Category Archives: Environment

Going to the source to lessen the litter

MOST rubbish entering the bay comes from car parks and the street. So, to reduce the amount of rubbish finding its way onto the foreshore and into the water meant cleaning up street litter – especially outside shops and supermarkets.

And that’s a task Rye resident Josie Jones excelled in: so much so that the graphic designer was last week awarded the Litter Prevention prize in the Keep Victoria Beautiful 2017 Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards.

The presentation was made at Horsham, in the Wimmera, on Saturday 25 November.

The Victorian Tidy Towns program, first run in 1983, sets out to recognise and applaud the hard work of people and groups, especially in rural communities, and to share these best practices and ideas.

This year’s awards were supported by Awards Online and Coopers Brewery.

Victorian Tidy Towns judge Terry O’Brien said: “In April this year, Josephine Jones undertook an incredible challenge. She collected nearly four tonnes of rubbish from the foreshore, referencing the material and identifying it as coming from the local supermarket car park.

“Josephine convinced the supermarket to address this problem through cleaning schedules and litter prevention initiatives, such as recycle bins.”

Keep Victoria Beautiful CEO Sabina Wills said: “The success of this project increased the protection of the local marine environment. It empowered the local community to set high standards to prevent and reduce litter in their community.”

Ms Jones, who won the KVB Tidy Towns: Dame Phyllis Frost Award in 2016 for her “outstanding commitment to her work in sustainability”, said she used the award to approach Woolworth’s Rye supermarket management to “be part of the solution” in reducing car park litter.

“[Litter] used to be a blame game but, after I went back to them for the fourth time, to their credit, Woolworth’s took the initiative,” she said.

Using the nickname “The one-tonne mermaid”, which she received for collecting 4.2 tonnes of litter at Rye after weekly beach clean-ups, Ms Jones says she is trying to reinvent the sentiment of the Life Be In It and Keep Australia Beautiful campaigns.

This thinking led her to act on the supermarket car park which she described as a disgrace. “There were hundreds of cigarette butts, papers and rubbish everywhere,” she said.

“I got the Scouts, staff at the supermarket and members of the community and I asked the shire to be transparent with maps to see who was littering. We managed to more than halve the amount of litter ending up on the foreshore.”

The self-employed mother of a 13-year-old is unabashed in urging the community to back her stance: “We need people to support us and we want to inspire the community.”

Part of the urge to inspire relates to making us think – and act: “If you are down the beach and the bins are full then take your extra rubbish home,” she said.

“Don’t just leave rubbish on the ground where it will eventually be blown into the water.

“It takes courage to think outside the square. If we don’t clean up our foreshore areas our kids will not experience it as we did.

“We have a beautiful country and it deserves to be respected.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 5 December 2017 STORY BY Stephen Taylor

Artist’s Posters play for a clean bay

STANDING in the sand dunes at Rye, Josie Jones is pleased to note the absence of rubbish.

She is there to promote a community walk at Hastings to raise money and awareness of the Dolphin Research Institute, for which she has designed and added a poster to her “I’m really a mermaid” series.

No stranger to the foreshore at Rye, Ms Jones has for the past 12 years walked its length and breadth collecting rubbish either dropped by careless beachgoers or dropped in the bay.

A graphic designer, Ms Jones estimates she’s collected four tonnes of rubbish in a personal campaign that’s been recognised with a KVB Tidy Towns: Dame Phyllis Frost Award for “her outstanding commitment to her work in sustainability”.

A regular speaker at schools and community groups, she is a keen diver and likes to mention the “full stable of seahorses” under Rye pier.

The presence of the seahorse colony exemplifies the need for a clean bay.

“The end result of dropping rubbish on land ends in the sea,” Ms Jones says.

“I’m passionate about people coming together and working together.”

Part of her vision is to help the Dolphin Research Centre, something she can achieve by producing a series of posters with her graphic art skills.

She has also become something of a statistician, counting and weighing rubbish to convince people of the growing waste problem. Over two months she collected 5879 cigarette butts.

“I take a psychological approach. I don’t take no for an answer and I love seeing people succeed.”

Ms Jones says she has gained the support of a supermarket in collecting rubbish left lying in its car park and is now trying to convince Mornington Peninsula Shire that installing and regularly emptying a recycling bin is a lot cheaper than burying rubbish at the tip.

“I come up with solutions and I’m persistent.” Story by Keith Platt


Plastic Wave hits Rye

THE 1 TONNE CHALLENGE – Dame Phyllis Frost Award 2016


With I’m Really a Mermaid

The One Tonne Challenge was created as a way of giving back to the ocean. Creating the One Tonne Challenge, Josie Jones uses herself as an example to inspire and encourage anyone who heard about her efforts. If one person could collect that 2.3 tonnes of rubbish, then surely this would inspire someone to pick up at least one piece of rubbish, if only once in their lifetime.

Talking about Rubbish is like talking about God. Josie mentioned this to guests recently, in South Australia for “Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries”. There are the ‘converted’, who will tell you all the good they do and somehow you wished you’d never met them, then there’s the ‘atheist’, who believes that the problem does not exist, you have the ‘heathen’, that tells everyone how bad rubbish is. You then have the ‘believers’, they are the ones that know it exists, and want to be a part of the solution, and then you have people like Josie, who are the born again. The born again recognizes that rubbish does exist, and they lead by example to show others a truth that we cannot, sustain or continue to ignore.

Believing that we need to simplify recycling and recycle all plastic, paper and cardboard, Josie empathizes to the general public,  that many people don’t know what does and does not go to recycling, therefore they give up, you only have to open a general waste bin on rubbish day to see this for real, with statistics on public recycling bins, also showing we need an education campaign.

Australia carries an advantage of waste management over the majority of the world. Whilst we are not rich in the future’s true wealth, being water, we are rich in space, to store rubbish and sell it back to producers and manufacturers, rather than continuing to bury it. This is not a new concept but something that is adopted by many other countries, such as San Franciso.

Choosing to be part of a solution, seeing  future generations to look back and praise us for our efforts, is part of the aim of “If you see it pick it up” In our current climate, we will be looked at as ignorant and frowned upon for failing to teach the future generations. Our failure instate a system that will provide jobs and money for future generations, all aiming for zero waste.

We need to stop teaching our children that everything is dirty. There is more germs found on ¼ of the worlds soap and hand wash dispensers, than the inside of a toilet, as we don’t flush with our feet – Source Researcher Jonathon Sexton

Knowing how effective the “if you see it pick it up” motto is, confidence seeing others picking up, encourages us to believe that “one action” turns into many, and that as others adopt the philosophy, so too, will our attitudes towards rubbish as bad and wrong, begin to change. Currently in Rye there is community participation, in which we all can see the great effects picking up does and we are inspired to stop making people feel bad about touching rubbish, first in the street.

In attending the beach at least 5 times a week, people will remark on seeing Josie again and again. Thanking her for collecting the rubbish and even handing her rubbish, they themselves, have collected on their walk. Other people ask, if she is “getting paid to collect rubbish”, that ‘She is a better person than them” for doing it, or others will leave the beach before they have contact with her, as this is their way of dealing with the issue.

In all the collection, Josie does not ask anyone to help her, “I allow my actions to be an example to others and the word of mouth of my efforts, give leverage to the I’m really a mermaid campaign. I am passionate about changing the views and habits of Australian’s and beyond, about effective waste management and lending a hand”.

Being dubbed the “One Tonne Mermaid”, thanks to National Geographic,  has given Josie the chance to be an inspiring example. The community of Rye is proud of her efforts and have gone as far as recognizing that the stretch of beach that she cleans, is considered the most pristine along the coast. Over the past 2 years Josie has seen a definite effect and improvement to the beach of 6.4 km that she cleans. “I do go to other areas and clean, but I do not document the collection of this rubbish within the challenge. I also collect rubbish from the streets and anywhere, when I possibly can, however I find the problem of rubbish to be overwhelming in certain areas”.

Josie has found the argument between responsibility, frustrating, when communicating dumped rubbish areas to the council through their rubbish management – infrastructure maintenance team. I find they are very helpful, however I also note that their ability to act is restricted and this includes their jurisdiction to attend to my calls on rubbish. Rubbish can sit in areas up to 6 months and several calls, before it will be collected. Rubbish deliberately being left after sighted, called in, to see how long it would take to collect, see’s another gap in the system, where community can play a positive role. Introducing a pick up and weigh in scheme may be something to help the issue of jurisdiction, encouraging organization to pick it up, rather than say it’s not their responsibility.

Josie grew up in Gippsland in a Shell Service Station, a very social person and an occupation as a designer, Josie has a reputation for bringing success to businesses.  The opportunity to speak with locals, individuals has Josie well verses on the problems business face with waste management and how people go about “how we do rubbish” here in the Mornington Peninsula.

Attentive to note that a system is in place and that those working are doing their best, however, as a person who is meticulous on waste management, Josie see’s and knows of many short comings in the waste management system, which does not effectively reduce waste to landfill. In business, there are insufficient waste management collection and insufficient bins to accommodate for all the recycling that is going to landfill. Not light in her claims and stating this problem to the judges of KABV last year and she was told we are doing many great things , which she acknowledges, however her passion is with waste management and allowing the community to understand their role in a better today and a better future.

Not to deny we are doing great things, it is impossible not to see some positive change, given the resources going to waste management. However, we are missing the mark when it comes to rubbish management. Collection of waste is tendered out to contractors and often given to the lower submissions to get the contracts, this in turn causes an issue with collection. Due to the low submission, the contractors will only pay for one truck and one driver, when in fact in peek season, the run requires 2 – 3 trucks to keep up with the demand of the waste. Speaking to several drivers, they all bare the same conclusion and all of them feel; ‘we could do it better’

Locals in the Rye area complain of no bins to effectively separate waste, the bins are not conducive and a large proportion plastic is going to landfill. The community does not feel heard and complain that Sorrento and Portsea gain the funding for nice bins, nice streets and that our community from Rye onwards to Melbourne is left to fend for themselves. Whilst dramatic, this is the general feeling of the community.

Sensitive in this subject, to not offer band-aid responses, but to in fact create a plan to manage waste more effectively. There is no campaign for waste management on the peninsula and requests have been made to the Mornington Peninsula shire to support the I’m Really a Mermaid campaign. It is difficult to remain positive, when the facts of negatives seem to over ride. Josie is inspired to see the community themselves, loving and adopting the I’m Really a Mermaid campaign, thanks to the knowledge of her efforts in the “one tonne challenge”.

Whilst we do not take a positive campaign towards rubbish, here on the Peninsula, it’s seen on our street,s filled with rubbish, dumping of goods to roadsides, due to the perception of high tip fees, the failure to effectively recycle and the inability for community to understand the Landcare Levy. Our freeways are strewn with rubbish and roadsides show dumping where there are no bins. Attending schools, waste lay in the gutters, within the schoolyard, under buildings and the desire for a better world grows.  Josie has personally filmed  these environments,  more than most, she is  attentive to waste “out of place” and all the items, she is picking up from the sea, is what she see’s within the above-mentioned environments.

This is not a fabricated view, you only need to open a bin on bin day to see, and how much recycling is going to landfill and to our knowledge, this waste is not separated. Rubbish truck drivers, tip workers, ocean divers, council workers, waste management aall say we could do it better, that money should not be a priority.

The wider concern is the rubbish in the CBD making it’s way into Port Phillip Bay, once upon a time Melbourne was a clean city in which we took pride of who we are. Living in Melbourne from 1991 – 2003, before moving to Tahiti, Josie has seen a big change in the cleanliness of the CBD. Now, you walk in Melbourne, in any suburb and you see rubbish on our streets, it’s become a common and accepted thing, but for Josie, who is passionate about the environment, she feels consistently powerless in her role and only wish she could do more. Vacant blocks are strewn with rubbish and the blame game of who is responsible inhibits the ability for us to get the job done.

Whilst there is no perfect solution, there is evidence, that we need to adopt an effective rubbish system from a small country, such as Sweden. We can not afford to mismanage waste, that has a proven record for creating jobs and selling back rubbish as a resource of manufacturing. A national campaign on “waste management” which aims at the ‘believers’ and allows community participation, which will therefore ensure longevity and success. The One Tonne Challenge is part of the I’m really a mermaid campaign, developed from the fact that some many people love Mermaids. The mystical messenger of the ocean, who brings warning and attention to that dependent on the land for our livelihood and the ocean as part of our food supply.


Dame Phyllis Frost

An Australian welfare worker and philanthropist, known for her commitment to causes, such as helping prisoners. She chaired the Victorian Women’s Prisons Council for many years, established the Keep Australia Beautiful movement, worked for freedom from hunger and raised millions of dollars for charity.

Mornington Peninsula magazine writes on I’m really a mermaid

Local designer Josie Jones continues to give back to the ocean with her ‘I’m really a Mermaid’ poster campaign.  Inspired by the ocean and the recent birth of another baby common dolphin to our Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, will see a release of a new poster, with all funds raised going back to the Dolphin Research Institute.

This year Josie was awarded the ‘Keep Australia Beautiful Gift fund award’ for her contri-butions to the environment and a chance for local community to get behind her great work.

Go into the draw to win a 2 night stay at the beach side accommodation Offshore Retreat when you purchase a poster of your choice from the 6 designs currently available.

Purchase a Poster of your choice online from OR from the fabulous, environmentally focused, local café A Mini Kitchen in Rye or Marine Biologist lead Sirene Sea Pearls in Dromana

Mornington Peninsula Magazine article link

Winner of the 2015 Keep Australia Beautiful Gift Fund Award

How fantastic is that!!!!!
I just had a call from Keep Australia Beautiful National for the Victorian division. On Saturday night they had the awards ceremony, recognizing the efforts of so many awesome people, who contribute to the environment…
And I just found out I WON!!!
I have been awarded $1000 for the Keep Australia Beautiful Gift Fund 2015. On Saturday night, thanks to the supporters of this, now 😊 award winning campaign, I was able to donate $600 to the Dolphin Research Institute from part of the monies raised to date from the I’m really a Mermaid campaign.

Thank you to A Mini Kitchen in Rye and Sirene Sea Pearls in Dromana for selling the posters to the public, to share my message. I’d also like to thank big blue backyard for their donation of a 2 night stay to encourage people to support the environment and to Offshore Retreat who will be donating the next prize for this Summer!

Thank you everyone for your support and care for the world and its creatures
A big thank you also to Mornington Peninsula community for their support of this message

‪#‎imreallyamermaid‬ ‪#‎ifyouseeitpickitup‬ ‪#‎onetonnechallenge‬

I’m really a mermaid – Season 2

I’m really a Mermaid is a passion project that has gathered a large amount of attention due to the fact that so many people do care about the environment. Whilst Series 2 is now being created, Series 1 will continue this Summer 2015/16, offering a new chance to WIN and exciting 2 night stay at a beach stay with character, Offshore Retreat in the fantastic St Andrews Beach on the Mornington Peninsula.

Look out this Summer for a teaser of what is to come in Series 2. As we communicate to the locals and to the holiday makers through a set of postcards that will be free over the Summer period, how important it is to recycle and keep Australia beautiful.

This summer is an offering a chance to stay nestled amongst the sand dunes of St Andrews beach, as you laze away in the 6 seater jacuzzi, with the sun setting and the sound of the ocean, drowns away any worries you may have had. Offshore Retreat is located a 5 minute walk from the Rye back beach, choose one of 4 possible stays. All you have to do is support the poster series, by purchasing your copy from either the gorgeous beachside cafe A Mini Kitchen or Sirene Sea Pearls in Dromana

Join us this season in your support for I’m really a mermaid, who aims for zero waste, recycles responsibly and is continuing to collect rubbish as part of the “One Tonne Challenge” now up to nearly 2 tonnes of documented rubbish collection from the foreshore of the Mornington Peninsula.


Josie Jones – MPGL Magazine

Graphic designers often get lumped together with fine artists – when the truth is that they
are almost opposites. Artists create to share something that’s uniquely theirs with the world, allowing each viewer to find their own interpretation. Designers, on the other hand, create to communicate specifically – they are visual-thinking problem solvers; specialists in reaching the masses.

Award-winning graphic designer and creative director Josie Jones of design studio Share
the Word is known for her visual communication, and while her studio certainly delivers on
their design motto of ‘making you look awesome’ – with an array of local clients, including A Mini Kitchen, Captains Bar, the Pavilion in McCrae, Rye Produce & Nursery, and Sorrento
Catering Company, to name a few – her greatest passion is the environment.

This passion was born while living and working on the island of Tahiti. “To be given a gift to
live in the islands of Polynesia and experience the culture was a life-changing event for me,” says Josie. Yet it was also an eye-opener for her, as she was taken aback by the rubbish problem that exists there. “I couldn’t keep on watching the habits of the people and just stand back and say it was okay.”

Josie began by leading by example: collecting rubbish she saw on the beaches and in drains. “I didn’t want to just walk by it knowing that if it rained that this rubbish would end up in the ocean.” This lead to the awareness that people required education to recognise the effects they had on the world around them.

This realisation continued for Josie upon her return to Australia and her move to the
Peninsula in 2011, as she became acutely aware of the fact that the littering problem was
global. “I saw rubbish on the shores of the Peninsula and the attitudes towards rubbish were universal. No one owns rubbish, yet the reality is, it belongs to everyone.”

Josie continued collecting rubbish every morning, now off the Peninsula beaches, yet she
realised that larger-scale action was required. So, this year, Josie set herself a ‘1 tonne
rubbish challenge’, with a goal collecting a tonne of rubbish from the Peninsula foreshore in the hope that her rubbish mantra – “If you see it, pick it up” – will encourage others to help clean up.

Five months in, Josie has collected an impressive 600 kilograms of rubbish. “The challenge
was created as a way of being a part of a solution, rather than complaining about something that won’t go away if we don’t change.” While her personal rubbish collecting may seem admirable, Josie stresses that collecting rubbish is our duty as a community.
‘I’m really a mermaid’ is Josie latest project. It’s a Peninsula-wide media campaign aimed at spreading the word – and who better to pull it off than a visual-communications professional.

“The mermaid has two simple aims,” says Josie. “Rubbish responsibly and aim for zero
waste.” While recycling effectively is very important, Josie explains that people also need to be mindful of what they buy. Zero waste is where all discarded materials are designed to
become resources for others to use. It only becomes ‘rubbish’ when it is no longer considered valuable. As such, people need to increase their awareness of resourceful and inventive ways to up-cycle waste.

The ‘I’m really a mermaid’ campaign reflects the local flora and marine life, with additions
to posters such as the Wondering Postman and the bulbine lily, along with the weedy sea
dragons and Australian fur seals. The messages communicated – through stickers and
posters – are a wonderful way to thank the environment and take a different perspective on life. And people love it – Josie’s message is getting through.

With profits from this initiative scheduled to go back to the environment, Josie is open to
discussing with individuals and organisations on how to share these funds with well-deserving projects.

It certainly takes a visual-thinking problem solver to get important messages across. Yet
couple this with a philanthropic soul with a love of the environment and you have an individual we all owe our thanks to – as Josie proves that the smallest of effort can change the world.

Go to to find out more.

The One Tonne Mermaid – National Geographic

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am inspired by nature to create, as I do on screen. Graphic design is a passion for me, as is, free-diving the ocean to explore the marine life and collecting rubbish from ocean shores.

Today I was blown away to find my efforts of the one tonne woman had made it’s way to National Geographic Traveler. Titled the One Tonne Mermaid, the article  communicates well, my efforts to collect rubbish on  daily basis.

Whilst I don’t weigh in all that I collect, and as the article states I will continue to collect after the one tonne is met. I only weigh in the ‘hard to get’ rubbish. What do I mean when I say hard to get?

Each day I am collecting the ends of sushi containers, the random piece of blue plastic, the slither of lollies wrapper, the odd bandaid, cigarette butts, the ends of balloons, parking tickets, random glow sticks, tiny pieces of plastic, the list is endless and it’s tiny.

I feel the best part about what I am doing, is my enthusiasm. Everything I do, I do with passion, every walk I take, I think of ways to communicate to people to pick up rubbish, to recycle, and I’m determined to master this problem. Every dive I make, I hope to see one new kind of life and share my regards. One may call me eccentric but I’m far beyond that.

I have managed to maintain my gift for life, my enthusiasm and passion are child like, coupled with a mind that never rests to be a part of solutions and enough experience in life to recognize that nothing  comes without some sort of effort.

I encourage you, recycle properly, pick up rubbish if you see it and do your best to be an example, Our future really depends upon it.


Graphic Designers are problem solvers

Graphic designers, in people’s minds, often get lumped together with fine artists – when the truth is that we’re almost opposites. Artists create to inspire, to emote, to share something that’s uniquely theirs with the world – and the best art lets each viewer find their own interpretation. Designers, on the other hand, create to communicate – we’re visual-thinking problem solvers, and if people are interpreting our message in their own unique ways, well, then we’re just not very good at our job.

We’re visual communicators. We’re given a brief, which states a problem to solve, or a specific outcome that needs to be achieved, and we collect information and analyze it to figure out the best solution. And our success is determined by the measurable outcome of what we’ve created, not just by how pretty it looks.

The fun part is, graphic designers can use literally any visual medium to communicate our messages. We use shapes, colors, and fonts, on print design, websites and social media. We can use photography and animation. We can use billboards, walls or the faces of buildings. We can use anything if we really want to.

Whilst Josie Jones of Share the Word design studio has worked all facets of the design trail, Josie now undertakes her role as Creative Director – where she manages a creative team that creates visuals for product branding, advertising campaigns and so forth.

Whilst Josie creates popular culture and supports subcultures, Josie’s greatest passion is the environment. Her passion grew whilst living in the island of Tahiti, where she could see the world on a miniature scale, she saw that people required education to make them realize the effects they were having on the world around them.

“People don’t respond to being told what to do, people relate, whether they are difficult or easy going, people are all about relating, so rather than telling them, its far easier to make people aware. Awesome graphics are like a top of the charts songs, people can’t help but sing along. Singing isn’t my best skill, so I’ve used my passion, to create this work with my creative team, and I’m so excited to see people relate”

I have 2 simple messages says Josie, “Rubbish responsibly and aim for zero waste” To recycle effectively is so rewarding, to be mindful of what you buy is so important, the best definition of xero waste is “where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use” When people think of rubbish, they think of food, but rubbish is also effectively, clothing, shoes, furniture, toys, electronics, the list goes on. What is actually rubbish is what is no longer considered valuable. The fact is rubbish holds a value, that is increasingly becoming recognized, as we lose land for space to fill and we find resourceful and inventive ways to up-cycle our waste, the future is very exciting when it comes to rubbish.

Unleash the mermaid within, be an example of an intelligent human being, rather than walk with the ignorant and get swept along in the storm that uneducated behavior brings.

I’m really a mermaid