Category: Community Causes

Cleaning Up Clontarf

Originally published in The Road Ahead Feb-Mar 2022 magazine. Written by Jessica Wilson.


More than 2.8 tonnes of rubbish was collected by “Waste Warriors” in Clontarf (Ningi Ningi Country) as part of a 100-day program to reduce litter in the region. Love our Clontarf 100-Day Litter Campaign founder Les Barkla said the initiative was a community response to a growing problem.

“I have a Facebook community group called Pristine Peninsula and I noticed two of our Waste Warriors, Phil and Sue Johnson, were picking up a horrendous amount of fast-food packaging and other listter within a 2km radius of a fast-food chain,” Mr Barkla said.

“They were filling a 240-litre council rubbish bin a week with mostly takeaway packaging.”

Mr Barkla created the 100-day campaign with the support of Waste Warriors, the community, local, state and federal governments and local businesses.

“The Redcliffe Peninsula is a unique area as we’re 80 percent surrounded by water, so all the litter on streets ends up in Moreton Bay or Hays Inlet, which is a very sensitive ecosystem for turtles and dugongs,” he said.

“We designed the campaign to bring about education, awareness and behavioural change around litter and actually keep it out of our waterways.”

More than 100 volunteers participated in the campaign which focused on litter hotspots including Snook Street, where the fast-food chain is located, and the Clontarf Beach State High School.

“Local businesses sponsored electronic message boards with anti-littering messages. We had quite effective roadside sign vigils and 40 street sponsors cleaning up their local streets,” Mr Barkla said. The result was a 45 percent reduction in rubbish during the 100-day period and more than 15,000 litter items diverted from local waterways.

“On Snook Street alone, we picked up nearly 11,000 pieces of littler over the 12 weeks,” Mr Barkla said.

“The major items we picked up were 4,500 cigarette butts, which is a major issue for roads, followed by fast-food packaging.”

Mr Barkla said people who threw litter from their vehicles rarely saw the impact of their actions.

“They think their one cigarette butt won’t  make a difference and don’t understand that it will take five to 10 years to break down,” he said.

“When you equate what we picked up on Snook Street to annual period, it’s about 50,000 pieces in just 1.6km stretch of road.”

Mr Barkla said the fight against litter was ongoing despite the campaign’s success.

The campaign doesn’t end now the 100 days are over and we’re putting pressure on the government to actually make changes,” he said.

“All packaging needs to be 100 percent compostable or it’s not going to get better because a litterer doesn’t care whether an item is made from recycled material, they just throw it out the window anyway.

“We’re just a community of 60,000 people and just a small part of the state, but I’m a strong believer in communities driving change.”


Read the report here.


BIG group at Launch



Find out more about Pristine Peninsula:

Join the Pristine Peninsula Facebook Group

Follow the Pristine Peninsula Redcliffe Facebook page

See how Social Ocean supported the Love Our Clontarf Campaign

Love Our Clontarf Campaign Report

LOC social media campaignThe Love Our Clontarf 100 Day Litter Campaign, undertaken on the traditional lands of the Ningy Ningy people, was a litter baseline study and litter reduction campaign held across 100 Days at the beginning of 2021.

The campaign focused on a targeted litter hot spot in a 2 kilometre radius of the McDonalds Clontarf, Redcliffe Peninsula.

At the campaign launch in January, acknowledgement of the Ningy Ningy Peoples – the traditional custodians of the land on which we gathered – was made by campaign Founder Les Barkla. Paying respects to our Elders past, present and emerging, Les also stated that this campaign was all about respect for this land and these local waters, as the ancestors cared for them for 20,000 years.

The Redcliffe Peninsula won numerous Tidy Towns Awards in the early 2000s. Today that level of respect has been lost, as has the connection with land and waters. This has been backed by statistics showing 8 billion cigarette butts are littered every year and 8 million litter items are tossed every day in Australia (Keep Australia, 2019).

Providing raw data to show stakeholders that littler is a serious terrestrial and marine environment issue for this littler hot spot and for the Redcliffe Peninsula. Redcliffe is surrounded by 80% waterways with sensitive marine ecosystems and official Marine National Parks.


Key Data:

Litter was reduced by 45% at the Snook Street audit site over the 12 weeks of audits using various litter awareness and education strategies including social media campaigns, digital sign board located at the audit site, campaign signage around the area, local media coverage with sharing of online content by key stakeholders.

If adequate litter enforcement strategies and resources were available, these 10,952 litter items would have potentially brought in $2.8M in fine revenue based on the now current minimum Litter Fine of $275 (risen in price at 1 July 2021).

Snook St litter
During the 100 Day Campaign 15,706 items of litter were collected from 12 audit sites. Many more items were collected by informal contributors in other locations outside the suburb of Clontarf.

The Report:

The Love our Clontarf 100 Day Litter Campaign Final Report (click to download) includes:


How Can You Help?

Cigarette butts statistics
444,000 cigarette butts are littered per square kilometre annually (Do The Right Thing Campaign – Keep Australia Beautiful, 2019).

Actions since report completion:

Delivery and discussion with Moreton Bay Regional Councillor Karl Winchester (Division 6 Councillor for Clontarf), meeting attended by fellow area Councillor Sandra Ruck,

Delivery and discussion with State Member for Redcliffe, Yvette D’Ath MP,

Delivery and discussion with Federal Member for Petrie, Luke Howarth MP.

Actions taken by stakeholders since report completion:

Stencilled footpath messaging for concrete walkways around the Redcliffe Peninsula designed and delivered by the Moreton Bay Regional Council Environment Team. Installation commenced December 2021 with further roll out due in the in the first quarter of 2022.


Media & Acknowledgements:

“Community-Driven Campaign Calls for Action on Litter” by by Jessica Wilson – RACQ Road Ahead Magazine, Feb/March Issue 2022

2021 Community Spirit Awards Finalists by ABC Radio Brisbane Community Spirit Awards – 8 November 2021

Keeping Clontarf clean, one item at a time” by ABC Brisbane Breakfast Broadcast – 26 October 2021

Report calls for action on litter” by Kylie Knight – 8 September 2021

“Labour of Love” by Kylie Knight – Dolphins News, 15 May 2021, page 19

“Fight to stop littering goes on” by Kylie Knight – Dolphins News, 5 May 2021, page 2

Students join war on waste” by Jodie Powell – 14 April 2021

100 Day campaign to reduce litter begins” by Kylie Knight – 29 January 2021

Find out more about Pristine Peninsula:

Join the Pristine Peninsula Facebook Group

Follow the Pristine Peninsula Redcliffe Facebook page

See how Social Ocean supported the Love Our Clontarf Campaign

5 Fab Indoor Plants For Your Office

Did you know indoor plants create healthy environments where people flourish? Many people enjoy living and working in green spaces, and like having indoor plants around. But is there more to it?

The answer is – YES! They look amazing! And there are many proven scientific health benefits about indoor plants. Here’s what research tells us about some of the benefits living and working with indoor plants.


🌿 Indoor Plants Improve air quality

They are natural air-filters! Plants absorb harmful toxins in the air while releasing oxygen into the workplace.
A cleaner more invigorating work environment will lead to better employee health.


🌿 Reduce your stress

Even if you love where you work, sometimes stress is unavoidable! University of Sydney (UTS) research found that offices experienced the following benefits:


🌿 Plants may boost your productivity and creativity

One of the Fab 5 indoor plants may turn out to be the best cubicle-mate you’ve ever had. Many studies have found that plants in the workspace increases productivity and creativity.
And creative blocks are no joke! Whether you’re out of ideas or stuck on the same one for a little too long, office plants can provide inspiration.


🌿 Plants can help attract talented people

Did you know that 50% of employees have no natural light in their place of work?

Also, one in five people said they have no natural elements in their office, whatsoever.
That means that a lot of us are working in a dark, lifeless space, which if you ask me, doesn’t seem like an appealing place to be.

That’s why there is an upward trend of potential employees taking the physical space into consideration when searching for new opportunities.


Surround yourself with plant wellness and go green in your workplace! Why? Because they are a great investment!

But, I can hear you say: What if I don’t have a ‘Green Thumb’? How do you know which plants will survive? Which plants are best for me and my workspace? You most likely don’t have an indoor plant expert beside you! So I’m here to help you choose the right plants to freshen up your office space.

Here are the ‘Fab 5 Indoor Plants’ that will make you the envy of your colleagues once installed in your office.


Zanzibar Gem
Zanzibar Gem

1. Zanzibar Gem

(Botanical name: Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Almost the perfect plant. Tolerates low light, low water and even drought. You can neglect this one and it will still bring you joy by always looking healthy.

Often known as the ‘clean air plant’, the Zanzibar Gem is the perfect office plant, for work or home.

To keep it contained for any space, prune it. But, if left to its own resources; it will spread its wings, filling a much larger space than the top of the planter pot.

Keep this one dusted so the foliage is able to show off its beautiful shine.



Pothos Ivy
Pothos Ivy

2. Pothos Ivy

(Botanical name: Epipremnum aureum)

The Pothos Ivy has three main varieties. ‘Golden Pothos’, the ‘Neon Pothos’ and the ‘Marble Queen Pothos’.

Lack of airflow does not affect them much and so they thrive in indoor spaces. They also live for a long time without the need for high light.

The more light they have, the more water they will need. So keep them away from strong light (window or artificial) and they will be easier to maintain indoors.

Their colour will change into a dark greenish shade with less light.




3. Sansevieria

(Botanical name: Sansevieria trifasciata)

Also called ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’. It is a sturdy and bold spiky looking plant and requires very little maintenance.

It tolerates low humidity, low light and low water.

There are over 70 varieties, but the most common are:
‘Superba’, ‘Golden Hahnii’ and ‘Sansevieria Twist’. All come in various sizes and are slow growing.

This indoor plant puts up with any environmental condition you can dish out! Don’t overwater this one.



Janet Craig
Janet Craig

4. Janet Craig

(Botanical name: Dracaena deremensis)
Janet is a great girlfriend to have. She adapts beautifully to any office or home conditions. With her dark green cluster of strappy foliage and is naturally shiny and lush. Its cane-like stem structure can also be propagated without the need for roots.

Keep the leaves clean by wiping them off with a damp cloth. Janet Craig poses as a remarkable office plant and you should invite her to move in with you right away!




Try planting a bowl of succulents for your desk

5. Succulents

There are too many varieties to list here, so I will give you the general rules about keeping succulents. They are a desert plant, which thrives on sun and little water.

So do not try to keep a ‘cute’ succulent on your desk if there is no direct sunlight reaching your plant. No need to overwater, a small amount every month should do it.

‘Now you know about the Fab 5 fine-looking, almost no effort indoor plants. Go and surround yourself with plant wellness and go green in your workplace. It’s worth the investment’!




social ocean blog line


Special thanks to Guest Blogger Elaine Tunn. Elaine is the CEO of Interior Plantscape Association (IPA) and has kindly written this article for publication on the Social Ocean blog. The IPA is a professional association representing the growing indoor plant hire and maintenance industry across Australia and New Zealand.

If you need assistance from an indoor plant expert, reach out to one of the IPA members or the association directly via the links below.


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