The plastic pollution crisis is up there with Climate Change. And so it should be. It’s a global issue affecting us all, and if you’ve had your head buried in the sand of late, scientists are now predicting that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Plastic is now present in our soils, it often ends up in the sea and is consumed by and is killing plankton, fish, mammals and seabirds and a depressing thought is that future fossil foragers will be identifying human existence on earth by the layers of rubbish and plastic in the earth’s geological records. Us humans have had such a dramatic impact on the planet in the last few hundred years, we have now entered a new epoch, the Anthropocene. Welcome to the ‘Age of plastic‘.
It’s 5 pm on a Tuesday afternoon and I am getting picked up at 5.30. Rewind weeks earlier. In my mind, I have everything laid out on the couch, in order of size, frequency of use, ease of access and then packed neatly into water-proof bags. I have all the food and snacks I need to keep me happy and sustained with energy, and I have researched and reduced my luggage list down to a neatly packed backpack filled with all the items of clothing I could possibly need to keep me warm and dry. I have been training for weeks at the gym, my fitness is amazing.
Fast forward to now, I’m still frantically typing work emails before I head off to Tasmania, and my entire packing list I made up in my head is still strewn across the entire lounge room. Incomplete. Camping vomit. I went to the gym twice.
Last week it was my birthday. And to celebrate I wanted nothing more than to hit the Australian Alps for some sweet scenery, climb some mountains and stare at the alpine stars. I put a call out on social media to see who wanted in, and eleven of my lovely pals hit me up with a yes. It was nothing short of epic. We didn’t see any stars, in fact we were shrouded in fog the whole time and hardly saw anything, but with this crew, it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in the gutter or hiking the highest mountain, there’s never a dull moment and we are always laughing.
One thing I have noticed over time is that people from cities and urban areas are becoming increasingly disconnected from the environment, and they are also becoming disconnected from rural Australia. Opinions of how the land is managed and the people managing it, is very dependent on what is published in mainstream media, and far too often this is a very polarised snapshot of what is actually happening on the ground.
So I decided to do something about it. And head out west…