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.
I was floating on my back staring at the vast blue sky, tropical palm trees swaying gently in my peripheral along the shores, the water a perfect temperature rocking me as I casually drifted along, and mist dancing around the peaks of towering dramatic limestone mountains in the distance. It was a scene from a post card, so tranquil, calm, everything I’d wanted and needed after a busy year. Aaah Thailand.
That bubble quickly burst as something wrapped around my neck, and another brushed against my leg, and then hand and then stomach. I quickly jerked up out of the water to find myself suddenly floating in a sea of plastic chip packets, wrappers and cigarette butts. Tranquility crushed, paradise lost, and I’ve never been the same since.
Nature is good for you, it’s science
There is a whole bunch of evidence now floating around which supports and suggests just how good nature really is for us all.
Besides the blatantly obvious straight up fact that the natural world feeds, clothes and keeps us alive, there is a deeper connection to nature that nourishes and revitalises us in ways some of us are just not awake to, or some of us are, and simply cannot get enough of the green stuff. And cultures all around the world have been vibing on this for thousands of years.