll dare use the great words: we shall fight on the beaches. I don’t think Churchill would have minded me using his quote, because it’s time to make changes for his great-grandchildren too.

8 thoughts on “We shall fight on the beaches…

  1. Hey. Great post. I was watching the same show and I was saying how amazing it is to go from sheer joy to sheer horror and sadness in the space of just a few minutes of television…and it’s real! Why can’t people see that things need to change? Here is hoping that this is the beginning of something amazing…for the right reasons.


    • Thanks Graham πŸ™‚

      We really need to change, and when I learned that a full half of the plastic problem is single-use plastics that are used for a matter of minutes before being thrown away, it became absolutely clear that the time to act is now.

      Sir David is right. As always.

      Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • I sometimes wonder who will take his place when he eventually no longer does what he does. I can’t think of anyone who carries the same level of respect or experience.

        I wonder how we could live without plastic packaging and bags…not easy I suspect…one to think about…


  2. No-one will tale his place. I love the thought that sometimes people are irreplaceable πŸ™‚

    We can live without plastic. I’m working towards doing so, and failing miserably! That doesn’t mean I’m not trying, and won’t keep trying, but what attempting to go Zero Waste is teaching me is that our whole system of distribution, packaging and processing needs to transform. However, if we don’t at least try, and by doing so send strong messages to the producers of our food and other goods that we’ve had enough of plastic, nothing will change. So we need to send that message, no matter how difficult it is to do so.


  3. Hi Lee, it’s great to hear that you’re part of a community in Dunedin working to tackle this issue. People power is required more than ever to convince the Government to take action to protect our oceans from single-use plastics. It would be great to connect you with other local groups. Feel free to call our team on 0800 22 33 44 to chat further. Many thanks, Camilla from Greenpeace


  4. I LOVE this! Have you heard about Chris Jordan and his photography project from Midway Island? I think you might like it because he talks about how this very remote island has birds on it that when they die, you can see just how much plastic they’ve ingested during their lives. It’s even more remote than that Pacific Garbage Patch.

    I love what you’re doing with the group where you live. I would love to hear how it progresses. I’m in the States. Kudos to you for making the choice to start working on such a massive problem, because you’re right. We want the world to be a better place for generations to come.


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