Oceans cover roughly about 70% of the Earth's surface and provide a habitat for many types of marine wildlife: in the UK alone there are over 15,000 different marine species (1). The health of the oceans is crucial to our well-being and livelihoods. However, pollution and plastic waste are increasingly causing problems for marine wildlife. Of the UK's sea and coastline, 60% is found in Scotland and therefore it is not a surprise that we can witness the sad consequences of these problems on our shores (2).
Marine Conservation Society, our newest partnering organisation, was founded in 1983 to protect seas, shores and wildlife in the UK. The MCS has since become a hugely important player in conservation and influecing people to take positive action. Throuhgout its operations MCS has successfully increased awareness of marine conservation, influenced decision makers and published brilliant guidance like the Good Fish Guide App, which gives advice on sustainable seafood, recipes and where to eat out (2).
#ShoreYouCare event organised by @adventuresaroundscotland Susanne Arbuckle
Susanne Arbuckle, a Scottish travel blogger and writer Adventures Around Scotland (or @adventuresaroundscotland on Instagram), organised #ShoreYouCare event for content creators to learn more about and to get involved in marine conservation. The event, organised in partnership with the MCS in North Queensferry on the 1st June, involved a beach clean as well as great talks from MCS, marine conservation charity Fidra and Fife Coast & Countryside Trust. This event is a great example not only of the kind of positive and inspiring action that individuals can take but also a demonstration of the power of social media to share knowledge, raise awareness and encourage people to take positive action themselves.
This is how Susanne Arbuckle summarises the event: 'After months of planning, it was exciting to finally get our marine conservation event for Scottish content creators under way. The event went even better than I hoped with lots of social media content being produced on the day to raise awareness of the various marine environmental issues discussed by our expert speakers, with future blogs and vlogs to follow in a bid to keep the conversation going. During our beach clean we picked up over 1200 pieces of rubbish and countless nurdles which really highlighted the scale of the problem. There has been so much positive feedback about the event and it is a great example of the impact content creators can make when we all work together and use our various platforms to highlight the problems our environment is facing and what we can do to help.'
Plastic challenge - #goplasticfree
Our #RoamResponsibly campaign was launched to promote responsible behavoir outdoors and to combat issues like litter in nature. It is important to try, whenever possible, to pick up a few pieces of rubbish on your way up a munro or on a stroll along a lovely Scottish beach. However, we can also start dealing with this litter problem by reducing the amount of waste we produce in our day-to-day lives, because unfortunately a lot of it, especially plastics, end up in nature whether disposed correctly or not.
In July 2018, the Marine Coservation Society will be running their Plastic Challenge and encouraging people to #GoPlasticFree for a month - and of course to continue this forever after. Plastic is everywhere around us and, although a wonderfully versatile material, it is grossly overused and not much of it can currently be recycled, making it a real problem in terms of disposal. We have all seen sad news about how badly plastic is affecting the nature and wildlife all around the world. MCS's Plastic Challenge is a great opportunity for you to push yourself out of your comfort zone, think about how your could reduce your impact and to start making a real difference by reducing single-use plastics. Taking part in the campaign and reducing use of plastics will help with global problem with waste and plastic pollution, protecting our seas and wildlife and hopefully influence decision makers to steer society towards stronger sustinability.
Ready to take the challenge? Click HERE to sign up - a few of Scotland's Instagrammer Community already have! By signing up you can also receive tips and information on plastic-free lifestyle by email! Document your plastic free month through social media, Instagram stories or posts and tag
- @mcs_uk (instagram), @mcsuk (twitter) and Marine Conservation Society (facebook)
- @roamresponsibly (instagram), @RResponsiblySct (twitter) and RoamResponsibly (facebook)
You can also donate to help MCS's Stop The Plastic Tide campaign.
Find out more about how you can help conserve our seas, shores and wildlife with MCS here.
Want to take part in a beach clean? Find your local beach clean here.