Start off the month by completing a quick SUP survey about your current habits with Single-Use Plastics. Try and remember to do the SUP Survey again at the end of the month - the link is on 30 SUPtember :) Also get set up for SUPtember by ordering your Good SUP, Bad SUP postcards.
Clean Up Australia is calling on all Australians to Step Up and make a pledge towards reducing their waste contribution. There are so many ways to Step Up! And together we can all be part of the solution. Share your Step Up action by taking a selfie, sharing it and tagging @CleanUpAustralia #StepUptoCleanUp
If you live north of the Tropic of Capricorn, step up and register for The Great Northern Clean Up. It has been an annual event in September since 2009, giving communities north of the Tropic of Capricorn the flexibility to participate in clean up events in the cooler months, after the peak tourist period and prior to the cyclone season.
SUPport your local bag share group - do you have a Boomerang Bag group near you? Check out the Boomerang Bag shop to support this awesome Australian community group. Short on bags? Order one from Boomerang Bags.
Featured local bag share group: Lane Cove Sustainability Action Group Bag Share Program
For those of you who don't live near a planned clean up paddle, you can Take3 For the Sea - Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere and you have made a difference!
ReefClean is a project coordinated by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and funded through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust focused on the removal and prevention of marine debris across the Great Barrier Reef. ReefClean connects community members, indigenous rangers, schools, government agencies, local businesses and organisations in addressing one of biggest threats to our oceans. Sign up to ReefClean events throughout September.
For those of you who don't live near the Great Barrier Reef, have a read how plastics have become a growing threat to coral reefs.
Find local suppliers of re-usable and paper straws, don't be tricked by oxo-degradable plastic straws!* Here's one example of a paper straw supplier.
*Oxo-degradable is a conventional plastic mixed with an additive in order to imitate biodegradation. Oxo-degradable plastics quickly fragment into smaller and smaller pieces, called microplastics, but don’t break down at the molecular or polymer level like biodegradable and compostable plastics. The resulting microplastics are left in the environment indefinitely until they eventually fully break down.
Do you live in or near Manly, NSW? Join Pittwater Eco Adventures weekly Social SUP Community every Wednesday 7-8am. Suitable for beginners, gentle paddle out of Manly Cove, optional Outdoor Yoga available afterwards. BYO good SUP or rent one from them. And while you're SUPing, why not pick up the bad SUPs along the way! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
For those of you who don't live in the area, do a Take3 For the Sea - Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere and you have made a difference.
Pick up any SUP litter today and send a photo of the plastic straws you find to your local state MP and Environment Minister, ie. via email or tag them on Facebook and Twitter. Tell them where you found it and why we need to phase out SUPs in our state ASAP. Find the contact detail of your state Environment Minister and local MPs here.
What YOU can do to be exSTRAWdinary! Ask for no straw - Most drinks can be drunk without a straw these days. Plus, it's a great way to start a conversation with your bartender about the impact of plastic straws! BYO reusable straw - You can carry a metal, bamboo or glass straw with you for those occasions when you really want a straw. Chat to venues - As a customer, you have more power than you think. Let your favourite bar or cafe know you'd love for them to stop using plastic straws. You can even visit them with a few Plastic Free Resources to help them get started.
Talk to your local soccer/netball/footy club about any SUPs they are using. Can you help them find alternatives? (Refer to your research on Tuesday :)
Beach Patrol has created a phone app to record the collection of the top 24 SUP items for any group or individual to use called Litter Stopper. Free to download from Apple AppStore and Google Play Store. The person entering the data gets sent a copy of the data as well to a central server. Instructions are on the front page of the app.
You can see the results of all the collections on the Litter Stopper website with some interesting basic analysis on the View summary page. Download the data from the website too if you wish to use it.
Pledge to say no to takeaway plastic foodware, eg. trays, cutlery and especially polystyrene. Plan ahead and take your own container and cutlery if you are eating out.
Ask your local school to try alternatives to any of the single use plastic items that they use in the canteen or office. Check out the Ocean Friendly Business program run by the Surfrider Foundation - can your local school canteen meet the challenge?
PS. Get some good ideas to help your school canteen go plastic free from Plastic Free Sophia.
Find local suppliers of paper, sugarcane, and other compostable alternatives to plastic foodware items. So Shire have a good page of suppliers to check out. Find out if your Council or a local company offers a Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) service, that accepts certified compostable items with the food scraps.
Pick up any SUP litter today and send a photo of the plastic cutlery you find to your local state MP and Environment Minister, ie. via email or tag them on Facebook and Twitter. Tell them where you found it and why we need to phase out SUPs in our state ASAP. Find the contact detail of your state Environment Minister and local MPs here.
Visit your local cafe/restaurant and talk to them about SUPs - If they are bad-SUP-free give them a big thank you! If they are still using bad SUPs encourage them to make the switch to reusables or compostable items. Give them a Good SUP, Bad SUP card - either a Gratitude card or a Be the Change card, available from Boomerang Alliance Online Shop.
Also check our Boomerang Alliance Plastic Free Places program for some guides on how to be a Plastic Free Business.
Ask some friends or family to collect litter with you. Plastic litter will break up into smaller pieces called microplastic and they are so tiny they are often mistaken for food by marine animals. If you want to find out more about microplastic or would like to learn how to collect microplastic data, please visit the AUSMAP website.
Pledge to say no to single use beverage cups and bottled water and take your own reusable cup and bottle. Be inspired by the story of Bundanoon in NSW, the world's first bottled water free town in 2009!
If you haven't got a reusable cup, it's time to get one! A lot of local businesses and councils are selling or even giving away re-usable cups. Or dust off the one in your cupboard and remember to take it when you are out and about. Be assured that washing a re-usable cup is safe. Learn about the "contactless pour" if your local coffee shop is concerned.
Check out if there is a plastic free group active near you and if there isn't one yet consider getting one started. Small groups of people can make a big difference. Together you can encourage your local council to take action and sign up to Plastic Free Places, or start with a trial. Be inspired by groups like SO SHIRE/Plastic Free Sutherland in the Sutherland Shire of NSW (where the Prime Minister lives!) and Seaside Scavenge who are running creative events around the country.
Pick up any littered coffee cups, lids or other cup rubbish and send a photo to your local state MP and Environment Minister, ie. via email or tag them on Facebook and Twitter. Tell them where you found it and why we need to phase out SUPs in our state ASAP. Find the contact detail of your state Environment Minister and local MPs here.
Have you cashed in your eligible bottles and cans for 10c REFUNDS? Find your nearest collection point, Return and Earn Reverse Vending Machine or automated depot where can take large number of bottles/cans. If you're in Victoria or Tasmania, write to your State Environment Minister and encourage them to get a wriggle on. They are committed to bringing in a Container Refund System but it is SUPer important that they come up with the best system, learning from other states. 'Split governance' gets the best results - rather than the beverage industry having control (like Coke and Lion trying to do in Victoria) because the less we recycle the more money they make from the system. We want a system that maximises recycling, reduces litter and helps charities raise money.
The Clean Up Australia PLOG-A-THON is the perfect way to get out in your local area. Socially responsible, physically distant exercise that leads to a cleaner environment and community - what's not to love?
The PLOG-A-THON is a great way to burn off energy, get the whole family involved – and raise funds for Clean Up Australia. All participants will pay a $20 registration fee and receive a plogging kit containing gloves, hand sanitiser and bags. As with traditional walk-a-thons and other fun runs, you can register as an individual or join a virtual team, setting targets for fundraising, distance covered and litter collection.
World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways, every year on the 4th Sunday in September. It highlights the many values of our rivers, strives to increase public awareness, and encourages the improved stewardship of all rivers around the world. Rivers in virtually every country face an array of threats, and only through our active involvement can we ensure their health in the years ahead.
Be inspired by groups who care for their local river, like the Mudcrabs, the Mullets with the Cooks River and around the world. Why not take a stroll along the river near you and see if you can pick up any rubbish along the way.
Pledge to get out and enjoy and look after our waterways by spreading the word about the importance of not using bad SUPs. We totally encourage you to try good SUPs (Stand-Up Paddleboards if you can) - there are heaps of small businesses giving lessons, hiring SUPs and community groups you can join to get out on the water. Check out where you can paddle in your state or territory and visit their respective websites: Paddle NSW, Paddle VIC, Paddle QLD, Paddle SA, Paddle TAS.
Write to your local paper (snail mail, email or on social media) and your State Environment Minister to tell them what you have done during SUPtember. Send a copy to email@example.com so we can include stories and photos in our Boomerang Alliance newsletter.
Join with other SUPporters of the Boomerang Alliance in regular actions, letter-writing and consider being a financial supporter if you are able. Maybe you are a Plastic Free Champion? or Zero Waste Hero? Keep up to date with us by signing up to our newsletter.
Last survey - whether or not you completed the SUP Survey at the start of the month, please complete our quick SUP survey about your current habits with Single-Use Plastics. Have you made any or many changes during the month?
Every day for 30 days, you will be challenged to take a pledge or a small action to refuse Single Use Plastic items. If you have young children, you may like to visit the Ocean Action Pod SUPtember Calendar, where your kids can challenge themselves to become Ocean Action Heroes. If you're a busy person, just do what you can, every small action matters!