Oswestry School’s art and drama teacher, Mandy Price, and her daughter Becky, are the brains behind a new social media campaign that is going viral, #doitfordavid
The idea for the campaign came on Christmas day whilst Mandy was walking along a beach with her family. The sand was littered with plastic and as Mandy picked it up as she walked she thought that it would be much better to pick up plastic everywhere, not just on the beach. Mandy had been doing 2 minute beach cleans for some time, but had no idea how extensive the problem of plastic was until she watched Blue Planet II, and in particular the programme called ‘The Plastic Whale’. The topics covered moved Mandy to tears when she saw what was happening, right now, to the world’s marine life.
Having swum with wild turtles in Mexico a couple of years ago Mandy wants all children, and their children’s children, to have the same opportunities to experience a thriving ocean. She realised that if everyone didn’t act quickly then it could be too late for many species and coral reefs. Mandy and Becky spent time researching the issues and they found out that 80% of what ends up in the ocean comes from inland, via rivers and wind.
The idea was formed that if everyone started to pick a bit up a little bit of plastic when they went for a walk, these small steps could escalate into a positive planet saver. Mandy and Becky considered how to spread this message and worried that nobody would listen to them, just one voice amongst many! Then they remembered Sir David Attenborough asking us to address this problem at the end of the Blue Planet II series and thought that people may not do it for Mandy and Becky, but they might do it for David!
The hunch was right. David Attenborough is greatly loved and respected all around the world and thousands of people have started “doing it for David”. Mandy’s Facebook post, #doitfordavid has been shared 125,000 times and that number is growing every hour. The post has been shared on every continent with the exception of Antarctica.
People can get involved and learn more about how to reduce their plastic waste by following the #doitfordavid Facebook page. Mandy has given an assembly at Oswestry School to let pupils know how they can help to make a difference and she has been contacted by teachers from other schools asking advice on doing the same. The school has a community action group and these children have been out in Oswestry town centre picking up plastic and litter since returning to school in January.
Mandy commented, “I can’t believe how positively this campaign has been received around the world. The Facebook page has been receiving photographs from lots of different people who are collecting plastic, even from holidaymakers in Cuba who have seen the posts and have recorded their own 2 minute beach clean on the beautiful beaches there. The support we are receiving reaffirms my belief in the human race and makes me hopeful that we can change the current state of the oceans and protect the wildlife that live within the seas. I hope that, if Sir David should hear about our efforts, he would be proud to have ignited this global response to his plea. ”