The pollution of our oceans and coastlines has rightly risen up the news agenda in recent years, brought sharply into focus by the second edition of the BBC’s excellent Blue Planet programme. Whilst it’s easy to see the problems we are causing, and to feel like the challenge is insurmountable, there are a huge number of local and global initiatives to get involved with, and action that we can take as individuals.
Today, we wanted to share some inspiration: first looking at the Marine Conservation Society’s nationwide volunteer programme, Sea Champions, which our founder Karen has recently joined. Then, at the excellent work of one young man who has taken it upon himself clean up the UK’s beaches, spreading the conservation message and inspiring others to make their own changes.
Karen becomes a Sea Champion!
This month, our founder Karen has joined the Sea Champions: The Marine Conservation Society’s nationwide volunteer programme.
For over thirty years, the MCS has been the voice for the sea, representing the interests of all the fascinating creatures that live beneath the waves, our breath-taking coastal environment, all those who make a sustainable living from the sea and everyone who enjoys visiting our glorious coastline.
Under the Sea Champions programme, people can volunteer in a variety of ways, including organising hands-on beach cleans, participating in national campaigns, giving talks, attending local events, raising funds or promoting sustainable seafood choices in the local community.
The Sea Champions programme is all about working to empower people to bring about positive change in their communities, in whatever way they can. The Marine Conservation Society stress that people power is the key to bringing about change for the better. As it is us who will need to convince Governments of the need to protect our environment, help supermarkets to see the need to source sustainable seafood, and inform public opinion more widely.
Karen says: “Having been to India last year and seeing first hand the effects of plastic pollution in the sea in Goa, I wanted to do my bit, and support a great cause in my own country.
For decades The Marine Conservation Society have been empowering people to make our ocean use more sustainable, and to protect our sea-life and coastlines – so it was a natural choice for me.
We can also support each others’ campaigns – our #PointlessPlastics and their #STOPthePlasticTide. Finally, being a Sea Champion will encourage me to visit the coast more, which I love, as well as getting involved in the serious work of beach cleans!”
If you have any questions about the Sea Champions programme you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01989 561 573.
Charlie’s Quest to Save Our Oceans
One person who has set out to make a big difference to the environment is Charlie, a 5 year old who wants to protect all the sea-life and wildlife he loves from the rubbish on our beaches and in the oceans…
At 4 years old, Charlie overheard his parents discussing the detrimental effects all the plastic, rubbish and pollution in our seas, oceans and coastlines are having on all the sea-life and wildlife he loves. So he decided to do something to help. In March 2017 Charlie started beach cleaning… He loves it so much he has already completed 24 beach cleans. A phenomenal tally!
Alongside his beach cleaning expeditions, Charlie has his own Facebook page and Twitter account which he uses to share photos of his cleans, helping to create a network of like-minded people and inspire others to take action around the issues that they care about.
As you can see here, Charlie has engaged with and inspired people from all across the world. On social media he helps to connect people and shares messages and advice on how to change our behaviour in order to improve our impacts. From cutting out plastic straws in the Strawless in Seattle campaign, to educating people about which products contain plastics (you might be surprised about teabags), Charlie’s pages promote good practices in a truly wonderful way.
Charlie is one of the real unsung heroes of conservation. Doing it for the love of wildlife and sea life and out of a desire to make things better. (With recognition also very much deserved for Charlie’s extremely supportive parents!)
We asked Charlie what he has planned for 2018, and what OUR New Year resolution should be… Here’s what Charlie will be doing this year:
- I want to clean more beaches and help all the bird and the fishes
- I want to go with my Mummy and Daddy and help cafes stop using so much plastic
- I want to talk to my school with my Daddy and tell my friends what I do. I will ask some of my friends to help clean beaches too.
And here are your new New Year’s resolutions, courtesy of Charlie:
- Everyone needs to clean beaches
- Everyone should stop using so much plastic
- If a person sees another person going to release balloons: tell them to stop!
You can’t really argue with that!
Karen says: “The world needs lots of young people like Charlie to pick up the ‘environmental drum’ and continue to bang it through into the next century if we are to become a truly sustainable planet. He is, like many other young environmental ambassadors out there, a real inspiration to us all.”
If you think your organisation has what it takes to win a Global Good Award, you can enter from now until 2nd February 2018. See our categories section for more details. All winners will feature in our 2018 newsletters and online.
Entries for the GGA open on the 1st December 2017 and close 2nd February 2018. You can find out more here.
Anyone wishing to be part of the Global Good revolution and the unique awards programme can contact Commercial Director, Richard Roe on 07776 206077 or email richard@GlobalGoodAwards.co.uk.
For entries and other enquiries, contact Founder, Karen Sutton: karen@GlobalGoodAwards.co.uk