The following post was written by World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council member, Caitlin Philipps. Caitlin is 18 years old and lives in Victoria, Australia.
This year I had a rather belated World Oceans Day on the 17th of June. This helped to show people that World Oceans Day celebrations can happen any time throughout the year, not just on the 8th of June. I hosted a World Oceans Day booth at the Lakes Aquarium in the Lake District, England. It was an amazing setting amongst the fish tanks! Everyone could also step outside and physically see Lake Windermere and the effects that plastic pollution has had on this spectacular environment, which was very effective. This was also the first World Oceans Day for me that I wasn’t organising on my own. This meant I had to pass everything through a secondary person for approval which was unusual for me. So, it didn’t come without its challenges.
Overall, the day was a huge success with children getting excited over seahorse colouring sheets and their parents getting involved with the pledge board and becoming really intrigued over what they can do to make a better future for their kids. It felt like the quote ‘We do not inherit the world from our ancestors but borrow it from our children’ was coming to life in front of my eyes. It made me excited and left me feeling positive about what our future holds. I believe based on the number of people who got involved that we are able to do something big right now against plastic pollution.
Some of the pledges that families and people made included:
I pledge to give up plastic fruit and veggie packaging
I pledge to give up plastic slushie cups and straws
I pledge to find a way to recycle espresso coffee pods
I pledge to give up plastic toys and find an alternative for my baby to play with
Seeing this diversity of pledges shocked me at how much we still rely on plastic as a society. However, if everyone acts on their pledges and works together, we can all make a real difference!