People tell us why they got involved in the #SeaToSource National Day of Action

We all have different reasons for getting out of bed at 7am on a Sunday. For some it’s the incentive of a freshly brewed coffee, for others it’s an alarm in the form of a small person tugging at their toes, or a yoga class that promises a relaxing day ahead. 

For these CVA volunteers, their reason was simple. They were up at 7am to be a part of the #SeaToSource National Day of Action event series around Australia – a series of beach clean ups taking place to protect our oceans and waterways from litter. They were a handful of the 250+ people who took part across the country. And why did they want to be involved? To do something for the natural world around them that they enjoy being a part of and feeling good about it afterwards! 

Helen: 17-year-old netball player, high school student & Airforce cadet 

“Right now it’s school holidays and after a week I get bored so I thought “why not volunteer, it will be a fun thing to do!” especially since it’s my last year in Mackay before I head off to university. I thought cleaning up the amazing beaches we have here would be a worthwhile thing to do! 

So I googled this event and got in touch – my brother is into the environment and animals, so he wanted to come – and we dragged mum along too! 

It was actually quite fun being on the beach collecting rubbish with the family, the thing that shocked me the most was the amount of rubbish everyone collected. I did not expect for there to be so much! And that was just one beach, imagine all the beaches in Mackay. That would be a crazy amount of rubbish. 

It feels quite empowering to know there are other people who get out of bed and come and clean up our beaches. It’s also empowering to see how much people can achieve and how what we do has an impact on the environment. 

As individuals you never know how much of an impact you have on someone, it could be as simple as smiling or talking to someone. Then especially in an environment setting, one person can do a lot. If we’re all doing the same thing, unknowingly we can make a big impact. 

The environment’s obviously a beautiful place to be, so come and have some fun – pick up rubbish – and if you’re passionate about it you’ll definitely enjoy it and continue to do it.” 

Alysia: Embarking on a journey of sustainability as a mum of two and Client Services Officer 

“I’m just starting to get really into helping the environment and waterways and trying to do my bit for the future. From what I’ve read and seen, the planet’s not going to be very good for the kids and their kids, so you’ve got to do your bit. Even if you’re not perfect at it, at least you’re doing something. 

My kids are definitely part of the reason I’ve started thinking about it, but even just from what I’ve seen on Netflix etc – I watched Seaspiracy recently – and it’s just like, wow. It’s never too late to start this journey! 

In terms of volunteering here today, it’s a really good feeling being part of something nationwide, you just feel like you’re a part of something bigger. 

I definitely think anyone can make a change. Even if 10 people are doing something, it makes so much of a difference. Even making small swaps and mentioning to someone that you’re now buying things in glass rather than plastic etc – which I’ve recently started doing – and sharing what you do with other people creates a bigger movement. I definitely think one person can make a difference. 

I’m now buying things in glass bottles rather than plastic, and my son collects people’s containers from the neighbourhood so instead of them putting them in the rubbish – we take it to the containers for change bins and get money for it which is his allowance.” 

I really enjoyed it today. It’s really fulfilling feeling like you’re picking up rubbish and cleaning up the beach – it makes you feel good. Today lived up to my expectations and more – I didn’t realise I would enjoy it as much as I did. Even picking up the rubbish, it’s amazing what people leave behind. I’ll definitely be back for the next one.” 

Katrina Dent: Reef Catchment CEO & nature-lover 

“We’ve got a beautiful day here today and we want to be able to maintain that. You may be able to hear the birds around, there’s a whole range of different things that drive what we love about our local environment. Is it the birds we hear, the vegetation we see swaying in the breeze? There are so many things that we want to maintain so they exist in the future. We all have this romantic nostalgic view of our childhood and being in nature, and we want that to continue for future generations.  

We all need to start somewhere, and it takes one person to drive that action. Collectively we can get more done. So yes, it is a hard task – you can think that it’s a mountain you can never get over – but it is one step at a time and together we can achieve a whole lot more than not working together. We all have very similar objectives, we may be coming at it from different perspectives and angles but when you strip it back it’s very similar – it takes one step and one action, we can create that change. Single use plastic bags is an example where people have jumped on board. It was hard at the start, but we’ve got there now and it’s second nature to us. 

“Give it a go and see how you go! It’s about deciding where your priority is that day, is it a sleep in or getting up taking some action? It’s also about knowing what will make you feel better after – try to remember the feeling after you’ve volunteered. Sure, you might be a little bit sweaty and dirty – but how do you feel? You’ve connected with someone else, you’ve experienced a beautiful day – and holding onto that feeling next time the opportunity comes along. Challenge yourself a little bit and see how you go!” 

Want to find your ‘why’ and do your part to protect our oceans? Sign up to our #SeaToSource newsletter to keep up to date with future events or find current volunteer opportunities in your area!


Get Involved

We’re here to make it easy to take action for nature across Australia, and we would love your help. Check out the ways that you can get involved in your local area.