Reclaimed waste mermaids have “washed up” on the shores of Runswick Bay in Yorkshire and Bondi Beach in Sydney to highlight the sheer amount of plastic waste in the sea for World Ocean Day (June 8).
Created by Helen Hill and Sally Giblin from Be The Future, which empowers families and educators to rewrite our climate story using hope, wit and playful action, the incredible costumes took over 300 hours to create using hundreds of plastic bottles and other waste products such as an old broken tent, coffee pods, medicine blister packs, foam mats and broken toys.
Helen’s UK tail is four metres long, one metre wide and weighs six kilograms - you’d need 42 of these tails to mirror the amount of plastic that’s tipped into the sea every second - that’s the equivalent weight of five rhinos or three male orca.
It will be going “on tour” throughout the country over the coming weeks (see below for details) and will be used for various playful education based events. At the end of its life the hope is it will find a permanent home as a symbol of climate change activism.
The “EDUtainers” are about to launch a crowdfund to raise £18,000 to help them launch new ‘EDUtainment’ kits combining learning with fun activities. Featuring a new book, game and activity pack aimed at young kids (age 4 to 7) bursting with hope, wit and playful action to engage them on the topic of climate change.
It comes as a survey of 2,000 people in the UK by Be The Future shows over a third of parents (37%) would love to teach their kids more about climate change if they had the right tools or ideas. Two in five parents (42%) said they aim to teach their kids as much as they can about climate change and a similar number (38%) said they’re not worried about sharing the realities of it with their children - even if it might scare them.
Runswick Bay mermaid and UK-based founder of Be The Future Helen Hill said: “As David Attenborough famously said, “what happens next is up to every one of us” - but crucially this doesn’t have to be a scary fact. Our collective fear, anger and paralysis won’t turn this climate beast around - nurturing a reaction of active hope rather than despair is the only way forward. Our reclaimed waste mermaid tails symbolise the fact that one of the best ways to engage and teach kids about climate change is through play.
“The new Little Mermaid film has been released by Disney - and with UNESCO saying that by 2050, plastic will likely outweigh all fish in the sea, it’s the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about the sheer amount of plastic pollution in the sea for World Ocean Day.”
This climate ‘EDUtainment’ kit will be available to buy via Be The Future’s Kickstarter campaign on 13 June. To find out more head to https://www.bethefuture.earth/launch