Sun, sea, and sandy sandwiches, summer is here and oh how we are ready for it! But before we flock down to the beach and imprint our footsteps onto golden shores, we must check our carbon ones first!
Last year the UK alone generated over 5 million tons of if single use plastic, of which, only 9% gets recycled to be used again. Single use does not decompose and can last centuries in landfill, or else end up as litter in the natural environment; which in turn can pollute soils, rivers and oceans and harm the creatures that inhabit them. This leads us onto the topic of beach merchandise. Beach merchandise like buckets, body boards, crabbing lines and disposable barbecues are made from single use materials, and quite often barely last a day of use before it breaks! It makes you question how much environmental damage we create when we pop down to the beach!
Now we as a welsh cake company are not here to tell you to tie yourself to a tree and never have fun (actually, that would be very fun), no, we want to share our fountain of local knowledge in how to have a plastic free beach day in Solva & St Davids.
Reduce, Reuse Recycle.
One of the best ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint is by recycling household objects! When we use our imagination, anything is possible. Turn your old rags into sandcastle flags, plat pots into buckets, or best still, always bring a bag with you to the beach, so when you leave you can pick up what rubbish has been washed up.
If you’d like to try out a few attempts on the waves but don’t have your own equipment, then there some great surf shops in the area which rent out quality equipment and wetsuits:
- UnsungHero is a fantastic surf shop in the heart of St David’s which offers a hire service at Whitesands Beach for wetsuits, surfboards and bodyboards. They even have Dick Pearce wooden belly boards - the perfect sustainable answer to cheap polystyrene body boards that snap easily.
- At Newgale Beach you will find Newsurf Surf Shop who also offer a large range of surf rental equipment including SUPs (stand up paddle boards) and kayaks.
- Finally, further across the coast in Nolton Haven you can find Ripple Effect Surf Shop which is quite possible the world’s smallest surf shop. Ripple Effect are doing big things in their bid to reduce plastic waste on our coast lines by selling almost 100% second-hand surf equipment!
Image source: Dick Pearce
Beg, borrow, but certainty not steal!
Being eco conscious doesn’t necessarily mean you will break the bank, asking
friends and family if they could lend you what you don’t have is a great way to reduce purchasing single use plastic. But if you fancy your own then you can buy recycled-plastic buckets and sustainable sourced wooden spades from the National Trust Shop in St Davids. For plastic free crab lines, Porthclais Kiosk. (They also make amazing coffees!)
Forget the till, just refill!
Water companies don't make water... they make plastic bottles to put water in! Buying water in a plastic bottle doesn't only burn holes in our wallets, it also burns holes in our earths ozone layer. The water bottling process releases 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, future more, washed up single use water bottle kills 1.1 million marine creatures each year. So we really need to think before we drink. Oriel Y Parc visitor centre sell a great range of reusable water bottles as well as supplying their own water refill station. Almost every independent cafe and business will happily offer free water re fills these days - just look for the Welsh Government campaign water drop logo!
Water refill station at Porthclais Harbour
We’ll go far if you ditch the car!
Need we say more… We are all aware of environmental impact cars create to our environment, so if you can where possible choose the bus or bike! Not only will it help save the planet, but it will also save your sanity in finding a parking space! For bike hire head to TYF adventure shop, located at the heart of St David’s and for buses check out the following services which operate in the area; The Ffleci Bus, Celtic Coaster, Puffin Shuttle and Stumble Shuttle.
Image Source: TYF
You are what you eat.
That tuna sarnie you grabbed from Fresco will certainly end up in our stomach but not in a way that you expect. We are talking micro plastic, and it’s not pretty. Micro plastics are eaten by fish, seabirds, and other marine life, who mistake these for food. Once eaten by other marine life, like the Tuna, they can potentially become part of the human food chain. It’s best, when possible, buying food which are not mass produced and covered in plastic packaging as add to the on-going crisis of Micro plastic pollution. Go local, go independent! Caerfai farm food shop is an excellent place to pick up picnic items and is only a stone throw away Caefai beach. Along with their own organic produce, they also have a wonderful selection of organic whole foods and everyday items. If you fancy a bite to eat in the evenings then you will find behind the shop, Torth y Tir Pizza, a community led bakery sourcing local ingredients from farmers on the St Davids peninsula.
Love the earth, love a welsh cake
To finish you plastic free beach day, come see us at MamGu’s Solva for a cuppa. If you bring a reusable coffee cup we'll give you a free welsh cake! Think of it as our way of saying thank you for doing you little bit!
Written by Angharad Tudor