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Protecting our Aqualife

As a swimmer, ocean enthusiast and scuba diver I have been lucky enough to swim and dive in many of the oceans around the world. I have many amazing memories of stunning marine life, crystal clear water, mind-blowing reefs and underwater structures. And now living here in Australia, I’m constantly in awe of the beauty and magic of the surrounding waters.

Spending so much time in and around the ocean, you get to see first-hand the destruction and damage caused by trash and plastic rubbish and the impact this is having on our marine eco-systems.

Here at Aqualife our passion for the ocean is reflected in our creative swim lessons. By introducing swimmers to marine creatures and their habitats, and teaching how we can protect and look after the ocean, swimmers learn respect and love the water.

From this term we will no longer be providing blue shoe over covers for poolside. We are asking that all swimmers and spectators bring re-usable flip-flops with them instead, as outside shoes will not be permitted in and around the pool area.

We would like to also encourage re-usable swim nappies for our parent and child classes and request that all rubbish, including swim nappies, be taken home and disposed of responsibly.

Eyes in the Water

It’s easy to turn away or shut down distressing or shocking images but unless we start to make changes now, in our daily life, our oceans and planet will be destroyed.

The diagram shows the trash that was collected from beach and ocean clean ups over the past year:

Last years Sky Ocean Rescue Campaign constructed this amazing whale out of plastic bottles and bags found in the ocean.

The size of the whale represents the amount of plastic that finds its way into the ocean every SECOND.

Eight million tonnes of plastic finds its way into our oceans every year.

Even small daily changes can make a massive difference – these are our top tips for you to try at home:

1. Refuse plastic bags at the supermarket and remember to bring your own re-useable bags from home instead.

2. Rehome. Use charity shops or sites like Gumtree or Ebay to re-home unwanted household items from clothes to collectables and puzzles to plants.

3. Recycle. We all know how to recycle, but some items can be tricky. Batteries, mobile phones, fluorescent lights and old appliances can all be recycled. Check local council websites for more information.

4. Rethink how you dispose of rubbish while you are out of the house. Littering is never okay. Take your rubbish with you and dispose of it responsibly at home.

5. Rot. About half of the waste we send to landfill can be safely composted at home using a worm farm or Bokashi bucket. You’ll be saving loads of greenhouse gas emissions and you’ll get back nutrients that you can use on your garden.

6. Return the nutrients from your garden clippings back to the earth by composting or mulching. Your plants will thank you and you’ll save money using this natural fertiliser.

7. Request a NO JUNK sticker for your letter box and unsubscribe to any postal mailing lists that you no longer use. If you’re not reading it, stop receiving it.

8. Reduce the amount of chemicals and plastic waste in your home by making your own natural cleaners. Mix one part water with one part vinegar and a squeeze of lemon juice for an effective all-purpose cleaner.

9. Reuse, not single use. Switch to re-usable water bottles and coffee mugs instead of the throw away alternatives and say NO to plastic straws.

10. Repurpose. Before throwing it away, think of how it can be put to use a different way. Old clothes and linen make great dusting rags, chipped coffee cups make great indoor plant pots and an old suitcase can even be repurposed as a dog bed!

There are so many amazing resources but we can highly recommend one of our own swimming mum’s Facebook page for top tips and lots of zero waste ideas:

If you have any great top tips you would like to share, please do post on our Aqualife Facebook page!

Penny x

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