Most of us are aware of how we desperately need to protect the environment, and many of us do nothing.
That’s not the case for local environmental activist and grade 5 student at St Francis Catholic Primary School, Sid Crawshaw, who has established his own campaign to ban use of plastic straws. Ever since Sid was little he has had a deep caring for the environment and animals:
“We’re so close to the beach, especially Tannum – the straws can go into the ocean and kill all of the sea life. Every time I go to the beach I find at least one or two pieces of rubbish,” Sid said.
“Everywhere I go, there’s rubbish. I find so much rubbish that my mum keeps a plastic bag in her handbag, so we can bring it all home.”
Leanne and Nathan Patrick from Boyne Island McDonalds, have gotten behind Sid’s efforts, removing straws from the self-serve dispenser and encouraging the purchase and use of “Keep-Cups” for coffee and hot drinks.
McDonalds Australia have recently announced they would be phasing out the use of plastic straws in their restaurants by 2020 but for our local Maccas, within sight of the ocean and the many turtles and other sea life that inhabit it, that wasn’t soon enough:
“Nathan and I decided we could do something right now, so we have removed all the plastic straws from the self-serve dispensers on the condiment bar. Now people can’t just walk up and help themselves to a straw, we’ll only be providing them with an ordered drink,” Leanne Patrick said.
“We’d both been watching Sid’s campaign, and he’s such a strong little advocate for the region. We have young sons too, and we want to do what we can to preserve this beautiful natural environment.”
Now that Boyne Island and Tannum Sands are on board with Sid’s vision, Cr. Kahn Goodluck and Mayor Matt Burnett have invited him to address Gladstone Regional Council about his campaign.
“So what happened was I got an email from Councillor Goodluck saying him and the Mayor want to invite me to a councillor meeting. So now Tannum, Boyne and Gladstone have the chance of being straw-free!” said Sid.
Sid also participates in the “Friends of Francis” environmental group at school:
“We figure out things we can do to help the environment,” he said. “This year we’ve made boxes for the paper that shouldn’t go in the recycling straight away – like if we’ve only drawn on one side of the paper, we put it in the box so it can be used again.”
“Every piece of paper is part of a tree, so the less paper we use, the more trees we have.”