As thousands of people across Australia took part in ‘Dry July’, a Torquay woman put a twist on the fundraiser by going waste-free instead – and raised money for Sea Shepard in the process.
Ele Allen, also known on Instagram as naturally.ele, has taken to social media to share her waste-free journey and encourage her followers to make changes to reduce the amount of plastic they use.
“I saw all these posts about ‘Dry July’ and thought, wow, if people can raise this much money by giving up alcohol for amazing causes, then I can give this a go. I thought wouldn’t it be amazing to go completely waste-free in July and raise money for Sea Shepard,” she said.
Sea Shepherd is an international, non-profit marine conservation organisation that works to protect our oceans and wildlife.
Ele, 20, has raised more than $400 for Sea Shepard and has gained a large Instagram following after the Australian brand Go For Zero with over 28.6k followers, took interest in her idea and reposted it to its page.
“I want to use my social media platform positively, to try and show people how easy and affordable being waste-free is. If I find something at the supermarket that is waste-free and super cheap, I post it on my Instagram and show people there are great alternatives out there that are good for the environment too,” she says.
Ele shares daily tips and recommendations on her Instagram of waste-free products, encouraging others to make changes to their lifestyle.
“My main goal is to show people how easy it is, and that they don’t have to go completely waste-free, but every little change counts, even if it’s just swapping to a KeepCup instead of buying takeaway cups for coffee every time,” Ele says.
According to National Geographic, half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the past 15 years, with some taking 400 years to break down. Ele stresses we must act now if we want to save the planet before it’s too late.
“We need to change now, as the facts have stated that if we don’t make the change in the next decade, it’ll be too late.”
The waste warrior has decided to continue living a waste-free lifestyle after she has seen how easy the changes are and will keep advocating and sharing ways to eliminate waste.