Cleanup day on November 8 was a big success – let’s do it all again soon!


Nikola’s nephew, me, Nikola and Tate

Care We had just enough people to make a significant difference to the lower end or our creek in the space of a little over two hours. We had two helpers from the Council, Nikola Manos and muscle man Tate, plus a small team of local volunteers. Thanks to Nikola for organising the bags, gloves, grabbers and rubbish collection. Thanks to you all for giving up your Sunday morning!

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It turned out to be the hottest day of the season, but despite the sweaty conditions we managed to gather half a tonne of material.

A highlight of the morning was finding a yabby - inside an office chair that we pulled out of the creek!

A highlight of the morning was finding a yabby – inside an office chair that we pulled out of the creek!

At the end of the morning we’d collected six tyres, six chairs, a door, two shopping trolleys (another one was totally buried beneath a palm tree) and about twelve giant bags of miscellaneous rubbish.

We didn’t get right to the mouth of the creek and there were places that we couldn’t access at all because the banks were so steep, but it feels a whole lot better when we go for a walk by the creek these days! There will be plenty more rubbish in a few weeks’ time, so we’ll be doing it all again on Clean up Australia Day in March – or even before then. I hope that other Christies Creek residents will join us further upstream so we don’t end up collecting all the rubbish that’s washed down from their patch as well as the stuff that’s dumped on our doorstep!


This trolley was kindly donated, already packed with rubbish and discreetly hidden behind a tree on a vacant lot next to the creek. What a thoughtful gesture! (:

This trolley was kindly donated, already packed with rubbish and discreetly hidden behind a tree on a vacant lot next to the creek. What a thoughtful gesture! (:

_MG_0074 chairs final collection


Our creek is a small but not insignificant part of a massive problem

Microsoft Word - McHarg Reserve_CommPlantingEvent_A4flyer


This video about marine litter is a shocking wake up call

What this video finally tells us is that every single one of us can help to solve this massive problem. We need to start taking responsibility as individuals, instead of waiting for our Governments to wake up and do something.

We can do something now, this weekend. If you live near my creek, come and join us this Sunday, November 8. If you don’t live near me, then maybe you can do the same thing for your creek, your river or your ocean. Every person counts. I want this clean up to be an annual event, but we can do something to clean up our environment every day, just by not buying plastic bottles, picking up plastic before it reaches the gutters and washes down to the creeks, or posting a video on our facebook page like the one above.

Microsoft Word - McHarg Reserve_CommPlantingEvent_A4flyer

At last! The world is waking up!

yam in foam

You may recall, if you have browsed through this blog, that I found that even shopping at my local fruit and veg store it was impossible to avoid plastic and even worse, styrofoam. The cheap slightly out of date items are nearly always wrapped in plastic on styrofoam trays. Why not let us pick out the slightly better fruit and veg and put them in paper bags, instead of letting it sweat in this packaging and leaving the customer to find somewhere to dispose of styrofoam (in SA, this is virtually impossible. I found only one person who touches the stuff, and he lives on the other side of Adelaide, more than an hour’s drive away from me. He normally takes bulk deliveries of clean white styrofoam from white goods and electric goods retailers).

Now you can make a difference. Sign this petition and get the retailers to take responsibility for this mindless contempt for our planet and our oceans.

Cleanup Day came and went – but the ghost nets are still there

did you know Sunday March 2 was Cleanup Australia Day? Notice any difference? I’m sure a lot was done, but it’s a lot like Earth Hour – hugely symbolic, but totally ineffective in global or even Australian terms, when we have oceans full of trash.

But some artists are drawing attention to the things we don’t even see. The crab and the fish in this picture are made from ghost nets – the nets that are left behind by fishermen, that catch and kill wildlife that was never meant to be caught and eaten.

Ghost nets

Jonah wouldn’t have had to put up with this when the whale swallowed him….

This report appeared in the Guardian on March 9 this year, about another whale:

“A dead sperm whale that washed up on Spain‘s south coast had swallowed 17kg of plastic waste dumped into the sea by farmers tending greenhouses that produce tomatoes and other vegetables for British supermarkets.

Scientists were amazed to find the 4.5 tonne whale had swallowed 59 different bits of plastic – most of it thick transparent sheeting used to build greenhouses in southern Almeria and Granada. A clothes hanger, an ice-cream tub and bits of mattress were also found.

The plastic had eventually blocked the animal’s stomach and killed it, according to researchers from the Doñana national park research centre in Andalusia.

Researchers at first found it hard to believe that the 10-metre animal had swallowed the vast amount of plastic they found protruding through a tear in its stomach.

In all the whale’s stomach contained two dozen pieces of transparent plastic, some plastic bags, nine metres of rope, two stretches of hosepipe, two small flower pots and a plastic spray canister.

All were typical of the closely packed Almeria greenhouses that cover about 40,000 hectares – and are clearly visible in satellite photographs taken from space.

Desert-like Almeria has transformed itself into Europe‘s winter market garden thanks to the plastic greenhouses where plants are grown in beds of perlite stones and drip-fed chemical fertilisers. Local farmers report that Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s are all valued customers.

The greenhouses produce 2.4 tonnes of plastic waste per hectare each year – or more than 45,000 tonnes altogether.

Much is treated in special waste centres, but environmentalists complain that local riverbeds are often awash with plastic detritus and, with greenhouses built right up to the high-tide line, some also ends up in the sea.

“The problem of degraded plastics that are no longer recyclable still remains,” Renaud de Stephanis, lead researcher at Doñana, and his team reported in the Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Only about 1,000 sperm whales – the world’s biggest toothed whales – are thought to live in the Mediterranean. They live for up to 60 years and are often killed after getting caught in nets or being hit by ships.

Now another man-made danger has been detected. “These animals feed in waters near an area completely flooded by the greenhouse industry, making them vulnerable to its waste products if adequate treatment of this industry’s debris is not in place,” warned de Stephanis.”

One Million Women Can’t Be Wrong

1 million women

Dear 1 Million Women,

I’ve just joined your campaign, but I have two suggestions:

first, your slogan, which appeared when I signed up:

If 1 million women join, we’d change the world.

This should read: If 1 million women join, we WILL change the world.

No ‘we’d’ – that’s part of a second conditional sentence. You have started a first conditional sentence, so you need to finish the same way you started.

Second suggestion: make it broader than climate change. There are plenty of climate change deniers who wouldn’t join your campaign on principle. But if your campaign was simply about making this world habitable for future generations, we would do everything you are suggesting and more. And the deniers might actually agree that this was a cause worth fighting for. Long before we noticed climate change, we were all aware that this planet is horribly polluted, we are losing unique animal and plant species on a daily basis, and the ecological balance of this precious miracle that we call the Earth is being constantly put in jeopardy by greed, ignorance and apathy. Climate Change was just a useful tag to hang everything else onto, but if its science becomes discredited, convincingly or otherwise, we are in danger of losing the whole bundle of other reasons for action.

And I’m so pleased to have found a movement that tells me I’m not alone.