In this week’s Community Spotlight, we chat with seven-year-old, Carla Norris from Australia who inspired her friends and family by asking for donations instead of gifts at her ocean themed birthday party.
Tell us about your passion for ocean protection.
I like going to the beach and swimming in the ocean. I want to save animals – sharks, dolphins, and all the other types of creatures. They need saving because if they eat rubbish, they might die or be sick. Dolphins are my favorite animal.
Why and when did you get involved with Project AWARE?
One day, Jo Marston, from Project AWARE came to our school to talk to us about marine pollution. She told me about turtles eating rubbish and how divers go underwater and collect the rubbish.
I felt sad when I thought about animals eating our rubbish. So my mum and I came up with the idea to support a charity for my seventh birthday instead of getting presents.
I'd just watched the Disney movie, Moana. She is the goddess of the sea and has a special relationship with the ocean. My brother suggested we choose an ocean charity to support, and that is when I thought about Project AWARE.
We invited all my friends to my Moana swimming pool party and had a donation box so people could give money. I really liked the box and seeing all the donations we collected!
What are some issues that are affecting the ocean?
I recently watched a TV show called War on Waste. There was lots of rubbish. Sometimes they put the rubbish in a dump and it goes landfill. Sometimes our rubbish goes out to the ocean. Then they showed some scuba divers. The divers said they only saw five fish but lots and lots of rubbish. I think that's terrible!
What is the most important thing you tell others about Project AWARE?
Get involved! Every action can help. You can collect rubbish from the sea or land. Before school, we go to the beach and pick up any rubbish we see. I find water bottles, wrappers, a plastic shovel, mandarin peel. You can pick up the rubbish too!
What are your top three pieces of eco advice?
- Collect rubbish
- Do kind things
- Bring your reusable cup, bag, bottle, or a box to the shops - don't use a plastic bag.