Nine-year-old Rosie Stephens has won the Australia-wide Reef RADicals competition with her innovative idea to replace plastic golf tees with biodegradable ones, a concept she says was inspired by Take 3 for the Sea.
Launched by Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and James Cook University, the Reef RADicals competition asked for kids in years 1-8 to send through their big ideas to help protect the Great Barrier Reef. Kids all around Australia were asked to submit a 90-second video explaining their bright ideas to inspire others to consider how small actions can have big impacts.
Rosie came up with the innovative idea to make biodegradable golf tees using gelatin, grass clippings from the gold course, sand and dirt, in order to remove the need for plastic golf tees that are usually left behind on the golf course.
“When [golf tees] break, people don’t pick them up and they wash into our oceans,” said Rosie to the Ulladulla Times.
“Fish and birds eat them because they look like smaller prey.”
“The bird’s stomachs fill up with plastic and there’s no space for real food.”
“It’s so sad, especially when people could use bamboo golf tees and I’ve even invented a biodegradable tee made from mud, grass and gelatin.”
In her video submission, Rosie showed the resemblance between brightly coloured, plastic gold tees and fish before demonstrating how easy it is to make gold tees that are biodegradable.
“I always Take 3 for the Sea and Moni and Simi from Treading Lightly got me into this when I was only six-years-of-age,” she said to the Ulladulla Times.
The “Moni” referenced by Rosie is Take 3’s Surf Life Saving Club Programs Manager, Monica Mudge, who works to share the Take 3 message across the South Coast region.
“The Take 3 message is simple: Take 3 pieces of rubbish away with you whenever you visit somewhere you love. It’s an engaging way to encourage young people to take an active role in protecting our environment whilst at the same time providing them with an avenue to think about the way we live, be conscious consumers and become innovative leaders for change. Rosie is a perfect example of the Take 3 message in action,” said Monica Mudge, Take 3 for the Sea’s Surf Life Saving Clubs Program Manager.