Pick up Ten Little Pieces – anywhere, anytime

The Sunshine Coast is a place where nature meets nurture and Ten Little Pieces encourages all of us to make a difference to the places we love by collecting ten little pieces of litter anytime, anywhere, especially with children involved.

The organisation was founded by Sunshine Coast local Alison Foley, who was recently recognised with the 2020 SCC Australia Day Award for the Environment and Sustainability for her efforts in tackling plastic pollution.

“Every little piece we can prevent from reaching our waterways and every conversation we start with our kids to recognise their power to make a difference begins a chain reaction of responsibility and awareness which leads to conscious consumerism especially away from single use plastics,” says Alison.

“Even a micro effort of collecting just a few pieces of litter from your local playground or beach really adds up and is empowering for time poor families who might not be able to commit to longer beach clean events. We want to keep our paradise litter free because our horizon belongs to the Coral Sea, home to 300 endangered, threatened and vulnerable species”.

The strength of the Ten Little Pieces messaging is in its simplicity - if you see it, pick it up! And use the opportunity to reflect on your own choices and talk to your children about ocean pollution and what we as individuals can do to make a difference on a broader scale to reduce our impact.

Check out Anytime, anywhere: helping kids take action on ocean pollution for some tips.

Teaching children to protect places they love

Aside from the practical tactics, Alison is also an educator in schools and an advocate for change to reduce plastic usage at the source.

The K-12 Ten Little Pieces Education Program educates and entertains students towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through value driven action.

“The programs deliver the latest science and developments in marine debris and plastic pollution to students of all ages and connects this to wider sustainability concepts” said Alison. “The enthusiasm of our community to become involved in protecting our beautiful home is inspiring”.

Reducing single use plastics

While there seems to be a surge in the use of single-use plastics as a result of COVID-19, it has also given us an opportunity to slow down and reconnect with nature. Alison is hopeful that this new appreciation of our natural surrounds will fuel greater awareness of the effect of plastic pollution.

“I think most of us have come to realise during the last few months just how much we value the natural spaces of our beautiful region. It is my hope that the surge in single use plastic will be short lived because we realise the stupidity of consuming something that generates waste and has an impact hundreds of years past the usefulness of the product,” Alison says.

“By asking ourselves what the cost of this “convenience” really is, we can then recognise our responsibility for it, and be part of the change we need to see.”

The good news is that there is a way for café and restaurants to serve takeaway coffee in reusable cups. It’s called the “contactless pour”. Ten Little Pieces recently shared a @reefcleen2020 TikTok video for café owners showing just how easy it is to use reusables safely. Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/tenlittlepieces/videos/794112991340918/

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