Toilet Tour comes to life

I love it when one of my whacky ideas come to life. Let’s sit on a toilet with our knickers down in the highstreet in Essex and outside Kings College, that’ll get some attention. And attention we got!

On a freezing cold November day we bared (nearly all) on a toilet to raise awareness of only flushing the #3Ps – poo, paper and pee, ‘cos plastic’s don’t belong in the sea! And with over 85,000 views on facebook word is getting out.

#BogStandard is a campaign we’ve been running at City to Sea since 2016. With 8% of plastic on UK beaches coming from our bathrooms*, more people need to know the toilet’s not a bin. Hands up, I was a flusher. I watched my Mum flush, I followed suit. (The only time I ever saw my Grandad angry when when he was knee deep in shit unblocking our drains. So I never flushed cotton wool, that was a no go … but tampons? For some reason they were different and down they went.) I had no idea they were made up of plastic …

As you’ll see from the video we had a lot of fun! It was great to be able to do this on my home place of Essex. Coming up with the concept and sitting on the loo wasn’t my only role. I came up with the the Toilet Times – The Illustrated Poo News designing it on Photoshop.

Harry came up with the name (genius!), we had some fascinating stories in there … Some of which I wrote, and then the word wizz who is Natalie Fee made sense of my ramblings. I edited the video along with a work experience girl, though for this camera man James Light filmed, which was fantastic you can see.

I got to share the joy of getting our knickers down with the wonderful Jasmin Tribe. City to Sea’s campaigns coordinator (who pulled my bright idea together into a proper plan!) and coordinator of Shark Fest.

We ‘ad a laugh! It’s good to raise a smile at the same time as raising awareness.

Working with Anglian Water and some amazing volunteers, our stickers have gone up in 1000s of toilets across the region. So more people will see while they’re having a wee!

I wore #CharityShopChic for the occasion, those coats, love then! Aomething I’m starting to show more on my insta account.

Remember – only flush poo, paper and pee, ‘cos plastic’s don’t belong in the sea!

 

*Marine Conservation Society 2018

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Guardian use one of my images

I was chuffed to see in my news feed today, an image I shot as the Guardian’s feature image in this article!

It’s from a series of images I made for the launch of #RefillLondon. As City’s to Sea’s main photographer, it’s fantastic, that I can use this skills to highlight solutions for plastic pollution.

When I started at photogrpahy college back in 2004 my main aim was to shoot photography as a means to positive change. And I am, which is a warm fuzzy feeling!

Anyway, enough of my waffle! Check out the article and the inspiring people who feature in it. 

 

 

TGI Friday’s is skipping plastic straws!

I was the first to speak to the CEO of TGI Friday’s about their plastic straw usage. That conversation helped prompt their actions to remove plastic straws at Friday’s UK. 🙌

With over 80 restaurants, serving literally thousands of people on a daily basis, this is a huge victory for preventing plastic pollution – at source!

So, why was I working in TGI Friday’s, a huge high street chain?

When we were starting out at City to Sea it was all hands on deck, but we didn’t have much in the way of budget coming in. So having just moved to Bristol and after 15 years I went back to waiting tables. Which was a shock to the system, I remembered it being easy?! Hard work yes, but in an easy way. It wasn’t. If you underestimate waiting tables, you’ve never done it!

During my interview at TGIs in 2015 I let my manager knew I was preventing plastic pollution, she was really encouraging and Friday’s welcomed me to the team. Giving me all the flexibility I needed to work on City to Sea. It also gave me the opportunity to encourage change, on a massive scale. So when Karen Forrester, the CEO was paying a store visit in 2016 I made sure I was there to chat with her … (I wasn’t missing that chance!) Karen was attentive took on what I said and we then conversed over email.

I then followed up that conversation with her manager, area manager and the right people at HQ, and now in just a couple of weeks single use plastic straws will be a thing of the past in TGI Friday’s UK!!

There’s always more large restaurants can do, but this is a fantastic start and may prompt other large chains to follow, and TGI Friday’s across the globe … How can they not?!

It’s a fantastic example of how conversations, with the right people really can inspire massive change. Aim high, and watch as plastic pollution prevention ripples out … Individuals actions add up, I’m a huge champion of that but I learnt in Portugal by going to the “top” we can inspire change on a big scale, making it easier for people, or normal for those they might not even know about plastic pollution Have a think … who could you talk to?

I left TGI Friday’s last Summer, after two years of waiting tables in the evenings and at weekends. I’m grateful to TGIs for all the support they gave me, and the friend’s I made there. Not to mention them ditching single use plastic straws!! 🙌🙌🙌

Remember; every refusal adds up, so does every conversation …

 

Read more about it here.