A last minute decision by my wife and myself to take the children to a local beach for an evening picnic was a very memorable and almost enlightening moment, and it wasn’t because of all the sand that blew into my salad. I love my wife and children very much, but my wife does something every time we go out to the beach or park – she picks up other people’s rubbish. She gets the children involved as well, and if she doesn’t have a bag to put it in she often uses my pockets!
I must admit, I am not as diligent as her. I am often more interested in taking photographs of the birds and plants I can find, but my wife always finds enough rubbish to fill a shopping bag, which is then duly deposited in the bin. I take this for granted, because she does it every time, but on this occasion my 11 yr old daughter’s enthusiasm to climb up a small cliff to get a discarded plastic bag, which then blew out of her hand and toward the sea, ended in both my wife and dog (on leash) getting soaked as they chased the bag into the sea. The bag was caught, much laughter was had, and we all had to share the car trip home with a very wet dog.
There is approximately 7 billion tonnes of rubbish littering our oceans, most of which is washed out to sea in storm water, and, with around 100,000 marine animals killed by plastic waste alone each year, we should all be picking up a bag or two of rubbish each time we go out – not just on Clean Up Australia Day!