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Beach cleaning Deaf group and how we can help our Earth

Co-Founder of Zebra Access CIO, Marilyn Willrich joined British Deaf Association’s Community Development Manager Avril Hepner on BSL Blethers Facebook live stream last Thursday 4th March to discuss ‘Is Earth Dying?' and how we can help save our Earth.


The one-hour discussion has given us a great insight via BSL in how we can do more for our planet through simple little tasks and has educated us in which everyday products may be damaging to the environment.


Marilyn explained her involvement with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), a charity based in St Agnes, Cornwall and how she has brought a group of Deaf people together to voluntarily help clean beaches once a month. While Marilyn herself helped clean beaches for a few hours every week in her own time, she shared her shock over the high number of dissolvable materials washed up on Cornwall’s shores from the ocean.


Marilyn explained that a lot of birds and fish die from consuming plastic products and how Cornwall’s populated dolphins unintentionally swallow products. She revealed that while there’s been less straws washed up on the beaches now since the ban, there’s been an increase of masks unfortunately found ashore. Marilyn wears specialised gloves when picking up litter, especially needles, for protection. She helps work with labs by sending images/materials to help investigate the contents of the products and where they originated from.


As Marilyn has said, we need our land and ocean, the Earth is our mother and we are responsible for the planet. So how can we help save our planet? Marilyn provides the following advice to help us make the little steps that make big changes:

-Avoid putting dissolvable products in the toilets especially wipes.

-Avoid using plastic straws and use paper/ environmentally friendly straws instead.

-Use eco-friendly products in recyclable materials i.e. toothpaste in the form of a tablet.

-Avoid purchasing plastic bags and use reusable bags.

-Avoid purchasing water in plastic bottles and use reusable bottles.

-Use a reusable cup when purchasing a hot drink at cafe.

-Use recycling bins to throw away your products i.e. plastic, glass and paper.

-Discard certain food in your compost bin for your garden.

-Contribute to the cleaning of your local environment by cleaning your home using eco-friendly products, contacting your local council for clean-up activities and if you have spare time, get involved. (Remember to wear protective coverings i.e. specialised gloves for picking up hazardous items).

-Educate one another in how to look after the planet.


Thank you to Marilyn for her eye-opening and educational insight into how we can do more for our planet. If you wish to know more about Marilyn’s beach cleaning Deaf group in Cornwall please get in touch at


Zebra Access CIO provides services and support to Deaf, Deaf Blind and Hard of Hearing people with thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund. Services includes Employment Services, English/Maths tutorials, Advocacy, Community Development, BSL/Deaf Awareness, drop-in sessions dealing with a range of queries, complaints, form filling, and many more. Zebra Access staff and volunteers have the right to work in a safe and abuse free environment. The organisation will not tolerate any kind of abuse against its staff, volunteers or property.

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