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Tread Lighter: less plastic, more bamboo

James Marr

Published: 27th April 2018

Written by: James Marr


This was the thought process Libby went through when she purchased the treadlighter.org website some time ago. At the time, she was based in Borneo at an orangutan rehabilitation centre. She had spent 6 years working in both marine and terrestrial conservation and had seen first had the horrific impact global usage of plastic was having on our environment.

On the website Libby shows some disturbing images of these impacts and explains how experiencing it first-hand can really eat away at you over time

The Mission

Libby realised that however much plastic she cut away from wildlife or conversation work she did, without the all-important education of the masses she would not be able to make a long-lasting change in the world for good.

That is why she started Tread Lighter. As a way to enlighten people to the impact their actions are having on the environment and the wildlife that lives there. Libby is a primary school teacher and started her mission by educating those within her class, helping them understand the importance of taking small actions to clean up the environment. Therefore, creating the conservationists of tomorrow.

However, this didn’t quite itch the scratch of making a larger impact in the world and she felt the need to get out there to educate the rest of the world, just like the way she had done with her class.

To do this she decided to start by cycling the length of New Zealand on a bamboo bike, visiting schools and other organisations to share her experiences and discuss ways in which others can make a positive impact on the world, such as through beach and river cleans.

The Journey

After building her bike, Libby shipped it (and herself) over to Australia before hopping over to New Zealand to start her journey. She started her NZ trip in a town called Curly and kicked it off with a beach clean with a couple of little helpers. On this occasion, she found all sorts of items including razor handles, a syringe, a glass vial and wet wipes.

She continued her journey with a number of other plastic clean ups at various locations and visiting schools to highlight the importance of keeping our water clear of plaster. Libby has stayed with some interesting and fantastic people and families and even got to meet Jack Johnson and discuss her mission and journey with him.

It is clear that Libby is on a well-founded and well planned out mission to make a positive impact on our environment. You can find out more about her mission and read all the updates on her journey on her website: www.treadlighter.org