Today I put my graduation garb back on and revisited @nottstrentuni to receive the Outstanding Alumna of the Year award in recognition for my environmental campaigning and @plastic_patrol.
I cannot even begin to explain how much this means. I’m so honoured and priveledged to have been invited back to share my story and collect this rather grand looking award!
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined myself back in that graduation hall, and certainly not to receive an award for being “outstanding” in any way.
After my cancer diagnosis I made a decision to follow a life that was meaningful and authentic, and throw myself into whatever I care about with my whole heart. This recognition today reaffirms the choices I made and spurs me on to keep going and fighting for the changes I want to see and make in this world. 💯❤️
Three consecutive days of litter picking on the waterways really does show the very best and very worst of humanity.
One minute I’m fishing out plastic bottles, wrappers, bags, tampon applicators and even condoms that have been absent-minded and selfishly discarded... and the next I’m surrounded by an army of individuals all eager to spend their own time helping to clean it up, or donate their hard earned money to keeping @plastic_patrol going.
I am constantly amazed by the contrast of what I see and whilst sometimes I feel despondent about the scale of the problem, I remind myself that what we’re doing is a small part of a big jigsaw - and it all matters. Other people all over the world are working on their parts and, collectively, we’re changing the world one piece of plastic at a time. 💯❤️
Photo by the wonderful @andyhargraves who also gave up his time to capture some photos of Plastic Patrol in action this week. Legend!
Another brilliant day on the water! What an utterly amazing bunch of humans who came and joined me on @plastic_patrol in Rochdale today (and shout out to everyone else who came along but isn’t in this pic!). We pulled another 2 tonne bags of plastic from the canal - this time in Rochdale. And if that wasn’t enough we also fished out traffic cones, shopping trolleys, trikes, umbrellas, keyboards, washing machines and even a child’s swing. All in a days work!
Day one of @plastic_patrol in Ellesmere Port complete ✅ Between 30 of us we filled two tonne bags with rubbish over 6 hours paddling - and found the obligatory traffic cone too! Amazing effort from everyone involved and great to see so many familiar faces from last year as well as lots of new recruits too! Roll on tomorrow in Rochdale... 💯🙌🏼
Try paddle boarding for FREE. The catch? Pick up any plastic you see on the water - that’s your payment.
If you want to get involved in @plastic_patrol here’s a quick snapshot of availability over the coming weeks:
Ellesmere Port (14 July) - 7 spaces left
Rochdale (15 July) - 9 spaces left
Blackburn (15 July) - 8 spaces left
London (28 July) - FULLY BOOKED
London (29 July) - FULLY BOOKED
Sheffield (4 Aug) - 6 spaces left
Walsall (5 Aug) - 12 spaces left
Coventry (6 Aug) - 12 spaces left
Gloucester Docks (7 Aug) - 6 spaces left
Nottingham (11 Aug) - ONLY 2 spaces left
We will be adding an extra date for London on 27th July due to popular demand so watch this space!
Want to book on? Visit @plastic_patrol and click on the website link to reserve yourself a paddle board.
Got your own paddle board, canoe or kayak? No need to book, just come along and get involved. All levels welcome - you don’t need to have paddled before and anyone 16+ can join us on the water. Don’t fancy paddling? Join us from the towpaths too! Drop me a message if you have any questions. Lizzie x
Today has been one of my favourites of the summer so far... here’s some of the highlights but the list is long!!
1) @_mofreitas flossed for me
2) @bluefinsups found my sunglasses 😎 AND joined me on a litter pick along the beach
3) @wakeupdocklands wants to do @plastic_patrol this summer
4) @kai_lenny gave me some paddling tips on the water
5) the @londonsupopen @appworldtour is ONE DAY AWAY and the venue is looking MEGA
6) the guys at @tagheuer put on an amazing lunch on the river
7) Annnnnd finally, I came out the underground on my way home to hear a busker playing one of my favourite Bruce Springsteen tracks.
Absolute belter of a day and so excited for a weekend of paddling fun in the sun! ☀️
So pleased this great weather is set to stay for the @londonsupopen festival this weekend! Already mega excited to catch up with paddling pals, watch the SUP pros in action and generally enjoy some beach vibes in central London ✌🏼☀️ 👙 Anyone who wants to compete (there’s beginner, am-pro and pro racing) needs to sign up on the website by Friday. And anyone who wants a less strenuous day in the sunshine there’s a beer tent, street food, demo boards, live music, loads of races and SUP yoga... see you there? 💯
Perfect day for @plastic_patrol in Kernow.
All my energy, heart and soul has gone into creating @plastic_patrol over the last couple of years and I’m so proud of what it’s become.
I wanted give people access to the sport that changed my life in so many ways and every clean up I run I’m amazed at the impact it has on everyone that joins.
By drawing attention to environmental issues through adventure it truly connects us with them. My own experience was exactly that - I started paddle boarding completely oblivious to how damaging plastic is to the planet. But seeing the devastation it’s causing from the water - birds entangled in fishing lines, nests made out of plastic wrappers and Reed beds full of bottles - pushed me to commit my life to doing something about it.
Thank you @zoopla for joining me on #PlasticPatrol yesterday, and I’m unbelievably excited for a summer of cleans up all around the UK. Everyone is welcome to join (no experience needed). You can either stay on land and litter pick, sign up for a free paddle boarding spot or bring your own board/kayak/bike! See you there! ❤️
COMING SOON: a short film following my journey along the River Ter in Spain, from the Mediterranean Sea to its source high in the Pyrenees.
It was an incredible trip as I learnt about life along the river, how it’s evolved and what it means to the locals that rely on it for work and pleasure. I can’t wait to share my adventure with you in full very soon on @sidetrackedmag.
Filmed by @andersbrogaardfilm for @keeneurope. #terradora
PLASTIC PATROL IS BACK 🙌🏼
Today I took out 20 volunteers from @asos, we paddled for 2 hours over 2km of London’s waterways and collected more than 3 tonnes of rubbish!
If that’s not a good day, what is? It’s not often I stand back and reflect on what #PlasticPatrol has achieved but today I paddled along and felt quite choked by seeing the hard work of the last couple of years coming to life again, and seeing how much people enjoyed playing a part.
Want to join one of our paddle and pick clean ups around the UK this summer? I supply everything you need (paddleboard, litter pick and basket) and it’s completely FREE! All you need to do is reserve a spot and get stuck in!
Visit the website (plasticpatrol.co.uk) to find out where I’m hosting these clean ups and sign up to secure your spot. You don’t need any experience and if you already have a board/canoe/kayak then join us on that too!
Spaces to secure paddle boards are limited and it’s first come, first served - so hurry up and get booked on! 🏃🏻♀️ 🏃♂️
Raspberry ripple sunsets in Costa Rica 🌅
Two weeks exploring this epic little country has been insightful, hilarious and exhausting but what an adventure from start to finish! Now it’s homeward bound and straight into a summer of #PlasticPatrol - starting tomorrow...
Looking forward to getting back on home turf and seeing everything I’ve been working hard to get organised over the last few months finally come together. It makes me unbelievably happy 😊 Roll on summer 2018 #alltheplastic#plasticpatrol
These micro plastics (fragments of plastic under 5mm in size) were collected from one square metre of beach in less than three minutes!
At first I didn’t think there was much but the more I looked, the more I found. Hundreds of nurdles (plastic resin pellets about size of a lentil) that could easily have been mistaken as food by prey became more visible amongst the toothbrushes, razors and frames for sunglasses all washed up on the shoreline.
I don’t think this photo really shows the extent of what I found and saw, or does justice to the harmful impact of micro plastics but I hope it goes some way in highlighting the problem a little more.
Next time your at the beach mark out a small space and see how much you find!
SUP SELFIE - Stoked to finally get out paddle boarding in Costa Ricaaa! 🏄🏻♀️ I had the BEST morning exploring the Pacific coastline with the guys at @paddle9 - and we’ve got some exciting @plastic_patrol plans bubbling away too.
One of the reasons I love to travel is meeting likeminded people from all over the world, especially when it means putting our heads together to tackle the plastic crisis for the greater good. Makes my heart melt. Today is an EXCELLENT day! ❤️