Anyone can wear the suit

Newcastle heroes

On the 29th of December 2018, a group of heroes assembled at Nobbys Beach Newcastle, to protect their neighbourhood from, currently, one of the biggest environmental threats to this planet, plastic pollution. Together they picked up plastic wrappers, bottles, cigarette butts, a plastic snake, each piece of litter one less that will reach the ocean and affect marine life.

It is estimated that 8 million tonnes of litter enters the ocean every year, and with predications that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish it is vital that we shift our behaviours and become more consciously aware of our individual impact on the planet.

For us to begin to shift our perspectives and ultimately change our behaviours and actions, I believe we first, need to journey to outer space.

Planet Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago! How? Well, In a very young universe Helium (He) and Hydrogen (H) where abundant. These two elements condensed to form stars. When stars die (Supernova) they spit elements like; Carbon (C), Oxygen (O), Nitrogen (N), Nickel (Ni), Gold (Ae) and Iron (Fe) into the universe.

Fresh Helium and Hydrogen goes on to form new stars like our sun. While the heavier elements collide creating dust and debris, this is what formed our solar systems asteroids, moons, planets and everything else.

Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen and all the fundamentals that make up life, come from the processes that created the Universe. The atoms that comprise life on earth, that make up our bodies have come from stars. You, me and all life on this wonderful planet are not just a part of this universe but the universe is within us. We are all connected by stars.

Pretty phenomenal don’t you think?

Copyright - elasmo ocean 2018

Copyright - elasmo ocean 2018

Looking down at Earth from space you will noticed that it is rather blue. 70% of the Earths surface is water (fun fact 70% of your body is also water! Coincidence?… you tell me). Even if you don’t visit the beach every day, you are still interacting with the ocean on a daily basis, in-fact on average around 23,040 times a day. Every breath you take, the oxygen that fills your lungs, that gives you life, 70% of that is produced by the ocean. Phytoplankton convert Carbon Dioxide (Co2) into Oxygen (O) just like trees.

This makes the ocean the life support system of this planet.

The delicate health and balance of the ocean relies on healthy ecosystems. In school we are taught all about food webs, these food webs are so complex, so connected that we cannot possibly predict the consequences of wiping out species. Elasmobranchs (Sharks and Rays) are upper level predators, they have a very strong influence on the trophic levels below them. Therefore, elasmobranchs help keep ocean ecosystems in equilibrium.

copyright - elasmo ocean 2018

copyright - elasmo ocean 2018

The sixth mass extinction

We, homo-sapiens have been on the planet for a mere 140,000 years. We are currently in the sixth mass extinction, so named - Anthropocene defaunation

Anthropogenically: of, relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on nature.

Defaunation: Used to denote the loss of both species and populations of wildlife.

We pollute, we cut down trees, we exploit animals, turning the circles of life into our own personal conveyor belts, we destroy habitats, we release Greenhouse gases into the atmosphere without so much as a single thought. Aquaman the latest DC movie addresses a lot of the stresses we are currently putting on life below water.

Now, I know it can sometimes feel overwhelming, that you are one person and therefore cannot possibly make a difference. When in actual fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. The truly wonderful Stan Lee says it best

That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is without doubt, a real superhero
— Stan Lee

In the latest Spider-verse movie, the stand out line for me is “Anyone can wear the suit”. We don’t need to be bitten by a radio active spider to save the planet, to make a difference. We can make seemly small choices every day that benefit not just us but the planet, effects that can be felt across the globe. Here are a few to get you started;

  1. Adapt your diet (Give a vegan diet a go or reduce your meat intake)

  2. Reduce your single-use plastics - Refuse, reduce, reuse (Keep-cups, metal straws, bamboo cutlery, reusable bags, shampoo bars)

  3. Support and buy from ethical and environmentally friendly businesses

  4. Recycle what you can!

  5. Take 3 for the sea

  6. Choose compassion over cruelty

  7. Always be kind

  8. Educate others around you

  9. Empower others to work towards a more sustainable lifestyle

  10. Have courage, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

By changing YOUR world, you can change THE world.

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Remember

In this vast universe, there is, and only ever will be, one you.

Use the skills and passions that you have to alter the world around you. You are enough. You are a gosh darn super hero!


A massive thank you

A super big thank you to all you wonderful heroes who attended our clean up event, and to the awesome businesses/organisations who supported us;


Written by Hollie Newman

elasmo founder, Graphic Designer and Harry potter enthusiast

Hollie Newman