The World has no remote control. If there are things you don’t like, get up and change them yourself.
I’m Libby, a teacher and marine conservationist. In 2017 I made a bamboo bicycle to cycle around the world raising awareness about (and lessen) plastic pollution in the oceans. So far I have cycled bits of Australia, the length of New Zealand and across Africa (the skinny bit near the bottom!).
Slightly longer version, with pictures:
Having spent 5 years working in marine conservation with world leading marine scientists, I have witnessed firsthand the effects of plastic pollution in the marine environment. I have seen the plastic-filled stomachs of dead turtles and sea birds, poached turtle bones hidden amongst sand dunes, swum with marine animals bearing the scars of propellors and fishing lines; some still ‘wearing’ fishing nets and other manmade debris, others just wearing the scars or missing entire appendages.
When you see footage like Blue Planet II showed, it’s horrifying. When you see it for yourself in real life, it eats away at you relentlessly.
Tread Lighter is a celebration of what each of us can do to make a positive difference. This is a philosophy that the wonderful Dr Jane Goodall promotes through her Roots and Shoots call to action:
“Every individual makes a difference. You have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
I believe education is the most important tool to change the world. Children don’t need to wait to become adults to affect lasting, meaningful change in their local communities. Through presentations and workshops, I’m on a worldwide mission, recruiting young game-changers to become real life superheroes, creating a wave of positive change in the world, starting in their local community. It’s magical to get the children fired up and watch what they achieve.
In October 2017, I started off with school talks in Australia, cycled the length of New Zealand for 5 months speaking in schools, at festivals, on the beaches and toured with the 5Gyres Institute, Algalita South Pacific and the Non-Plastic Maori, delivering ocean plastic workshops. Then I cycled across Africa and did some school talks there too.
In September 2018 I landed back in the UK and am excited to be continuing my education mission on home turf.
Since October 2017 I’ve spoken to nearly 9,000 school children and 2,000 adults, cleaned more than a few beaches, got better at cycling up hills and met some of my own conservation heroes along the way; oceanography legend Dr Sylvia Earle, South African freediver Hanli Prinsloo, Jack Johnson, Ingrid Visser the orca scientist, Marcus and Anna from the 5Gyres Institute, environmental campaigner Natalie Fee, founder of City To Sea and lots of other splendid people too.
Life becomes pretty awesome when you follow your passion.