About Michelle

Thank you for looking at my blog!

I’m a photographer and surfer, since 2008 I’ve been ‘Being-PALL’  (Plastic A Lot Less) both living and inspiring a life with less plastic. That’s a decade, long before it was trendy! 

Why the term #BeingPALL? Plastic Free has never resonated with me, because, well I’m not! I write on my plastic computer, all be it a second hand. I refuse single use plastic every day, in the first three years I’d refused over 10,000 plastic items, I’ve continued for a decade, but plastic free? No. How in this day and age can we be? By living in a cave with no wi-fi?! I’m not prepared to do that (not yet anyway!) Nor any more do I want to feel guilty, or make others feel so. We all know #PlasticFree is not true and can’t be done so why say it?

Plastic Free is like a well meaning diet, that doesn’t make it’s way past January, it’s unsustainable. So for me #BeingPALL is the way to be.

Below you can find out why  I started Being PALL – Plastic A Lot Less – in October 2008 and find tips that are still relevant at any time.

In 2015 I moved to Bristol, my aim being to prevent plastic pollution at source full time. In 2016 I was invited to be Creative Director at City to Sea so I’ve been a bit quiet over here, but I’m busy over there!

I’ve made videos that have gone viral and images I’ve taken have been used in many press articles to highlight our campaigns. Plus many other things! Maybe one day I’ll learn to manage both, but for now I like to look up in my spare time; chat to people, surf, hike, dance and cook!

wedding picnic
PALL picnic fit for a princess I made for our (awesome!) day at the Royal Wedding!! (note I’m at the bottom of the famous steps)

Before 2008 I was pretty normal in the plastic side of things.  I bought a lot of plastics. Water in plastic, lazy soups, filled pasta, microwave meals for work, bags upon bags under the sink, bathroom full of plastics, drinking straws. I used plastic cups and plates when ever they were given to me. You know, the usual story.

I recycled, before it was as common as it is now.

Well, actually what I did was separate my plastics, and put them out side the front door in a separate box. Never thinking what happened to them. Assuming, it was the best thing to do with plastic…

One day a few of us went to a deserted beach, close to where I was living on the West Coast of Portugal.

It was after the season, my first one having been there just a few months. The idea was to collect toilet roll campers had left. We went for the old man, who had lived on that beach all his life.  The rain had beat us to it and washed the toilet paper away. Instead, we found plastic.  Sacks of it. We took it to the recycling bins, most I didn´t even know was plastic.  

That evening in The Surfers Path I found a small article that simply said:

“Every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists and much of it is in our oceans.” 

There was a you tube link to; A Tale of Entanglement. Which is a pretty graphic film of animals entangled in plastic. I was upset and looked around the camper… at all our plastics.  The next day I started refusing and researching.

As a photographer and surfer.  I started shooting surfschools. This meant I was spending a lot of time on the beaches.

With the Atlantic swell, it´s hard not to notice the ever-changing plastic washing up on the beaches.  Especially when I was shooting, over the many years that followed, even in Summer swells plastic washed up around my feet every day.  I was constantly reminded of the presence of plastic pollution, so I couldn´t help but do something positive about it.

Firstly be reducing my own plastic drastically, and then helping others reduce theirs.

Although I´m still coming up upon obstacles all the time, I try my best to over come the challenges as refusing plastics is a way of life for me now.  I don´t claim to be perfect, there´s always more anyone can do, but PALL-ing´s a good place to start.

I hope this blog can help you to PALL – Plastic A Lot Less –  your lifestyle. Please get in touch, especially if I´ve helped you out, I´d love to hear from you!

Wondering why it took Six years Being PALL before blogging? Read my first post here.

 

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8 thoughts on “About Michelle

  1. Brilliant blog I am going to follow you & get all your tips. I have been trying to minimise plastic useage for about 10 years, but often find myself lapsing. I was planning to have a go this holidays – to try to go for a whole week (!) without buying anything in plastic, just to see how it would affect my buying habits & with the aim (obvs) of learning from it.

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  2. Hi Kate! Thanks for getting in touch.

    That´s fantastic. It´s easy to lapse when you´ve been doing it so long!

    That´s what Plastic Free July is about. To see how it goes. They they say it´s free on single use plastics, not all. There are lots of tips around my blog that will hopefully help you. Let me know how you get on. Good luck!

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  3. An excellent blog. You are a true pioneer, and an example to those of us who should know better. Since reading your blog I have been deliberately trying to cut down on plastic use, and been more aware of just how much there is in everything. I don’t think I will ever reach your high standards, but will aim higher with mine. Thank you.

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  4. Thank you Scooj,

    That´s great to hear that you´re trying to cut down on single use plastic since reading my blog! I found that, once I became aware of it I noticed it on everything… I have been doing it over 6 years don´t forget, and I´m not perfect! We can always aim higher… PFJ pointed that out to me too.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Saw you speak last week in Bristol and absolutely loved your passion and drive. You’re were so inspirational and practical. I’ve started pestering my local pubs about straws – fingers crossed!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, thank you for sending me a message and for your kind words. I really appreciate it.

    That’s great!! Let me know how you get on with them. Not sure which session you were at last Saturday? But there were a few people wanting to get on straws, be good to all work on them together. Good luck!

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