Cal Major is a vet, world recording breaking SUP adventurer and an ocean advocate. With the launch of her charity Seaful just around the corner (focused on reconnecting people to our ocean and waterways) we asked Cal to share with us 4 tips on tackling ocean waste in your local area, to understand how we can all play our part in changing the tide.
You can connect with Cal’s work at @calmajor and look out for the launch of Seaful at @seafulcharity.
1. Do a beach, river, canal, street or park clean. This is the best way to get a handle on the issue of single-use plastic in our environment, and how it finds its way into our ocean and onto our beaches. It can be really eye-opening and motivating to do more to take action against ocean waste. I made a video, Why Bother With A Beach Clean, here.
2. Reduce your own plastic consumption. This isn't going to overnight solve the issue of plastic pollution, but the more people we have refusing unnecessary single-use plastic, the sooner we can solve this problem. It also sends out a strong message to those around you, and the companies you buy from, about your beliefs, and it helps to avoid cognitive dissonance. I think it's important that the pressure to solve the plastic pollution crisis doesn't solely fall on the individual, and that we aren't made to feel guilty about the plastic that we do need to use in our lives, but rather can feel proud about the choices we make to reduce our individual footprints.
3. Make your voice heard. This is perhaps one of the most important steps. We are consumers, voters and community members. Our voices, individually and collectively, matter. Look at XR and the Fridays for Future movements, and how powerful their voices have been. Write to your MP, local council, community groups, schools. Write to companies that send you their goods in unnecessary single-use plastic. Don't let their actions, profiting from destroying our planet, go unnoticed - call them out. Call out greenwashing. Vote with your wallet, supporting companies that are dedicated to finding appropriate solutions. Talk to your friends and family about it. Make your voice heard.
4. Find your tribe. It can be a lonely journey when you care about something deeply if you aren't around like-minded people. Find your tribe who will support you in your community and in your world. If you don't know where to start, check out the local Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Coastlines groups, or your local Wildlife Trust.