On a mission to inspire others to take care of our beautiful biosphere region, 12-year-old Plastic Free Noosa Ambassador and Waste Warrior, Jarrah Small, is front and centre at our Plastic Free Noosa clean-up events.
Jarrah grew up spending her days surrounded by the ocean, national parks and wildlife and the more time she spends in nature the more she’s realised just how much plastic there really is in our ocean, and how it is harming our planet.
Why are you passionate about the issue of plastics?
Because I’ve seen first-hand how damaging plastic is in the ocean and how harmful it is to wildlife, like birds, turtles, whales and fish. I really want to inspire people to make changes to their daily habits to help reduce the amount of plastic in the Ocean.
What do you think are the biggest environmental concerns for your age group?
Climate change and plastic in the ocean. I think more young people are starting to understand what climate change is and are starting to make changes in their daily lives to help the planet.
Are you worried about the world you are inheriting from current generations?
Yes, I am. However, I’m also starting to feel hopeful as my generation is starting to realise and act on the gigantic problem of climate change. It’s also so good to see so many kids at beach clean up events and becoming involved with community groups to help the environment.
Can you tell us one rewarding experience you have had along your journey?
One that comes straight to mind is when I was doing a beach clean-up on a turtle nesting beach and I found a huge ghost net washed ashore. I dragged it all the way back to the camp site, rang the rangers and they came and collected it. It felt so good to get that ghost net off the beach and away from the ocean.
What is one of the most interesting experiences you have had on your journey?
Definitely “bin diving”, helping sort rubbish with Plastic Free Noosa at a community event. Standing in a big bin and sorting the rubbish into categories- landfill, compostable and recyclable. It was so smelly but worth it.
Do you have any heroes you aspire to?
Yes, definitely Sylvia Earl, she is so passionate about caring for the ocean and inspires me to do the same. Also Kate Nielson the Plastic Free Mermaid on Instagram because I am learning so much from her on my plastic free journey.
What does it mean to you to be a Plastic Free Noosa Ambassador?
It means that you care about the environment and you want to be part of a team that helps people and the community to also care for the environment by becoming single use plastic free. It means showing our community that together we can work on eliminating single use plastic in our lives.
Are you excited about the future?
Yes, there are so many people doing great things for the environment and new inventions and alternatives to plastic being created. My generation are learning a lot about caring for the environment in school and in our communities, education is so import. The future looks great.
Ready to go plastic free? Plastic Free Noosa helps to protect the environment by empowering the Noosa community in eliminating single-use plastics through direct engagement, recognition and facilitating circular economies.
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