Tag Archives: littering

8 Twitter Accounts for Environmentalists

Calling all environmentalists. Like all social media, there is good and bad. Since becoming familiar with navigating Twitter, I have found it’s a fabulous place for creating a network with like-minded individuals who care about the things you care about and there is a lot to learn.

Here are just a few environmentalist profiles I follow

Treehugger.com

@Treehugger – ‘Sustainability for All’ as their tagline, Treehugger is based in New York, USA and was established in 2004. A good place for information about the environment which is jam packed with a plethora of articles, news and advice.

Surfers Against Sewage

@sascampaigns Account perfect for environmentalists – Set up in 1990 in a little village hall in Porthtowan, Cornwall. Protecting the oceans, beaches and wildlife is their mission. It started out when the surfing community found they were surfing in raw sewage and sanitary products. It’s not just surfers to care and campaign, it’s dog walkers, swimmers, children playing and sunbathers. Thanks to the hard work of Surfers Against Sewage, their donors and volunteers, we in the UK enjoy some of the cleanest beaches.

Ecosia

@ecosia – I heard about Ecosia about a year ago when I was helping out with a local litter picking. One of the other volunteers mentioned a site that plants trees when you use it’s search engine. As you can imagine, I got my phone out to have a look. It’s very easy to use, instead of searching on Google, search on Ecosia instead. They’re environmentalists who plant trees based on the number of searches.

Dr Elaine Cox

@ElaineCox11 – I’ve been following Elaine for a while and she is a passionate advocate for the environment. She is a senior lecturer, an environmentalist and an author and tweets about a range of environmental issues; climate change, HS2 and the expansion of Heathrow Airport. Her passion oozes through and I would highly recommend following her.

Orangutan Land Trust

@orangulandtrust – I came across their account when I posted a blog about Palm Oil. Based in Derbyshire, England, they work tirelessly to protect and preserve the Orangutan’s natural environment. Ensuring their habitats are safe with the goal of long-term survival of the orangutan in the wild. Perfect for any environmentalists out there.

Break Free From Plastic Movement

@brkfreeplastic – Plastic is such a bugbear for me so I am in good company when I see @brkfreeplastic on my twitter feed. They started in 2016 and are working towards a future free from plastic pollution. Their brand audit reports names and shames top corporate companies. Who produce the most plastic and work tirelessly towards corporate responsibility, changing policy and shifting the narrative. They’ve got a lot to say and will open your eyes too.

Licypriya Kangujam

@LicypriyaK – This young climate activist is incredibly passionate about fighting for the environment. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, Licypriya regularly protests outside Parliament House in India for the leaders to pass a climate change law and curb their carbon emissions. In October 2020, she protested to find a permanent solution to Delhi’s air pollution crisis. Soon afterwards, she was briefly detained and then released. 13 days later, the President on India enacted a new law to fight air pollution in Delhi.

Greta Thunberg

@GretaThunberg – I can’t put together a list without adding Greta. Greta is a climate change activist and has encouraged children to face this issue by schools strikes on Fridays. I am a massive fan of Greta and completely understand why she’s passionate and angry. Politicians are politicians, not scientists – listen to the science. She gets a lot of grief, maybe adults don’t like children telling them what to do. Greta isn’t shy about commenting on a subject and despite the trolling she gets on social media, and some of it is absolutely vile, it hasn’t and won’t stop her. I absolutely love her!

If there are any Twitter accounts you think are worth following, let us know 💚

These are some ideas that work for me but may not work for everyone. Here are my terms & conditions for further reading

Litter Picking At The Beach

Last month, in the UK, the kids were off for a week for half-term. I asked my 6-year-old what she wanted to do and one of the things she asked to do was litter picking on the beach.

Being an eco-warrior myself, I couldn’t help smiling.

We usually go litter picking in our local area and we have had positive comments and smiles from people passing but we’ve never done it on the beach.

It was a bright, sunny day on the beach in Folkestone, Kent, armed with our litter pickers we asked my friend, Rachel, to join us as she lived locally.

When we’re litter picking in our local park, we tend to find the usual suspects; crisp packets, McDonald’s packaging, sweet wrappers, bottles and polystyrene fast food trays.

Here’s a few photos of what we found at the beach

We found the odd bottle cap and sweet wrappers but the main thing we found was bit of nets used in fishing. There were so many little pieces of them littered everywhere along the stretch of beach.

Who knows how long they’ve been in the sea or sitting on the beach ready to be washed out again by the tide and we all know what this does to wildlife.

If you’ve got 30-minutes to spare, grab a litter picker and a bag and pick up litter – it doesn’t even have to be at the beach. You’ll get a bit of exercise, some fresh air, you’ll be doing something for your community and it’s free to do!

Do something green today 💚

Say No To Balloons

When you think of balloons, you think of party and celebration. No child’s birthday celebration, young or old, is complete without balloons. The different sizes, colours, shapes bring joy to people. Not only do we gift them for birthdays, but for new births, when someone is recovering, christenings. Balloons can be used at a time of sadness too. Releasing balloons allows us to show respect for our loved ones who have departed, you can’t deny that the way the balloons rise into the sky is quite grateful. However, releasing balloons like this has a downside, it hurts the environment and wildlife.

We need to say no to balloon releases

Whenever we’re at a party, friends and family tend to give my 4-year-old a balloon at the end of the night. I won’t lie, the smile it brings to her face fills me with joy, however, deep down I’m thinking ‘how on earth am I going to dispose of that’. There’s no part of it that can be recycled; the balloon, the ribbon or the weight. Although, there are some balloons on the market that claim they are biodegradable, they can usually take years to fully decompose and the damage done in the meantime can last longer than the balloon.

Reasons why we should start saying no to balloons

They are harmful to wildlife

We’ve seen it on TV and David Attenborough has told us that certain wildlife will mistake a floating carrier bag or balloon for food. Turtles will mistake them for Jellyfish. Once ingested, the damage this does to them internally can lead to starvation. The string attached to the balloons cause just as much damage. The string be ingested or wrap itself around a marine animal’s neck, eventually choking them to death. If the choking doesn’t kill them, the cuts to their skin caused by the string can cause infections and will probably kill them.

It’s littering

If you think about it, a balloon release is an accepted form of littering. You would never dream of leaving all your rubbish on the grass after a picnic (normal people wouldn’t) and sensible people would clean up after themselves but when a balloon is released and disappears from view, what goes up must come down. Where do you think it’s going to land? On a farm? In a river? If the release is by the sea, it almost certainly will end up in the ocean.

There’s a helium shortage

I was a little shocked when I found out there was a shortage and even more shocked at what helium is used for aside balloons. Helium is used in other (more important) areas of business and exploration; inside MRI Scanners, as a cooling agent for the Large Hadron Collider, it’s used in space exploration as a cooling agent for equipment and even by deep sea divers. I’m a little surprised in light of this, why the sale of helium isn’t more restricted? I hope you would agree that these other uses are more vital that filling up a balloon for a party.

What can you use instead?

Balloon releases – can be replaced by releasing flowers into the sea, or even planting a tree. Planting a tree in a quiet place can be somewhere you can come for time on your own to think and think about your loved one. They may no longer be with you but their memory will.

Alternatives to balloon releases

Birthday Parties / celebrations – Paper chains are really easy to make and your little one(s) can get involved too. Paper flowers are a really good way of adding colour to a party, there are oodles of videos on youtube to choose from and when the party is over, they can be given to the guests as they leave as memento. There’s nothing wrong with using the traditional banners, bunting and decorations you can buy on the high street and storing them in the wrappers they came in. However, the key is to not purchase decorations with a number on them, this way they can be used over and over again. Trust me, no one is going to think “Weren’t they the same banners at Wendy’s birthday last year?’

For a treat, I take my 4-year-old to McDonald’s and I recently started to explain why she shouldn’t accept a balloon when it is offered by one of the employees, my daughter now says ‘no thank you’ and it makes me so proud. It doesn’t seem to bother her that she’s not getting a colourful balloon as long as she’s got ketchup with her chips, all is good in the world.

By using alternatives to balloons, it allows you to be creative and the whole family can join in to make the day special. You’d be surprised how much stuff you already have around the house for materials.

By saying no to balloons, you are protecting the environment and wildlife too.