Monday, June 4, 2018

This beautiful, fragile space we inhabit


This post is being written on World Environment Day, 5 June 2018.

This past weekend we were able to go to a friend's birthday party, which was being held 'down south' in a coastal town near Cape Leeuwin, on that bit of the West Australian continent that sticks out and forms the south west corner of the continent. 

We were very fortunate to have good weather for sight seeing -it was very cold (to us Perth people) but no rain to speak of and so the scenery was spectacular, looking out to the Southern Ocean.

I don't know how long it has been since we were here -maybe a decade I would guess.

It was spectacularly beautiful. 



One enormous thrill for us was that we found a small group of whales in the bay, just lolling around, blowing water from their spouts and generally having a great time. These Southern Right Whales like to travel up from Antarctica to the warm waters near Ningaloo for breeding, before heading back down the coast again for the southern summer.

The whales stayed for some time, and we just stood and watched them, and it felt quite magical and special and almost holy.

This is a popular tourist destination, and we noticed that the delight in seeing the whales was shared by people from all over the world, who had come to visit the lighthouse and see the sights. Children sat and watched, people called their friends to the viewing platform, people spoke to strangers to make sure they didn't miss out.


That little puff of steam in the middle of the picture is the whale spout. 


"If you can't re-use it, refuse it". 

I can't bear to think that whales are being washed up with kilos of plastic in their stomachs.

This beautiful, fragile planet we share with species who form the web of life we depend upon, is now dependent upon our ability to curb our excessive need for convenience and instead to learn to do things in ways which will not cause harm.

It is quite easy to reduce single use plastic, but harder, I find to eliminate it. I can refuse plastic straws, drink out of china coffee cups sitting down in a restaurant or cafe, and put a plate on top of a dish of leftovers in the fridge. I have re-usable shopping bags, some of which I made from recycled or re-used materials. The harder thing is to avoid the plastic wrapped tomatoes in the supermarket, because they are the cheaper ones, or to make your own pasta every time you need to eat some, because you don't want the plastic bag the dried pasta comes in.

I am working on these new habits -not trying to let the failures get in the way of the small achievements, because we all need to do what we can, and help each other do more when we can.

How are you reducing your single use plastics?

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