I recently came accross @fellfromthestar ‘s instagram page and loved her clean-up beaches project. She wasn’t a big team of people, or an organisation but just a regular girl who was making an impact in her own way. It might seem like a small thing to clean up a beach near to you, but imagine what would happen if we all decided to get two or three friends together and clean up a beach near to us. Imagine the change we could make from one small act. Sometimes we can end up thinking what can we do? What can one person do to change the world, it seems so impossible we can create change that we often end up doing nothing and just carrying on as normal. One person cleaning a beach, one person going vegan, one person using a reusable coffee cup, it feels like we can’t make a differnece, but if everyone thought like that nothing would change. Sometime’s just starting, just doing your own bit can inspire others to do the same and when a few people just do their bit is when great change can happen.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and what got you started with cleaning up beaches.
I had been working as a model, promoting goods and clothes for various brands. Around 5 years ago I had just finished working on a shoot, when I saw another model picking up plastic bottles after the shooting team and I asked him what he was doing. Back then I was so unaware of my footprint that, I didn’t even know what recycling was. I literally never questioned where the all my waste goes. I was an unconscious consumer, buying water in plastic bottles, packaged fruits and veggies etc without a thought about what happened to the left overs. This small action from another inspired a change in me that has gone on to inspire others.
Do you have plans beyond cleaning beaches?
At this point in my life I am touched by so many environmental issues from all the world. I feel like there are so many problems in the world, that I am always trying to think of ways that I can make a bigger impact beyond recyling and minimizing my waste. I also started to clean hiking trails by myself and then getting friends involved but I still havn’t made as much impact as I would like to. I hope to do many more things in the future, I feel like this is just the beginning.
Have you inspired other people to join in?
One day I was at the beach casually collecting plastic and I saw a man coming up to me and saying he didn’t have a bag for his rubbish, this happened because he had seen me cleaning! If he hadn’t have seen me cleaning the beach he would have just left his rubbish behind to litter the beach. I realized that my example had encouraged him to do the same, I felt so inspired that it became a defining moment for me that I could in my own way create a change.
I decided that I have to be an example to others. I decided to use social media platforms to continue to inspire people to look after the world around them. Instagram was a great tool for me and I now run a campaign called “Cleaning one beach a week”. I have found this has really inspired people to echo what I am doing around the world and affect wider impact. I get people sending me messages and thanking me for inspiring them to do the same. It feels fantastic! 🙂
Any advice to other people as to how they can help to facilitate change?
One example of a person doing something purely helpful and without ego changed my life and I believe we can affect each others drastically by living by our values and being a living example.
The earth is in dire need for conscious people to take action. I mean, if not me then who will ? And if not YOU, then who will? The world is big and we need a lot of people to clean it up, one person can not do it alone. By taking just 3 plastic pieces off the ground and recyling them, is already something. If each of us set a rule to pick up 3 pieces only – we would have tidied up the whole planet by now:)
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Interview @ Sarah Louise Johnson