Photography by Alec Weir 
Location Port Wiillunga, South Australia

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.

Hi Mariah! Tell us about yourself?

I am currently in my final year of my undergraduate degree of Animal Behaviour and throughout my degree, my love and passion for the ocean and marine conservation has grown extensively. I have been involved with many different conservation organisations that have contributed to my desire to work with marine animals in the future. I am constantly trying to improve the world around me by living as sustainably as possible, whether that be through the food I eat, or reducing my use of single use plastics or investing in ethical and environmentally friendly brands, such as Shapes in the Sand.

Tell us about your whale tail necklace, does it have a special significance to you?

My whale tail necklace is from Sea Shepherd, who I am a volunteer for and have been for over two years now. It is handmade from driftwood so each one is unique. It serves as a reminder of what we’re fighting for every day. I’d love to have the opportunity to swim with whales in the wild one day.

What’s your relationship with Kaikoa Conservation?

Kaikoa Conservation are a Hawaiian based marine conservation organization and I am an Ambasador for them here in South Australia. Along with two others, we organize beach cleans and fundraising events to raise awareness of the issues impacting our marine environment such as plastic pollution, overfishing, climate change and much more. I have been an Ambassador for them since February 2017 and love working with them and being able to help them continue their amazing work!

As a #ReusableLifeAmbassador, what are you 5 reusable items that you do not leave the house without?
I always have in my bag my metal drink bottle, keep cup, cutlery set, straw and a produce bag of some sort. Just having these five reusable alternatives can help eradicate almost all single use plastics in your every day life when out and about.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to implement more sustainable practices into their lifestyle? Any hot tips?!
The issue of plastic pollution can be extremely overwhelming so don’t beat yourself up when you accidentally use a plastic item or forget to ask for no straw. To start with it can help to collect all your rubbish in a glass jar so you can physically see all the rubbish you’re producing and where you need to cut it out. From there, refuse any plastics you can and remember to bring your reusables, I always say if I don’t have my keep cup then I can’t get a coffee that day. It could be good to start with the ‘Big 4’ of single use plastics: bags, bottles, straws and coffee cups. Start with these four then expand to other areas. Going to beach cleans and following plastic free accounts on Instagram really help keep me motivated to reduce how much plastic I bring into my life.

Tell us a phrase that means something to you?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.
This is my favourite quote of all time. A lot of the time I get people telling me that what I’m doing won’t make a difference or that they don’t want to change their ways because they’re just one person and it won’t do anything, but this quote reminds me that each of us have our role to play on this earth and if we all do our part then we can make a difference. Every action we do every day has an impact, just be sure that it’s a positive one. 

November 26, 2019 — Alexandra Dash

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