I think I first became aware of this new ‘sport’ earlier this year. What a brilliant idea to combine jogging with tidying up our environment. In Sweden, plogging (the Swedish “plocka”, to pick up, and jogging) became a more organised activity a couple of years ago and more recently, with people’s greater awareness of the plastics problem around the world, so too has the movement spread to other countries.
‘Sunglasses’ collected during a one hour walk!
I already pick up plastics as I walk on the beach every day, albeit with more of a stoop than any ‘gym-like’ movement. I’m no longer a jogger and despite having enthusiastically decided I was going to get fit enough for a Park Run a few months ago, my few days of short runs resulted in my physio telling me running might not be what my body needed nowadays. But walking with a few squats and lunges would surely be okay.
Plastic bag, nylon rope and smaller ‘bits’ of plastic caught in the weed.
So a few weeks ago I started my new regime. On an empty windswept beach my dog sniffed around in the flotsam and jetsam while I slowed down our regular walking speed to fit in some strengthening exercises. Rather than being random, I decided to attribute different exercises to different pieces of plastic. A piece of nylon rope or string would be three squats, small fragments of plastic would be alternating lunges and other items such as sunglasses could be a slow stoop-like stretch of the hamstrings or a squat if the item was heavier, such as a lobster pot.
I’m not sure if this trend will take off in Western Australia. I have had a few bemused glances from other beach goers, few and far between in winter, and becoming more numerous now the temperature is warming up for summer. Perhaps if I could get some fellow dog-walkers to participate my antics might not seem quite so bizarre? After all, I’m not exactly plogging, it’s more a case of plolking – ‘plocka’ to pick up, and walking.
Just below the surface lies a small part of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia.
I took this photo in November last year just before jumping off the tourist boat to go snorkelling. An hour later I was in shock. In the twenty or so years since I’d last dived here how could this have happened?
The Great Barrier Reef, in far North Queensland, is the largest living structure on Earth, and it’s visible from space. Most of us know of its outstanding beauty and biodiversity and many of us now know of the coral bleaching that has been so devastating over the past years.
Sir David Attenborough says, “It is one of the greatest, and most splendid natural treasures that the world possesses.”
So why are we doing nothing to protect it?
Why are we so complacent about climate change that we have ignored the science that could have prevented coral bleaching and the increase in extreme weather events?
Why does our government not only approve the biggest coal mine in Australia’s history to a foreign company, Adani, when pollution is killing our reef and fossil fuels are quickly becoming a thing of the past, but also offers Adani a billion dollars in incentives?
Do those of us who are educated and living in the developed world really believe that by ignoring climate change it will no longer be a problem?
One day our children will say, “What on earth were they thinking?”
Oh yes. And Happy Earth Day 2017 …
We had flights booked from Cairns to Sydney having briefly visited North Queensland.We realised too late that we’d be in the air when the supermoon rose. Still we’d been able to spend a day in the Daintree rainforest and another out snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, both amazing places despite the massive coral bleaching of the reef that I had known about but still shocked me. Last time I was at the reef was 30 years ago and it was a myriad of colour. How man has changed our world in such a short time. Last time that there was a supermoon the Great Barrier Reef was truly Great. What will be left when the next supermoon appears?
We would have liked to have sat on one of the endless, empty beaches and watched the moon rise, but we were unable to change our plans so reluctantly we left our tropical haven and headed for Cairns to catch the flight. We had managed to change our seats to the left of the plane, but as we approached Cairns tropical storm clouds filled the sky. Even though we took off surrounded by dense clouds, soon patches of blue replaced the white and the sky cleared as if by magic …
Dancing in the Seabreeze Western Australia
What I like about mobiles is that when hung outside they are rarely stationary. They dance in the breeze, their form changes and light bounces off or through their surfaces.
It all started in 2007 when I spent a year on the island of Zanzibar. Weekends were often spent at one of the beautiful white beaches, swimming, relaxing and beachcombing. One day I sat with my daughter looking at our spoils and saw she had picked up some broken coral entwined in fishing line and tied it to a piece of driftwood. That was the beginning.
My passion of beachcombing, which I do almost every day, has led me to developing a very ‘small’ but fun business, Driftwood Elements. I sell on local markets, as I did this morning despite the thundery skies, and I also have an Etsy site. The site is a little bit bare at the moment as the markets have been successful 🙂