Whales Matter – Join the Journey

The stop-over during the whale’s migratory journey has cemented Hervey Bay as the world’s leading whale watching destination, where travellers and locals alike can experience these iconic whales like nowhere else in the world. We as a community need to recognise that our actions impact their world and we rely on their world to sustain ours. Let the whales epic journey inspire us to make an epic change.

As individuals, we can make choices to reduce our ecological footprint, but as a community, the impact of our collective shift can be profound. The WCA aims to support a commitment to action by the communities within which we interact, that works towards reversing the trend of ever-increasing human impacts on cetaceans. Hervey Bay, in its potential to become the world’s first Whale Heritage Site, has an opportunity to be the beacon that inspires change.

The time to embrace the change is now, let’s embark on the journey together and inspire!

Join in the Community Engagement

As a legacy for the World Whale Conference, and as a community project involving residents and visitors to the region of Hervey Bay, we will be creating a community art project.

The community project will launch at the beginning of the Whale Festival in Hervey Bay August 3-11 and will be unveiled at the World Whale Conference in October.

“Whales Matter” is the theme and the Hervey Bay Community will be encouraged to join the journey through the following activities:

  • Reducing plastic use in the Fraser Coast region

  • Collect plastic rubbish from the Fraser Coast shoreline

  • A community day to build the community art project and educate about a plastic free environment

Join the Community Workshop - Stranding Response Practical Training

SATURDAY 12 October

Community Workshop: Stranding Response Practical Training

Morning Session: Stranding Response

Afternoon Training: Put our community training to the test!

Debrief and Presentation of certificates to all attendees

Stay Tuned, more information to come. 

How can you help, reduce plastic use?

Right now, plastic bags, plastic bottles and micro-plastics are chocking Australian sea life and clogging our marine ecosystems.  With one simple decision, to reduce the amount of plastic we use in our daily lives, we can turn the tide on plastic pollution and give our majestic sea creatures a healthier future.

How to avoid plastic at the supermarket

Plastic packaging in the supermarket is everywhere, whether it’s fresh fruit on a styrofoam tray, wrapped in cling wrap, plastic squeeze bottles or over-packaged lunch options for kids. It doesn’t have to be this way:

  • Choose the unwrapped produce where you can

  • Bring your own veggie bags from home

  • Choose bulk products where possible

  • Choose glass bottles or buy containers only where they are made from recycled plastic

  • Sign petitions to reduce or ban plastic packaging in supermarkets

How to avoid plastic at cafes and bars

Australians use 1 billion “disposable” coffee cups a year and millions of straws. But the coffee cups have a plastic lining and can’t be recycled and the straws end up in the ocean and are eaten by unsuspecting fish. You can help make a change:

  • Remember to bring your own reusable cup, such as a Keep Cup

  • Some cafes will let you bring your own mug

  • Introduce your local cafe to ‘Responsible Cafes’ and start saving money on each drink!

  • Say no to plastic straws. Either bring your own metal straw or just drink from the bottle or glass

How to avoid plastic for a party or event

Big events should be a worry-free celebration — and what better way to celebrate than to take care of the planet while you’re at it.

  • Say no to balloons — especially if they’re going to be released outdoors. They can travel for miles and end up as litter on land or out in the ocean. A mixture of plastic and rubber, they can last for up to four years once in the ocean – breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces

  • Say no to plastic toys, trinkets, party bag fillers — there are lots of wooden and paper alternatives that are gorgeous

  • Say no to the plastic bag for the gift, and anything else — carry your own bags for gift shopping and clothes shopping, just as you do for supermarket shopping

  • Use real plates, cups, and cutlery. Remember that ‘paper’ plates and cups often have plastic lining

  • Use rice or recycled paper instead of confetti — commercial confetti is filled with tiny sparkly bits of plastic which looks pretty in a photo but is devastating to marine life

  • Choose new bio glitter rather than plastic glitter for facepaint, sparkly eye make-up and fancy cards

Plastic recycling

We’ve all seen the recycling symbol on plastics. But remember the guide is reduce, reuse, recycle — in that order of priority. First, think about whether you really need the plastic or if there’s another option; then choose to reuse the plastic product as many times as you can, including buying products that are already recycled; then buy a new product and recycle it if there are no other options.

Here are some tips:

  • Check for the recycling symbol on all plastics you purchase and don’t buy the product if there isn’t one

  • Take plastic bottles back to redeem the container deposit with containers for change

  • Look for a program like RedCycle that will recycle post-consumer soft plastic waste like plastic bags and bread wrappers into large-scale recycled products like fenceposts and bridges, drop points in Hervey Bay are:

​Woolworths Eli Waters, Coles Bay Central, Coles Hervey Bay, Woolworths Urangan, 

Woolworths Maryborough, Coles Maryborough.

  • If you are a company buying large scale plastic such as signage, check whether there is a commercial recycler who will buy your materials from you when your campaign is finished.

Take it further – create a plastic free ocean

You’re reading through all the tips above and none of it applies to you: you’re already a plastic-free superstar! Fantastic work, but there’s still more you can do:

  • Join a local clean up crew, whether it’s part of Clean Up Australia or a local ‘friends of the creek’ — cleaning up the rubbish left near creeks helps stop the waste before it reaches the ocean

  • Sign petitions to pressure governments to introduce container deposit schemes, ban single use plastics and generally introduce incentives to improve sustainability in your state

  • Write to supermarkets and other major corporations asking them to reduce waste, eliminate unnecessary plastic wrapping and packaging and to use more recycled materials — with major stores Coles & Woolworths pledging to reduce their waste, keep them on track by keeping the pressure on them

  • Make a Plastics Pact with your friends that you’ll reduce your use together. 

  • Throw a plastics-free party and challenge your friends to get creative

  • Set guidelines for the next children’s birthday party, by adding a “We love our ocean — please no plastic presents” on the bottom of invitations

 

Artwork by Burralangi
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