We’re looking for Australia’s most passionate ECO. Warrior to be the face of our movement. Check out our second entry from New South Wales, Chloe!
For your chance to be our face and to win some amazing prizes including a customised LED surfboard and a year’s supply of ECO. Modern Essentials skincare products, send a video of how you’re helping to keep Australia’s beaches clean to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ECO. Clean Beach founder Claire Mitchell speaking to Brisbane radio station 96Five about the initiative and about the importance of young Australians getting involved in the fight against marine pollution.
A new generation of environmental activists is emerging to help fight marine pollution in Australia, thanks to the launch of an innovative campaign that’s turning teenagers into ECO. Warriors.
The brainchild of Australian natural skincare company ECO. Modern Essentials and not for profit group Take 3, the ECO. Clean Beach Initiative is creatively using social media to encourage teenagers to get outside and to help clean up the nation’s beaches.
Hoping to reduce marine pollution in Australia, an issue that globally is estimated to kill more than one million sea creatures each year, the ECO. Clean Beach Initiative centres on a YouTube competition to find Australia’s most active and passionate ECO. Warrior.
Co-Founder of the initiative, Claire Mitchell, states the campaign is aiming to change behaviour of Australia’s future generations, as young Australians are the ones who will determine the nation’s future environmental sustainability.
“To have a long term affect we really need to get young Australians involved and caring about our environment,” she said, “because ultimately they will be affected if there are no beaches or if our native wildlife is extinct in ten years’ time.”
Over the next six months, the ECO. Clean Beach Initiative will encourage young Australians from every state and territory to upload creative and fun videos showing how they’re helping to clean up their local beaches, with the teenager whose YouTube clip receives the most likes and comments at the end of the campaign to become the face of the initiative.
“It’s about creating an army of ECO. Warriors who others can look up to and be inspired by,” Ms Mitchell continued. “We want to create real change and greater discussion about and awareness of marine pollution and just how badly it’s impacting our environment.”
“The United Nations estimates that over 6 million tonnes of plastic debris enters the world’s oceans every year and that plastic can now be found on every beach in the world and in every corner of the ocean,” added Co-Founder of Take 3, Tim Silverwood. “If we can help to reduce that level just in Australia, we’ll be making a huge difference, so we really do urge everyone to get involved.”
ECO. is also hoping to raise over $15,000 for Take 3 over the six month campaign through donating a percentage of sales from every ECO. product sold to the Take 3 cause, with Ms Mitchell strongly believing that social media will be critical to the initiative’s success.
“We really feel that if we are going to make a difference and spark a movement then we have to do it via social media,” she said. “It’s where this younger generation communicates and where they have a very strong voice. Just one 15 year old posting about our campaign could reach thousands so it’s a very powerful tool.”
To add even further incentive for Australians to become ECO. Warriors, the ECO. Clean Beach Initiative will also host a beach party at the end of the six months in the state or territory that’s been the most involved in the campaign, with big name musicians and celebrities promised.
Ms Mitchell, who came up with the idea for the campaign after being inspired by Take 3’s simple message of ‘take 3 pieces of rubbish with you whenever you leave the beach’, states it’s all about encouraging Australians to start taking pride in the nation’s iconic beaches and local environment again.
“I came across Take 3 last year and was absolutely amazed by what they’d achieved, not only in the way of pollution clean-ups, but, more importantly in motivating young Australians to get involved,” she said. “I really wanted to help and offer my support and I hope that by getting ECO. Modern Essentials’ large and loyal following involved in Take 3’s mission, that we’ll finally find a solution to marine pollution.”
What prompted you to become an environmental activist and founder of Take 3?
As surfers and with a deep love of the beach and ocean, the founders of Take 3 were immensely concerned about the increase of plastic pollution in our oceans. Amanda Marechal and Roberta Dixon-Valk, two friends, developed the concept of Take 3 and after an introduction by a mutual contact the three of us were set to go in 2009!
When people hear of the issue and the impact it has on the environment they often say, “Isn’t that terrible, what a shame.” We thought, instead of people feeling overwhelmed and like they can’t possibly help, let’s inspire them with a simple action that they CAN do to help. We don’t think the action of taking three pieces of rubbish from the beach can solve the problem completely but we do think using Take 3 as an educational campaign to get this issue acknowledged is a great start.
How big of an issue is plastic pollution in Australia?
Scientists report that plastic fragments can now be found on every single beach in the world and in every corner of the ocean at concentrations of up to 40,000 pieces per square kilometre. The majority of plastic in our oceans and on our beaches started its journey on land and was washed down drains, blown into rivers and eventually released into the sea.
That means wherever you see plastic rubbish you can remove that risk to wildlife by just picking it up and putting it in the bin. Plastic is made from oil and natural gas and because it is synthesised using many chemicals it doesn’t biodegrade. That’s why the bulk of the problem in our oceans is what we call ‘micro-plastic’, it’s the small fragments of broken plastic from larger items that unfortunately resemble food for marine life.
Australia has an amazing array of marine biodiversity and a culture and economy reliant on our coastline and oceans. It is imperative that Australia shows global leadership on this issue and takes steps to reduce plastic pollution; this includes banning plastic bags, placing a 10 cent refund on beverage containers to prevent littering and increase recycling, educating the next generation on the issue and finding better alternatives to disposable plastic.
Why should people get involved in Take 3 and the ECO. Clean Beach Initiative?
The ECO. Clean Beach Initiative is a fantastic project that aims to inspire a future generation to care for their local area and the oceans. Every river leads to the sea and the ocean is downhill from everywhere so no matter where people are in Australia they can help by taking 3 items of rubbish and protect our marine life.
By purchasing ECO. Modern Essential products Take 3 will receive a 5c donation to our non-profit organisation, allowing us to continue and expand our educational programs. The ECO. Clean Beach Initiative will educate and inspire a new generation of ECO. Warriors who will in turn lead local action to keep Australia’s coastline clean; how exciting is that!
Claire Mitchell – CEO of ECO. Modern Essentials
Why have you developed the ECO. Clean Beach Initiative?
The idea behind the ECO. Clean Beach Initiative came from my own personal desire to ensure that future generations of Australians can enjoy running and playing on clean white sand and surfing in pristine oceans like I have had all my life.
I’m deeply passionate about our beaches and often don’t go a day without a surf or a beach walk, but I think many of us take this luxury for granted. We think that our beaches and marine life are always going to be there and have therefore stopped treating them with respect.
The ECO. Clean Beach Initiative is about encouraging Australians to get back to nature, to start looking after our most iconic landmarks and to, most of all, start taking pride in our beaches again.
As I always say, you wouldn’t just throw rubbish on the floor of your home, so why do it on your beach?
Why did you choose to partner with Take 3?
I was immediately drawn to Take 3’s dedication to protecting our environment, particularly our beaches and beautiful marine animals.
The founders are all incredibly passionate about raising awareness of the issue of plastic pollution and the impact that it is having on our environment and are really clever in how they’re encouraging Australians to get involved and to care about their beaches.
I also loved that Take 3 has a very similar working ethos to ECO. in that everyone within the organisation is very hands on and involved in all facets of the business and really cares about its future and success.
I really admire what Take 3 have managed to achieve in a very short space of time and am proud to offer them ECO.’s support so that they can continue to do great things for our environment. Hopefully together, we can make a real difference.
What are you hoping to achieve with the ECO. Clean Beach Initiative?
Ultimately, I’m hoping to change behaviours. Both Take 3 and ECO. really want to encourage Australians, who have become very consumer driven, to get outside and get back to nature again.
We want people to care about the future of their beaches and our native wildlife that have become so iconic to Australia.
So it’s not just another fundraising campaign. Our end goal is to have an army of ECO. Warrior’s picking up rubbish and protecting our beaches for many more future generations to come.