As a qualified Yachtmaster, with a natural affinity with the sea, I have enjoyed sharing my passion with the Astro team and we have undertaken many staff sailing trips over the years.
With this is mind, the BBC documentary Drowning in Plastics had a very profound affect on me. None of us, even me with a heart that those who know me would call relatively cold and hard, could fail to be moved by it. As I watched and saw the enormity of the issue facing our amazing oceans, with plastic now floating everywhere, even in the Arctic and Antarctic I knew I had to act. I’m no tree-hugger, but I wanted to do more than just a quick ‘share’ or ‘like’ of a post or photo on social media, I wanted to take tangible and real action…and not just me – it was important that the entire Astro team was involved.
The documentary traced the issue from the “great garbage patch in the sea”, all the way into the food chain of polar bears etc and it made me think about my personal contribution to the problem. Over dinner with Steve Hooker, the wise young man said that “what you put out into the universe is usually what you get back…” So this led me to sending a company-wide email with these messages:
- “I would like us to stop ordering sparkling water in plastic bottles from this week”
This reader was a huge personal sacrifice for me, I was something of an addict, but I decided if I am going to have sparkling water, I will buy it in glass bottles that I will recycle myself.
- “I am also going to stop using Starbucks single-use plastic cups. I will need to find a new way of drinking my extra-shot-venti-Skinny-Iced-Latte”
That alone has saved a fair few sea creatures.
- “But I would also like each of you to have a think about single use plastics, how we use them in the work environment and what we could do to maybe reduce it, or even make the best of what we have to use”.
So the team went to work thinking of what we could do and how we as a company could make a few changes that might actually make an impact. As always they didn’t disappoint and we are all now the proud owners of Astro reusuable drinks bottles.
But that wasn’t enough and we came up with the idea of refurbishing an old soda stream and still getting our sparkling water fix but in a much more environmentally savvy way. The people at SodaStream say:
“Planet Earth needs less waste and more sparkle. Be the change: One reusable SodaStream carbonating bottle can save up to 1282 single use plastic bottles from our planet per year”
And Astro is ‘being the change’ – so we raise a glass of our fizzy stuff to taking positive action and hoping that others follow suit and we can start to reverse the damage we humans have done.