“I am Claudine, I’m 21 years old and I study Marine Science at CPUT. I live with my parents, my sister and our three furry rescues (you will definitely meet them through my social media) in Durbanville. I have a passion for the ocean and I’m crazy about animals.

Let’s get to it; like I said I have a passion for the ocean. I’ve always been intrigued by it and weary at the same time. The ocean is so dynamic with the currents, waves, tides and not to mention the creatures that live in and around it. I have a lot of respect for it as it is so unpredictable.

Last year I became a lot more aware of what was going on in our environment. Whilst on Instagram I came across The Beach Co-Op and saw what wonderful work they do educating people and cleaning beaches, I decided to get involved! I will never forget my first clean up; it seemed like I’d been living in a bubble for the past few years and everything was okay, but then reality checked in and our world is not okay. Within an hour 383 straws, 60 carrier bags, 43 earbuds and 9 cooldrink bottles were just some of the items found on the beach. What a shock!

When I began volunteering at the Two Oceans Aquarium I saw how the animals are affected by the rubbish in the waters. Turtle hatchlings that excrete microplastics, that is not okay. Larger turtles who are not able to eat or excrete for days because they have plastic, balloon, ribbons, etc. inside their bellies, that is not okay. Of course, turtles are only a small percent of the animals affected, the list carries on. With all of this in mind, I began my eco-quest!

Starting with stainless steel straws from Faithful to Nature and progressing from there. I have drastically reduced my contribution to landfill waste by recycling, eco-bricking non-recyclables and of course composting (we are very proud of our home-made compost). Everyone can do it and that is why I want to inspire and show people that by starting simple, being realistic and thinking long-term, together we can accomplish so much and help our planet!

TOP PRODUCTS FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE: 

  1. Reusable straws. I try to take these babies with me everywhere and if I forget them, I simply ask for a spoon. Because drinking milkshakes and smoothies with a spoon is fun.
  1. Reusable eCoffee/teacup. You’d be surprised what you can do with these babies. Tea or coffee is a good idea, but I’ve used mine as a breakfast bowl and for gin and tonic.

  1. Reusable carrier bags. I have not spent a cent on a single-use plastic bag since last year July, that was when I took the pledge and got myself a recycled, reusable bag.
  1. Bamboo toothbrush. This invention is simply the best. Clean, healthy and eco all in one.
  1. Buzzy wraps. I’ve never been good with cling wrap, not to mention how terrible it is for the environment. Thank goodness for these beeswax wraps. They are super effective, easy to use and clean.

  1. Stainless steel/glass water bottle. Literally, use mine every day. No jokes. Before I go anywhere, I fill mine up and off we go. I cannot remember when last I bought a plastic water bottle.
  1. Stasher bag. Super useful for lunches or snacks, you can take them anywhere. They are well-sized, waterproof and have so many uses.