Summer is just around the corner, and as the temperature starts to warm up, more and more people will be heading out to enjoy a bit of fishing or one of the many other outdoor activities this country has to offer. Unfortunately, this also means an increase in the irresponsible disposal of rubbish, especially around the more popular fishing and camping locations.
When out and about fishing in all manner of places, whether it be jetties, rocks or beaches, oceans or rivers, or out in the middle of nowhere, it seems nothing is untouched by some people’s littering ways. Wherever you go there is a more than high probability that you will encounter rubbish on your trip. Not only does rubbish look awful, it also has a negative impact on flora, fauna and their habitat.
Thankfully, there are good people out there doing the right thing by cleaning up both other people’s mess and their own on and around the water, beaches and camping spots far and wide.
Whether you are going out on the boat or off the beaten track, there are many things you can do to ensure that you do not leave a negative impact on the environment.
When you pack for a trip always consider ways of reducing the amount of rubbish that you have to take with you. If you can unwrap or unbox things and put them in a single package, do it. The more waste you can avoid taking with you in the first place, the less have you have to bring back. A good example is bait. If you know you are going to take three packets of bait with you, either pack the lot into one bag or freeze it in an ice cream container, or simply put it all into a small hand carry esky.
When on the boat, always ensure that you have a roll of unscented garbage bags with you. Not only are they useful for rubbish disposal, they are also extremely useful for putting squid in to stop them inking your good fish slurry, or for keeping your catch separate from your food and drinks. The rubbish bags that have the drawstring tops are a good option as you can attach them to a gunnel rail or cleat and leave it in the same spot all day so that if anyone has any sort of rubbish, old fishing line or tag ends from fishing rigs, they can easily be slipped into the bag. If you happen to come within range of any floating rubbish, please make the effort and take a small detour to pick it up and slip it into the bag as well. Once back at the ramp, rather than going through all of the side pockets, buckets and bags for all of the day’s rubbish you can simply grab the one bag and drop it into the bin at the ramp or take it home with you.
Likewise if you are out four wheel driving, it is also a good idea to carry a roll of these drawstring garbage bags with you. Another option is to carry some purpose made spare wheel rubbish bags as well. Keeping all your rubbish in the one place makes cleaning up so much faster when the trip is done.
When camping it is wise to pack food products into cardboard boxes, and try to buy products packed in cardboard and paper also. This way you can easily tear up the packaging or squash it down to take up less space, or simply throw it into the camp fire. Obviously, glass, cans and plastic should never be burnt. Instead, take them back home with you for recycling.
Digging a hole and burying non biodegradable rubbish is an unacceptable practice. Chances are just after you leave a fox will dig it up or the next rains will expose it.
Another simple option when camping is to not take drinks in glass bottles. Not only are glass bottles heavy, they also take up valuable space in the rubbish bin. Aluminium cans on the other hand are lightweight and you can squash them down to a fifth of their original size with a simple stomp of the foot.
No matter where you go, please always take out what you take in, never leave it behind. If you have the room, then go one step further and take out with you as much as you can carry of other peoples rubbish too. If we all do just this then maybe one day we will be able to go wandering around in this beautiful country of ours without seeing any rubbish. If everyone does their bit, we can all keep Australia beautiful!