Stray focuses on showing travellers the best parts of New Zealand, and part of that mission is encouraging all travellers to keep NZ clean and green while they visit. But we also practice what we preach!
Our most recent effort to keep New Zealand pristine saw 12 members of the Stray HQ team get out of the office to help a small army of 150 local school children clean up Green Bay Beach in Auckland. The clean-up was organised by New Zealand-based environmental group Sustainable Coastlines as part of their month-long Love Your Coast Manukau Harbour Clean-Up.
Before getting our hands dirty, the Sustainable Coastlines’s crew provided insight into the significance of their work. In addition to regularly operating large scale coastal clean-ups around New Zealand and other Pacific Islands, a key part of their initiative is educating their volunteers and local school groups about how to keep the beaches and oceans clean.
They stress that the worst rubbish for the ocean environment is plastic, because it takes so many years for plastic to break down and it’s incredibly harmful to all marine life, which in turn is harmful to humans.
While cleaning up coastlines is a step in the right direction, it’s far better to combat plastic ending up in the oceans in the first place. Therefore, Sustainable Coastlines encourages people to follow the 3 R’s of the environment:
– Reduce the amount of plastic you use;
– Reuse plastic when you can;
– Recycle whatever plastic you can.
They also promote a 4th R: Refuse to use plastic in the first place.
Inspired, the crew took to the beach with the primary school kids to scour the rocks and sand for rubbish. Although the beach did not look very dirty upon arrival, a couple hours of careful beach combing produced seven bags full of broken glass, plastic bottles, discarded clothing and other plastic rubbish.
We left the clean-up armed with fresh tips to incorporate into our daily Stray lives. Keep your eyes peeled as we continue to roll out new Stray environmental initiatives through out the upcoming year. ‘Orange is the New Green‘ is more than a catchy phrase – it’s part of who we are!