I read online the other day that some people moan, other people get practical. It’s a fair statement, especially when you look at the campaigns and activities being run across the country to do something about the litter problem that faces our world. And Lizzie Carr is one of those practical people who, rather than sitting around and moaning about the state of Britain’s waterways, has chosen to get on and do something about it.
Plastic Patrol in Nottingham – thanks to Nigel for the photo.
For the second summer in a row, friend and fellow GetOutside Champion Lizzie Carr is combining her favourite sport of paddle boarding with her desire to rid our waterways of rubbish, by offering free SUP lessons in return for a bit of litter picking. I took part last year and have already booked my slot for next month – and would love to see a whole bunch of Splodz Blogz readers join in too.
Plastic Patrol in Nottingham
A staggering 80% of marine debris comes from inland sources – including our canals and rivers. Highlighted regularly in the media at the moment, plastic pollution is the single biggest environmental catastrophe affecting our planet today; and the worst part is that we are responsible. Plastic is an entirely manmade material so every single piece you see littering the planet is a direct result of our actions. Plastic not only impacts the health and wellbeing of wildlife and marine species, but research has also shown that it’s also filtering up to the human food chain. The consequence? Huge implications on our own health.
Picking berries?! No… fishing out plastic bottles!!
Lizzie just loves to paddle board. I mean, she is not only the first person in history to paddle board the length of England’s waterways, solo and unsupported, but she is also the first woman to paddle board solo across the English Channel, monitoring plastic pollution and taking samples for plastic analysis en-route. Her mission is to combat the global plastic crisis by stopping the problem at its source, in our waterways. Plastic Patrol her way to engage people with the issues of plastic pollution through adventure and nature, helping to safeguard our seas for the future.
Paddle boarding selfie!
I joined Lizzie one sunny Sunday morning last summer for a spot of paddle boarding in Nottingham. The premise of the meetups is very simple; Lizzie provides you with the gear and teaches you how to paddle board – for free – and you do a litter pick at the same time. I’m rather taken with paddle boarding, it’s a wonderful sport to get involved in, although I’d only done it once before at this point, so I was very grateful for the instruction and guidance as I made my way along the water.
Litter picking bucket.
We travelled quite a distance in the buckets attached to our boards, collecting all kinds of litter – mostly single use plastic, but also glass and other items including tyres and traffic cones. I wasn’t alone, there was quite a bunch of us – a few other GetOutside Champions came along, and it was a really fun way to spend a morning. Knowing what a great time I had, making a little bit of a difference at the same time, I’ve already booked my place on one of the clean-ups this summer – and I’m very much looking forward to getting back on the water.
We know that, generally speaking, dirt breeds dirt and tidiness tends to stay. So by doing our bit to clean up the waterways we are hopefully cleaning it up for good. Yes there are some lazy people who will chuck litter and dump rubbish, but the majority of people much prefer things when they are nice and are happy to keep them that way if that is what they are presented with. When it comes to cleaning up our rivers and canals, every little really does help, so let’s get involved.
Nigel doing his thing.
If you want to take part in a Plastic Patrol clean-up this summer (and you should, you really should), you can find dates and locations over on the website. If you book on, let me know!