Our Personal Trainer Natalie Harris who has worked at Careys Manor Hotel since February 2017 has taken it upon herself to take action to clean up our seas. Plastic pollution is no secret anymore with large focus placed on the media along with campaigns we have supported such as swapping plastic straws for biodegradable ones and refilling water bottles in partnership with Refill to name a few. Here at Careys Manor, we run a number of green inititatives to ensure our premises is having a low impact to the environment as well as leading the way for others. Initiatives such as Natalie's help to inspire others to do good and to start taking action.
Here Natalie explains her journey;
"The beach has always been a focal point in my life - I am 20 years old and have lived on the coast since I was born. I have fond memories of summers spent at our beach hut and holidays to Cornwall excitedly exploring the caves and rock pools. I think this is why my love for the ocean runs so deep.
However, it wasn’t until August last year that I realised our oceans were in danger and needed my help! Whilst on holiday on the gorgeous Greek Island of Lefkas my eyes were opened to the severity of plastic pollution. It was the amount of plastic bottles scattered along a small secluded cove that first caught my attention. The beach was located off the beaten track, down a large gravel slope, hardly accessible to the regular tourist. There were barely any people down there except a few locals. For this reason, I couldn’t understand why there was such a vast amount of plastic bottles crumpled amongst the pebbles. I completed my first ever beach clean there and then - which would ultimately lead to many more back home. I spent 5 minutes collecting 15+ water bottles, a detergent bottle and a pair of sun faded flip-flops. I realised that most of these had been washed in on the tide. It angered me that this stunning idyllic beach was being tarnished by our materialism and laziness.
Therefore, I created my CleanOurSeas Instagram page. When I returned home it was as if a switched had been turned on - I was determined to make a difference... I wanted to use it not only as a platform to bring awareness to the escalating, disastrous effects of our pollution, but also to find out more information for myself. Discovering ways I could live more sustainably, reduce my waste and meet other like-minded people, caring for our oceans, ensuring our biggest life support system returns to a healthy state, for our sake and for the sake of the abundant fascinating creatures that call it home.
I complete regular beach cleans in my local area. Once I started looking, I couldn’t help but notice the litter everywhere. How had I missed this before? The answer - I probably hadn’t, I just didn’t realise the significance of the issue. Like so many other people, I was simply ‘unaware’. The majority of litter I find comes from convenience products - single use plastic bottles, lids, straws and food packaging, but I also find great amounts of nylon fishing rope and wire (known as ghost rope when it has been discarded or lost). I use Instagram to share these findings, compare with others and to demonstrate the sheer mass of plastic rubbish I find.
I still have a lot to learn (and with the increase in communication on plastic pollution this should become easier for everyone) but I have improved my impact on the environment by cutting out single use plastics like bottles, bags and straws. I carry my reusable coffee cup with me, have swapped to a biodegradable toothbrush and always keep a fold away bucket in my car in case there is an opportunity to pick up litter. As 80% of ocean plastic pollution comes from land e.g. crisp packets collecting in curbs, plastic bags caught on tree branches or disposable cutlery disappearing down drainage ways, I now know it’s important to keep every environment on our planet clean.
After completing numerous beach cleans with my family I decided it was time to encourage others into the joyful act of beach cleaning! Consequently, I hosted my first organised beach clean in January. I wanted others to feel the overwhelming delight of protecting our oceans and its wildlife. If you haven’t tried beach cleaning it’s an excellent way to help give back. Either investigate your local community to see if there are any group ones you can join or simply take a bag/bucket down to the beach and carry out your own. It’s simple, it’s easy and it doesn’t have to take forever. Collecting a handful of pieces will help save marine lives. I will continue to host clean ups but urge others to clean up too, even a little, every time they visit the beach. This problem has occurred due to mankind so it’s our responsibility to fix it, and fast!"
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