Welcome back to the watery depths of Anglesea Sea Zoo! The fish all look happy today…
But Paddy and Plunkett were in a bit of a pickle when we left them last week!
Fortunately, I was getting all alarmed over nothing… Turns out that this rather large octopus is a big fan of the boys, and couldn’t wait to snatch them up for a hug and a photo!
Look, here they are… Safe and sound, climbing aboard the wreck of the Seven Sisters pirate ship.
Anything else lurking in the shadows? The Sea Zoo website said to look out for conger eels!
“Nope, just a few crabs here!”
And further on… Look what Plunkett’s found!
He’s wandered into the Seahorse Nursery, another of the Sea Zoo’s ongoing conservation projects.
And it’s an important one, because these strangely beautiful little creatures are feeling the pinch all over the world. They’re put into traditional Chinese remedies for everything from skin complaints to heart disease, dried and sold as souvenirs, and kept as pets (which they really don’t like). Luckily, the Sea Zoo is part of a Europe-wide collaboration between aquaria, universities and conservation organisations, all of them working together to share research findings, improve captive breeding, and campaign to protect wild seahorses in the future.
The Sea Zoo have another seahorsey claim to fame too – they’re one of the only places in the world where short-snouted seahorses have successfully bred in captivity! Short-snouted seahorses, and their long-snouted cousins, are both native to British waters… And you see both at the Sea Zoo.
Sadly, despite the best efforts of the Sea Zoo and their partners, the boys saw a lot of this as they walked around the aquarium.
Pollution of the world’s oceans with plastic is already having a serious impact on marine life… And unless we fix this plastic problem, all of the fantastic creatures Paddy and Plunkett met here could vanish from the seas forever! They don’t want to see this any more than I do, so they asked me to wrap up this post by sharing a few little things we can all do to bin the plastic… For good.
On your lunch break…
Don’t take away – bring it with you! With the UK planning to introduce a 25p tax on disposable coffee cups, and many coffee shops actually offering a discount on your drink if you show up with your own takeaway mug, it’s probably a good time to pick up a reusable coffee cup and get into the habit of using it. I love my one… It keeps my tea toasty for at least 3 hours!
I’m also very fond of my Snack Attack lunchbox for strategic sandwich and nibbles transportation… Or I’ll pack a home-made salad in a washed-out takeaway container or ice cream tub. Don’t forget to bring your own cutlery too!
And finally, say no to straws. Very few of us need to use a straw… But then again, if you like to, bring one with you! Reusable metal and bamboo ones are available for anyone who likes to noisily slurp up the last dregs of their milkshake.
In the supermarket…
Of course, bring your own reusable shopping bag with you! I keep mine well stocked with smaller bags for loose fruit and veg or bakery items, so that I never need to take one of the store’s plastic bags.
You can also avoid the huuuuuge amount of packaging that comes with fragile tasties like biscuits and crackers by making your own – check out this recent post from The Snail of Happiness for inspiration!
In the bathroom…
I was really shocked a couple of years ago when I bought a pack of “cotton wool” pads… Only to discover later on that they were 100% polyester! And it turns out that it’s not uncommon for things that look like cotton wool to actually contain a blend of fibres, some of which are man-made and not biodegradable. This prompted me to switch to washable, plastic-free alternatives – I got my reusable cotton face pads from Kindly Island and they’ve been great!
I was also really impressed to see that my local Boots chemists have started stocking toothbrushes with bamboo handles. They’re not perfect – the bristles are still nylon – but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
(PS Any links in this section are only here because I own these things, use them and love them! Rest assured that I am not being paid by any companies to hawk their wares)
I imagine many of you are probably doing these things already, but if not… Pick one and give it a try! Little changes can make a big difference when everyone joins in. And if you have any suggestions of your own, be sure and share them in the comments!
We’ll be back next week, with a new Beastie for you all to meet. See you then!