The #fuckgiving continues!
It has been just over a month since my little inaugural #fuckgiving campaign was launched quietly in a local cafe. It got some great local reactions, and since I’ve been planning a return to the beach for rounds 2 and beyond.
Recently I went down to the beach again, this time, just for a lazy sunbake (a testament to global warming if I’ve ever seen one) and almost cried a tear of joy when I saw what was happening at the shoreline.
Another big-hearted eco-warrior was collecting the plastic litter off the sand and out of the mangled seaweed.
Just of her own accord!
Because she wanted to!
Can you believe it!?
I put the sunbaking aside and joined her, of course! Together we scoured the seaweed and had a chat. Rozanne was from Canberra, visiting a friend for the week who lived nearby. Her friend worked during the day so she spent her time on the beach and around the local area. Lucky for me – and this beach – she is the amazing woman and decided to spend her time doing some good.
“I’m an artist, I was thinking this might be interesting to use in my art!” she exclaimed with a smile as she lifted a minty green cotton scrap out of the seaweed. She felt bad that sea life had taken to it as a home, stuck fast and now passed away from sitting on the dry shore in amongst the flotsam. It affected her, seeing new life trying its best to grow, but unlucky enough to land on a human’s forgotten litter. It affects me the same way…
I told her about the Fuckgiving movement. I sensed an initial ‘taken aback’ reaction but she soon encouraged me, and thought is was a great idea. Phew!
I revved up my rubbish picking effort, soon racing back and forth like I was in a beep test interval relay, the only difference being I actually liked collecting the litter. I carried what I could back to a centralised pile, soon it took on the appearance of an artificial seaweed pile or a coral reef. A brightly coloured and tangled mess. For a while there I thought we wouldn’t touch the sides of this big challenge, but the pile looked more and more promising as it grew. We were doing so much good!
Soon we had reinforcements, Jennifer and her son Marcus joined us. We were now an ARMY on a mission. Right on!
Rozanne had a knack for collecting sunglasses and fabrics as well as everything else. Marcus brought in big, funky looking fishing line bundles. Jen brought back a lot of everything as she taught her son about nature and the problem with litter. A hat tip to Marcus – he’s young, and was tired and hungry, but he soldiered on. Well done Marcus, all the animals thank you!
I pecked like a bowerbird at bottles, takeaway containers, coloured broken pieces and found way too any of those bloody car parts again. Oddly, we all found enough clothes to kit out three generations of a decent sized family, and probably enough car parts to build a car to drive them to the beach. What is going on with all the car parts!?! They must not have been picked up after car accidents. That, or there’s something veeeery dodgy going on!
We ended up with 5 LARGE GARBAGE BAGS OF LITTER.
Chuffed at our haul
On a refreshingly natural note, I also found shark egg casings. If you’ve never seen them before, you’re in for a treat when you finally do. They’re almost alien. I showed Marcus and Rozanne an egg, it was their first time seeing one. There were plenty of fan sponges and urchin shells too. It was an interesting little nature lesson for the inquisitive, in between being eco-heroes and all 😉
By the end of our 40-minute mission, our gang had grown to 6 people – 4 adults and 2 super-kids (after new local Kevin came along with his little one in tow.)
12 hands make light work of collecting 5 bags of rubbish strewn amongst the seaweed. It was an amazing, fortifying community experience, I enjoyed every minute.
Logging the data
I logged the first rubbish collection data into this artwork. To continue the campaign with new artworks, I spent the past couple of weeks washing, sorting, logging and drying every single piece, ready for photography. I am SUCH a data nerd, I’ve been taking my time to make sure I have every piece correctly logged.
It’s good to keep in mind that this is what was collected over a relatively small timeframe, with a very small group of people. Imagine what’s still out there…
Here’s the hard data (swoon!):
Random hard, sharp and scratchy plastic parts such as car parts, toys, parts from our appliances. Takeaway Coffee cup lids. Takeaway plastic containers. Water bottles. Clothing. Building, fishing, and electrical industry items. It’s a horrible statement of urbanism’s disregard for what’s past the cafe, the store, the driveway and the stern.
Here’s what 644 pieces of rubbish looks like in real life:
I’m planning on creating a few posters from this lot. It’s a huge amount of plastic.
This first artwork was created from just 116 pieces of the 644 pieces of rubbish:
The poster reads:
This dish contains 116 pieces of discarded plastic and sharp metal. Each morsel is deadly.
When plastic looks like normal food, animals will eat it.
It then becomes the accidental dinner, the internal injury, the blockage, the malnutrition and eventual cause of death by starvation in wildlife.
Please collect and dispose of your rubbish…every single bit.
Prevent the slow and agonising death of aqautic and land wildlife.
Or in other words…
Be a #fuckgiver
Thank you, gang!
Thanks so much Rozanne, Jen, Marcus, Kevin and your little one for collecting all this!
You’ve saved at least 644 marine animals from dying as a direct result of ingesting this plastic, and countless others from dying as a result of eating them!
Absolute LEGENDS, you are. Never forget it!
Becoming a #fuckgiver too
Our plan is to make this movement BIG, and for this, we need legends like you to join us.
Follow this blog to follow our #fuckgiving movement! Sign up on my ‘follow’ sections on the right-hand column of my home page. It would be great to be able to contact you to let you know what we’re doing, and how you can join in as a #fuckgiver too!
Post your own #fuckgiving efforts and tag your photos, posts, videos and tweets with #fuckgiving! We’ll see them, I fucking assure you!
Start a #fuckgiver movement of your own – get your loved ones in on the initiative and let them tell YOU how many fucks they give by showing you via their posts!
Search for #fuckgiving, #fuckgiver and #giveafuck online and share share share! – it’s likely me sharing the love with you about the latest rockin’ legends!
Huge love everyone, I’m super keen to see you join us!
#fuckgivers UNITE! x
Hungry for more?
Follow me and keep an eye out for a blog that’ll introduce you to a bunch of gnarly, established organisations that you can also join. If you’re keen on collecting and logging straight away, you can download the Marine Debris Data Sheet for free from Tangaroa Blue Australian Marine Debris Initiative. They do amazing work! You can also learn how to collect and log marine debris data correctly here.
Go forth, legend! x