Calling all ocean warriors

home.byholly and Cris O'Brien 6 May 2020
Little eco-warrior

After reading Jelly-boy with her family, home.byholly residential real estate sales agent Cris O’Brien took the opportunity to have a look at how much plastic her family was using. Photo: Supplied.

In recent years, as people have realised the effects plastic can have on the environment and our oceans, households have started cutting down on plastic consumption.

home.byholly residential real estate sales agent Cris O’Brien was inspired by Belconnen local and award-winning children’s book author Nicole Godwin and her latest book Jelly-Boy, and took the opportunity to have a good hard look at how much plastic her family was using in their day-to-day lives.

“At a time when families are looking to step up and help the environment, Jelly-Boy is a gentle reminder about ocean plastic. After reading this book with my family, we have made a renewed commitment to eliminate single-use plastic in our household to reduce their impact on the environment,” Cris said.

Nicole Godwin

Award-winning children’s book author Nicole Godwin. Photo: Supplied.

Jelly-Boy is about a jellyfish who falls in love with a plastic bag. Will their love endure, or will the jelly-fish learn the dangerous truth? Nicole says she hopes that this quirky tale, with a strong environmental message, will inspire the next generation of ocean warriors.

A regular at Handmade Markets and the Bus Depot Markets, many Canberrans already know Nicole, who is always up for a chat about the environment and animal rights. These passions are reflected in her books which tackle hard subjects in a gentle way. From elephants in tourism to driftnets, ocean pollution and ocean plastics, Nicole’s books are captivating and heartfelt.

Launched in February 2020, Jelly-Boy is already creating waves as teachers scoop it up for their classrooms to help generate discussions, and families add it to their picture book collection.

Nicole measures her success in a simple way: “My aim is to create a story that kids love and also highlights real issues affecting our planet and its inhabitants. When a parent tells me that their child chooses one of my books every night to read, or that they sleep with it under their pillow, then I know I’m doing something right.

Jelly-Boy’s message is clear: don’t fall in love with a plastic bag. As a society, we have fallen head over heels in love with plastic bags and other soft plastic. They are convenient and make our lives easy, but they come at a high cost for marine animals and the health of our oceans,” Nicole says.

Cris O'Brien

Home.byholly residential real estate sales agent, Cris O’Brien was inspired by local Belconnen author Nicole Godwin and her latest book Jelly-Boy. Photo: Supplied.

Cris took the opportunity to promote Jelly Boy in her property marketing campaign for 17 O’Rourke Street Weetangera, a home the embodies sustainable principles, to try to generate more conversation about this very real issue.

“With shoppers worldwide using over 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year, that’s over a million bags per minute across the globe, Jelly-Boy can inspire us all to reduce the amount of soft plastics we use.

“Nicole showed me the simple soft plastic test: if you can scrunch it up, then it is soft plastic. Soft plastic includes plastic bags, clingwrap, cereal box plastic and much more. If you have to use a plastic bag or other soft plastic, aim to reuse it as much as you can. And finally, make sure any soft plastic you use is recycled. Coles and Woolworths make plastic recycling easy by having plastic bag bins at the front of most stores,” Cris explained.

“Like the love-smitten jellyfish in the story, it’s time we all said farewell to the Jelly-Boys in our life.”

Cris O’Brien is a residential real estate sales agent with boutique agency home.byholly, which focuses on selling houses throughout the established Canberra suburbs. Contact Cris on 0409 308 038.

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