In this feature, we chat to real-life mermaid & marine activist Shannon Alford about her passion for the ocean and why the gift of life is so important to her.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a plastic-free, waste conscious, vegan minimalist who enjoys yoga, meditation and deep sea adventures (particularly with humpback whales!).
What causes do you support/are active within?
I am an onshore Sea Shepherd Volunteer and one of our many current campaigns is our Marine Debris campaign, promoting and facilitating coastal & river cleanup activities/events. So far we have removed a whopping 882,782 pieces of trash over 18 months and that number is still increasing!
I am also apart of Anonymous for the Voiceless Perth, an animal rights organisation which specializes in street activism, educating on the importance of veganism.
Where did the passion for activism start?
Growing up near the beach, environmental activism has always been apart of my life. Even from a very young age I was always very conscious about littering and caring for wildlife. It wasn’t until last year when I first visited the Ningaloo Reef that my passion thrived and I realised I needed to voice some alarming issues louder!
Returning from the magical Ningaloo Reef I jumped on board with Sea Shepherd and started to participate in their Marine Debris Campaign. Spending my weekends cleaning beaches, sorting through the rubbish and counting the items for reporting with Tangaroa Blue. Who by the way – sell marine debris remains as art supplies! So cool, completely support artists and schools to check it out.
After 3 or so beach cleans I found the need to do more! So I cut ALL PLASTIC out of my life for good. In August 2017, I saw one of my Instagram favourites – @Plasticfreemermaid post about a Plastic-Free Mermaid Retreat in Exmouth! I couldn’t believe the chances, so I had to go!
What local brands/groups / products do you love?
A local band I recently supported a band called RU – https://www.facebook.com/
By supporting a local business, you are supporting a dream! Some of my favourite local products are:
Ecoceanic Swim (Instagram name @Ecoceanic)
A strong passionate lady from Sydney who is determined to spread the facts about polluted oceans, marine life and coral extinction. I use her grounded yoga mat on the daily! It is completely sweatshop free, biodegradable, non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber combined with recycled PVC, jute and cotton.
Ningaloo Swimwear (Instagram name @ningalooswimwear) I get my yoga pants and swimwear from Ningaloo Swimwear! He uses photos he has taken from around Exmouth and prints them onto clothing! The pants that I own are printed with a beautiful photo of Turquoise Bay right on the Ningaloo!
The best gift you have ever received?
The gift of life. To be more precise, the gift in seeing and feeling that life is precious and you should do everything in your power to give back to others and this beautiful earth. There is no Planet B.
Who should we interview next?
@plasticfreemermaid – Kate Nelson
@Daisykermode – fellow mermaid
Thank you so much for sharing Shannon! We love everything that you are doing to support these amazing causes, local brands and of course marine and animal life. To keep up with Shannon you can follow her HERE or get behind one of her causes as listed above!