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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Don’t Stop Me Now - Day 393

Don’t Stop Me Now, we're having such a good time down at Woodbridge Island and in the evening, went to Bohemian Rhapsody.

We were dead on time arriving at Woodbridge Island. We had a seaside rendezvous with Greg from Cape Town Beach Cleanup. Yes, we had come to help clear up the beach.

Greg is a member of Clean C, a non-profit organisation whose one vision is “Sustainability”; for people to have sustainable lives through entrepreneurship and employment and to live with mutual respect and dignity and to realise their dreams. It’s a hard life for many here in South Africa. They do this through many initiatives, not just the beach clean-up but also through sports events, and skills programmes.

Greg is so passionate about reducing plastics and waste, our merry group were each given a yellow bucket and a plastic glove (the irony). From first impressions the beach looked reasonably clean, so I didn’t feel under pressure, it wasn’t like photos I’ve seen of other places around the world with beaches strewn full of rubbish, however, once we got to the beach, it was amazing how much debris was there.

Cigarette butts, bottle tops, lollipop sticks, earbuds and sweet wrappers were the common things we picked up. I found a crushed polystyrene carton, and it took me ages to pick all the little white pieces up. In the bin it went, another one bites the dust.

Did you know that polystyrene takes at least 500 years to decompose and it contains Styrene and Benzene, which are suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins? When people tear it up, all those tiny, lightweight pieces get into the sea and ingested by marine life which will harm or even kill them. And if you eat seafood, then you also may be digesting these toxins.

The most unusual thing that I found on the beach were two boots. They were within spitting distance to one another but not a pair. How weird is that? Tim also found a pair of trainers and one burgundy slipper! We carried on down the beach, but it was time to return “Don’t stop me now” said Tim, I think he was having a good time. Was it all worth it? Well, together we collected three full large dustbin bags, we all felt pretty proud of ourselves, we are the champions. It was a kind of magic feeling seeing those bins full of debris.

I have since read that in 2006 The United Nations Environment Program estimated that every square mile of ocean has 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. Yuk! So what can we do?

We can use reusable containers and take rubbish home, disposing of it correctly. Cut any plastic rings and the plastic from a 6 pack before throwing these away, so that animals and birds don’t get caught in the holes. Use organic sunscreen, so when you have a dip in the sea, you are not leaving harmful chemicals, decreasing the potential threat to marine life. See if there is a local clean-up who needs you or start one yourself.

I read on Facebook that a friend of mine, Julie, takes her own container to the fish and chip shop so that she doesn’t use one of those polystyrene containers. What a great idea. And each time our friend Joanna goes to the beach, she always takes a bag to collect garbage. Well done you two. You take my breath away.

Do you have any other tips? Please share. Yes, I want it all. If we all do our little bit, that will be a huge difference.

In the afternoon, I needed to get in touch with our Bank (good job I can call landlines using Skype). I had to hold for some time, but as they were playing Queen, I didn’t mind. It also reminded me that we wanted to go and watch Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema. That’s what we did this evening. We both loved it and thought the actors were cast really well. The hero was Rami Malek. A good ol’ sing-song, we’re having such a good time, we’re having a ball.

(So, how many Queen songs have you found?)

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