111This year’s World Environment Day theme is, “Seven Billion dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care”. This brings to light that we are all individual cells of a whole organism and if change is to take place it needs to start with the individual. Each of us needs to take action for the sustainable use of the environment that we totally depend on for our livelihood.

World Environment Day, 5 June 2015, encourages us to look at how we can make small changes in our daily lives to ensure less harm comes to the environment. Here’s how you can make a change this year:

The Better Bag Challenge

More than 8 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year, including millions of disposable plastic bags. An estimated 80% of the plastic waste in the ocean comes from people on land. Plastic waste chokes and kills animals like sea turtles, whales, and sea birds. Sadly, animals think the plastic is food! Plastics floating in the ocean are also “sponges” for concentrating toxins.

Reducing the plastic we use and discard is the first step to stopping this. Remember the motto “reduce, re-use, recycle”.

The challenge: Commit to shopping without disposable plastic bags for a whole year and take a reusable bag instead! One could also commit to re-using the disposable bags until they fail and then recycle them.

Sharing is caring: Tell your friends and family that you’re taking the challenge. Ask them to join you in choosing reusable bags for a year! Share on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #BetterBagChallenge


The two main species of turtle found along South Africa’s East Coast are Loggerheads and Leatherbacks. Leatherback turtles are critically endangered, with only 60 nesting females per annum in the KwaZulu-Natal province. They feed primarily on Jelly Fish and crabs.

Article written by Melaney Barrath, People & Conservation Officer for Knysna: GRNP

Input from the Knysna Basin Project.

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