Lessons in Seagulls- Take 3

seagull- take 3 || cityhippyfarmgirl

seagull take 3 || cityhippyfarmgirl

seagull take 3 || cityhippyfarmgirl

I was taking a minute to stop. Just me, the ocean, and some seagulls.

I was ignoring the fact that there was an entire city behind me. As long as I looked seaward, it was just me and the ocean, and still those same seagulls.

I sat still and wondered how long it would take for one to come bravely over. These were not the dive bombing steal your chip kind. These were the gentle, I’ll ignore you if you ignore me kind.

Except I couldn’t ignore this seagull.

This one that came closest to me to dabble in the water. This one that I thought at first was playing a game of ‘lift my leg up,’ but he wasn’t.

I noticed something hanging from his leg. A ruler length of what looked like fishing line caught up in its leg. The line had wrapped round and round the seagulls leg, growing into his skin, and finally amputating that little leg off. Left with a stump, and a continual possibility of being caught on something else as the fishing line hung down from its body.

I didn’t get the chance to think about doing anything to help it, as two pigeons came and scared the seagull off. Two lowly pigeons, that knew there was a pecking order and this amputee seagull with the man mad appendage was at the very bottom.

This was a tiny example of the state of our ocean ways and yet I felt completely disheartened as a witness to it. After sitting slumped and wallowing in a good dose of eco-anxiety, I decided to snap out of it. Wallowing will only take you so far and after that I vowed to go back to the battle lines and do something about it.

Take 3 is pretty damn simple way to do something about our precious oceans and sea life. In their own words…

“take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or… anywhere and you have made a difference.” –Take 3

 

So often I don’t feel like it’s simply enough. But if I do this. Pass the story of the seagull on and I educate my kids to do this, they tell their friends to do this and so on. Maybe, just maybe we can make a difference and no more amputee seagulls (or other water based animals with far more gruesome tales.)

See here for more words on plastic and why we should be taking action from Tim Silverwood (Co-founder of Take-3)

 

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packaging, landfill guilt and sweet music

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Collecting all of my kitchen wrappers and packaging for a whole week eh?

On the one hand the idea captivated me, and on the other hand the idea utterly repelled me. Why? Not because I felt our family was particularly overly enthusiastic with tossing out of household garbage. On the contrary, I tried to be incredibly mindful of how much came in and out. However combine our seemingly smallish amount, combined with your smallish amount and their smallish amount, and suddenly that sort of smallish amount was not so damn small at all. All getting joined together and going in as a huge fetid mess into land fill.

Even if everyone was like minded and was particularly mindful of all the packaging that they used,  monitoring all that was entered into the household; on a global scale the sheer amount we are talking, I find that frightening. Hideously frightening.

A few weeks ago I had felt a pang of guilt when my boy wanted to take for recess a small chocolate bar left over from a party. My pang of guilt had meant there would be a wrapper in his lunch box. His first wrapper in nearly three years of school and one year of pre-school. Several weeks later and his school had a “waste free day”. No wrappers to be taken in at all on that particular day of the year*. My pang of guilt seemed laughable.

Looking at all the plastic packaging on bread recently, I was appalled adding up in my head how many packets that would be binned in a year if our family ate regular supermarket bread. My effort in making all of our bread was renewed. Well and truly renewed. Aside from the health, cost, and taste benefits, the fact that I’m skipping putting approximately 208 plastic bags in the garbage a year (that’s 5,200 bags over a 25 year span) is certainly something to think about.

I asked Mr Chocolate what he thought of the challenge of keeping everything we would normally throw away in our kitchen (or repurpose) for a whole week. He didn’t seem overly keen.

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I eyed my recycling box off and pondered a little further. Living in a small inner city space certainly has benefits in this regard, but drawbacks in others.

We benefit by having regular curbside recycling trucks come and take our binned empty packaging away, (along with regular rubbish and set council clean up days.)

For bigger items we also benefit by people often leaving unwanted things on the street for others to take if they would like.

Drawbacks are that we have a limited living space. Something that may be beneficial in time to come, and worth considering keeping, quite often is just not possible. When every one centimetre of space is already accounted for.

Another drawback is in fact one of the benefits, we DO have regular recycling trucks that take away our excess packaging, but does that make us blase? Is that enough? Would we be more considerate as a community if this option didn’t exist and instead had to dispose of things ourselves?

And then there was this video, which ultimately just left a tear in my eye and my heart that bit bigger….please watch it.

So tell me, would you be willing to collect all your garbage for a week?

Some teeny tiny ideas that also may help

Keep a cardboard box on top of a kitchen cupboard and slowly add to it with other small cardboard or plastic packaging pieces that can be used for raining craft days with kids. (If you don’t have children see if your local pre-school would like it, they generally have a lot of craft activities going on.)

Repurpose Reuse Recycle Reclaim- Pinterest ideas.

Waste free school lunchboxes

Reduce

Recycle

Re-claim

Repurpose

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* It’s now been rolled out as a once a week, “waste free day”.

Thanks to Living a little Greener for that awesome link.