When you think of protecting wildlife and nature in your area can you think of three things you could personally do to help?

If one of those things was picking up litter then well done - that is a really easy and impactful way of helping improve habitats locally, and you will actually be helping wildlife much further away as well.

Here on Alderney we are encouraging people to do 2 minute beach cleans  - which are very quick and easy ways to help the marine environment. There is a map on their website showing all the people around the world taking part, just think how much rubbish has been picked up by those hundreds of mini cleans. All drains eventually lead to the sea, which means that anything you put down the toilet or the sink could eventually end up in the sea, especially if it is too small to be filtered out by a cleaning system. This shows that even if you don't live near the sea you can help the marine environment by thinking before you flush!

Single use plastics (can you name a few of these?) are some of the worst offenders for harming marine life in particular. They take hundreds of years to degrade, and even then many species living in the sea will swallow the miniscule plastic particles they come across. Not only does this cause them health problems but if it is a fish species we eat that plastic could end up back on your plate!

Plastic lifespans

Plastic lifespans

Some of the things we find the most of are plastic straws, bottle tops, balloons, the stick part of a q-tip, fishing line/rope (which is especially deadly for marine life) and wet wipes. You can see some of our finds below.

We are also taking part in Take 3 for 365 - this is something anyone can do anywhere. It just means picking up 3 bits of litter every day for a year (any longer, once you have been doing it for that long it will probably become habit and you will continue to do so). Just remember put anything you pick up into the bin and it is probably best if you wear gloves to keep everything clean. Pay attention to where you are picking things up and avoid areas where there might be dog mess etc.

And wash your hands afterwards!

How long do you think you could go without using any single use plastics? Do you think you could make it a whole week - it is much harder than you think!

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