Thank goodness for crystal clear sea water bays, the ones all over Instagram at the moment (seems a lot of people are in Greece this year!). But horrific though it sounds, the reality is if we don’t (i.e. the entire human race) clean up our beach act, things will be too dire to even contemplate. I do worry for future generations.

The sea and our coastlines are not wastebins, not toilets,  they’re living, breathing marvels of Nature.

So all hail people like Natalie Fee who I spotted on Twitter this week. She left a job in TV to focus on campaigns like “Refill”, which aims to make reusing plastic bottles simpler than buying them.

Photo: Adrian Sherratt for The Guardian

Read: The Bristol refill, reuse bottle campaign that’s spreading across Europe”  THE GUARDIAN

The launch pad has been Bristol, but the movement’s spreading outwards – fast. As Natalie says in a Guardian article:

“We’ve still got a long way to go to get people in the habit of refilling and refusing single-use. But it feels like things are changing, that there is an appetite to do things differently.”

9 ways to de-plastify yourself and the planet

Good habits take a little while to “gel” but this one’s one that’s not hard to adopt. In Australia according to the Guardian piece they have free clean water refill fountains and just down the road from where I stayed for a while ,on the border of France and Switzerland, there’s an old fashioned little water fountain where you can top up on drinking water as you stroll by.

Years ago, I’d just arrived in Dublin at rush hour and dashed out to get some food at the nearest supermarket, Tesco’s. At the check out I asked for a bag.

“Ah, we don’t have those!”

“You don’t?!”

“No,” she replied in a beautiful lullaby of an Irish accent, “We did away with them a while ago now. If you want, you can go to the back of the store and see if they have any cardboard boxes?”

I looked past all the aisles towards the very back of the store which might as well have been in Timbuktu. Right behind me, a long line of people waiting to pay. Ugh!! Mortified, looking around to see if a bag would suddenly manifest from nowhere, and now holding up the queue, I was saved by a young assistant who’d seen what was happening and ran over to bring me a box.

I never go anywhere without a canvas bag filled with two more bags now. I learnt my lesson.

My two big healers are forests and oceans. So, thanks, Natalie for what you’re doing. Recycling is no longer an option, it’s a must. Dumped plastic and other bits of trash are wrecking our shorelines and killing marine life. Humans think they invent cool things (plastic) but really, they’re strangling the planet.


Bravo – by the way –  to Morocco.  Plastic bags were banned there last year, it took a while for everyone to get used to a new way of doing things but the initiative has cleaned up the countryside (no more Moroccan figs and lemons from the souk in plastic bags – you usually either bring your own shopping bag or find some kind of small box which took a lot of tourists by surprise at Esssaouira’s new-ish Carrefours when they’d paid for their food and then had no way of carrying it home when Carrefours’ eco bags had run out – quick scramble to the bin bags and big freezer bags shelf).

Meanwhile, at the beach, Moroccan windsurfing champion Boujmaa Guilloul (VIDEO) has been organising beach clean ups around Essaouira to raise awareness that the beach is not an ashtray.

Boujmaa and the #TrashHero team in Moulay Bouzerktoun

I would say from experience that the sooner you move towards a zero waste lifestyle, the easier it gets.  It felt a bit inconvenient at first but it’s so ingrained, now. I can barely bring myself to actually buy a plastic bottle of water (I refill mine). I’m halfway there – much better than a couple of years ago but not good enough yet, but it’s totally worth it!  Less clutter, less plastic, less to throw out, not to mention fewer trips to the bins.



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