Beach Guardian, a social enterprise based in Cornwall (UK), was co-founded in 2017 by father and daughter duo: Rob and Emily Stevenson. Aiming to engage, educate and empower against plastic pollution, Beach Guardian has organised over 200 community clean up events, with over 6,500 volunteers. They have also visited over 85 schools, engaging with over 14,000 school children and worked with some of the world’s largest companies, to help them reduce their reliance on plastics, such as PepsiCo and Nissan.
About Emily Stevenson
Emily Stevenson, 23, is a marine biologist and the co-founder of the award-winning social enterprise: Beach Guardian. Powered by passion, Emily is also a budding environmental reporter, with her weekly ‘Tune in Tuesday’ video blog reaching over a 2 million people worldwide and she also regularly features on BBC Spotlight.
Emily’s commitment to her conservation career was endorsed very early on in her journey, with a handwritten letter from her own personal hero, Sir David Attenborough himself. In 2019, Emily’s work received recognition as a Point of Light award recipient from the British Prime Minister and a Young Citizen Award from the Rotary Club in Great Britain and Ireland. Recently, in 2020, Emily was awarded the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action and humanitarian efforts: the Diana Award.
Finally, Emily is also currently studying her master’s degree at the University of Exeter, where she is researching the role of microplastics in the dissemination of potentially pathogenic and antibiotic resistant bacteria.
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Everybody Can Do Something – Emily Stevenson
The plights of plastic pollute every corner of the Planet and have infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives; making plastic one of the deadliest plagues to ever face humanity... but this also gives us the very reason why we can fix it.
Plastic is in all of our lives, everybody can do something. It doesn't matter where you are or what you do, everybody can do something.
As an individual, carry around a re-usable water bottle or coffee cup or perhaps join a beach clean. Beach Cleaning is often undervalued as a cosmetic exercise - to just 'make a place look nicer'. However, we at Beach Guardian have seen, first hand, the difference just one hour on the beach picking up the plastics can make. Not only on the welfare of the environment, but has also been shown to equally improve your own mental health and well-being, combat social isolation, unite communities and reconnect people with nature.
Of course, there is now a much timelier threat on everyone’s mind: COVID-19. Amongst many other devastating issues, this brings with it less opportunities to join organised community beach cleaning events. So, whilst we are all out enjoying nature this Summer, why not do your own beach clean? Here are Beach Guardians 5 top tips to keeping safe whilst on a beach clean:
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There are also lots of beach cleaning treasures you can keep an eye out for! But be warned, if you find any old crisp packets, you will have me chasing after you for it!
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If you have any questions at all about how to avoid unnecessary plastics, would like to collaborate or just would like a general chit-chat about conservation – drop me an email!
Have a great Summer!