Saving the waters we love
Like many other individuals, companies, industries, countries and nations across the globe, at Rockley we are assessing our impact on the environment and taking both small and significant measures to ensure that we can do as much as possible to conserve and preserve the environment in which we live. There has been much talk about the devastating effects that humankind has inflicted on our planet over the years but like many companies, it seems that NOW really is the time to take action. As a watersports company we have a vested interest in looking after our waters and as a lover of all things sailing and water, it is our Schools Advisor, Cath Hough who is leading the charge for environmental change.
“Previous to joining Rockley I was lucky enough to be involved in eXXpedition Carribbean 2017, a mission aboard S/V Sea Dragon to make the unseen seen- from plastics and toxics in the Oceans to those in our own bodies. This involved hopping between Islands, sampling waters, surveying waste and doing local outreach. I was staggered to discover just how much plastic rubbish there was both in the Ocean and on beaches and the harmful effect this is having on our planet.”
“This voyage opened my eyes to the scale of the problem. Globally, we are producing nearly 300 million tonnes of plastic every year and of that, it is estimated that up to 13 million tonnes of plastic leaks into the global marine environment annually. This has adverse implications for wildlife, the economy and human health. With this knowledge I was inspired to endorse change locally to my community and it is fantastic that Rockley are championing and fully supporting this. We know that it may take time, however by making small, gradual changes we can make a significant difference.”
Initiatives for a more sustainable future
With this in mind, Rockley have made many changes to across its six centres with the company-led incentive to completely eradicate single-use plastics within five years.
Initiatives encouraged so far:
- Think before you print and re use scrap paper before throwing it away
- Use refillable bottles / coffee cups – never buy bottled water
- Car share, walk or cycle where possible – Friday is 'leave your car at home' day
- Use a reusable shopping bag
- Take part in beach and sea clean initiatives
- Reduce the use of clingfilm – find alternatives ie tupperwares
- Recycle more – don’t put everything in your desk bin
- Turn off lights and computers when not using them
At our UK Rockley Point and beachside café we have enforced some major changes to reduce single-use plastic:
- Last year, 2,500 water bottles were sold. This year, we are not selling a single bottle of water but have instead installed a water fountain where customers can help themselves to water or can refill their own reusable water bottles
- Last year, 17,000 hot drinks were sold. This year we are encouraging all staff and customers to use their own reusable drinks bottle. We are also looking to replace current cups with a more sustainable option
- Last year, 35,000 lunches were prepared during a season at Rockley Point – each with a sandwich wrapped in clingfilm. This year we are taking measure to eradicate the use of clingfilm by offering buffet-style lunches. We are also looking for an alternative to our already reduced clingfilm usage.
The young take matters into their own hands
I remember how horrified my then 6-year old son was when we watched the Blue Planet II episode featuring a whale cradling its newly born calf that had died as a result of plastic pollution. A few days later whilst messing around on the beach he came to me with two plastic bags which he had picked up from the sea shore. When I asked him why he had them, he explained that he was saving the whales. It struck me how refreshingly instantaneous his reaction was. He was presented with a problem and wanted to solve it - this really reiterates what Sir David Attenborough believes:
“Young people: They care. They know that this is the world that they're going to grow up in, that they're going to spend the rest of their lives in. But, I think it's more idealistic than that. They actually believe that humanity, human species, has no right to destroy and despoil regardless.”
I hope that the actions we are taking now as we begin to rectify the damage made will ensure a healthy, sustainable environment for generations to come and that our children will grow up where preserving and protecting our environment is common practice.
Beach Clean – 8th May
On 8th May (Sir David Attenborough’s 93rd birthday), Rockley will be leading a beach clean at our Rockley Point (10am - 12pm) and Poole Park (2pm - 3:30pm) centres in association with The Final Straw Solent who are encouraging a plastic-free day. We’ll be coming together as a company - office and watersports staff, Owners and Directors, BTEC students and teachers will be walking, using kayaks and paddleboards to ensure our local beach, lake and shorelines are clean - we’d love for anyone else to get involved if you want to!