Removing the grim and plastic from the alluring Inskip Point to make it colourful and naturally beautiful again!
And can you have fun whilst doing it?
I mean, of course you can....in case you missed my original point, we were in the stunning Inskip Point, just 12km north of Rainbow Beach on Queensland's Fraser Coast. Just across the crystal blue waters was the just as stunning Fraser Island. But we weren't there to take in all the views, we were there to make them more pleasurable for ourselves, for everyone else, and for the environment. Back in March, us, a group from Environmental Divers joined up with an even bigger group from Fraser Coast 4WD Club for a weekend in an effort to make a difference and clear out as much of the rubbish as possible that is building up on Australia's Fraser Coast.
We made a weekend of it, sleeping in swags and tents on the sand by night, and picking up rubbish through the day. Just like star gazing, where at first you only see one or two stars, but the longer you look the more stars start glistering in the night sky, and it was the same with the rubbish, at first you only see a few bits of cigarette butts and plastics before you start to see all the used glow sticks "glistering" in the sand...and then before long, you release there’s rubbish everywhere. Once you get your head down, the time surprisingly doesn't drag, and before long you've filled a rubbish bag, and you're moving on to the next location. You think the amount of plastics that "wash up" on the shores is bad enough, however over the weekend we picked up tires, sofas, full car engines and chairs, amongst other things that campers had left behind. Things that they had the energy to bring in, but not the same energy to take out and back home with them.
The amount of rubbish that was there, was nothing short of disgusting and embarrassing actually. By the end of the weekend, between us all we had collect just shy of 9 cubic metres (which, at a guess, would weigh around 3,000kg). This does not include the 63 bags of bottles and cans that we also collected for recycling. A lot of people staying on the beaches, when they would see us picking up rubbish, would make statements like "it's great you're doing this, just goes to show how much washes up on the shores" as if to pass on ownership, as in "there's no way this is rubbish from Australians" to which I would always reply simply with "well the rubbish found at the campsites (which are all well well well above the tide line) wasn't washed up from elsewhere". And I think this is the issue that concerns me most with regards to the litter issue, no one takes ownership of the issue. And if you don't know or don't think that you're doing any wrong, how can you or why would you change your ways and improve?
Through the days we also got the opportunity to take in the splendour that is Australia, swimming in the blue oceans on our extended lunch break, we also took a trip into Rainbow Beach for a beer as we avoided the midday sun. And then not forgetting the 3 Bs at the end of each day: Bonfire; Barbecue; Beer.
We were primarily there to clean up the beaches and surrounding campsites, but that didn't stop as taking in the stunning views, appreciating nature, having a great laugh with awesome company, and overall having a great weekend! And any excuse to get out of Brisbane for a while is a good excuse.