Saving the ocean one sticker at a time

Michal and Daniela Berti have put up three stickers so far, with more to come. Photo supplied.

The old adage ‘put your money where your mouth is’ is ringing true for a Byron man who is doing his part to save the oceans.

Michal Berti and his 11-year-old daughter Daniela saw a problem and worked out how to fix it in the form of an information sticker they place on public showers around Byron beaches.

Michal says that it was frustrating to keep watching people using beach showers as their own bathroom. ‘We’d keep telling them no to do it and explaining why,’ he said. ‘Having a sign would leave them no excuse for using these kinds of products so, we designed the sticker.’

The message on the signs is simple: if you use detergent a personal health products at public showers, the water goes directly back onto the ocean and has a detrimental effect on marine life. ‘I think most of the people that I’ve seen and told not to do it, they really weren’t aware of the water going straight to the ocean.’

Born in Venezuela, Michal moved to Spain in 2001 then came on holidays to Byron here in 2015 and never left. He works doing graphic design and digital print and is just setting up his little business called ‘Sticky Ideas’.

Berti says that a friend helped him get in touched with council and National Parks to get the thumbs up on posting the stickers. ‘They were really keen for me to do it,’ he said. They thought it was a great idea. There are three stickers on trial at Main Beach for council showers, and five approved on Arakwal National Park Beaches at The Pass, Captain Cook, Wategos, Tallows and Broken Head.

The market value of a work like this could go between $300 to $1000 but Berti fell so strongly about the issue that he financed the work himself. ‘We designed, printed and Installed the stickers ourselves so the cost was only the stock and three or fours hours of work.’

‘I did because I love this place – these beaches are my daughter and my favourite playgrounds. I try teach my daughter and kids that I train in Nippers not only to keep our place clean but to clean it too. if you find rubbish on your way, take it to the bin even if it’s not yours.’

Michal and Daneila says they haven’t seen anyone using detergents at the showers since the stickers went up. If we want a better tomorrow, we have to start doing the right thing now and teach next generations to be better than us.’


4 responses to “Saving the ocean one sticker at a time”

  1. Ange BBB says:

    Great work by Michal and Daniela!

  2. Alison says:

    So fantastic !
    I have asked the Mayor on many occasions to support a clever marketing advertising campaign designed to address illegal camping. I feel a different approach is needed and perhaps your help paid of course.
    Illegal camping is costing locals a fortune in signage replacements that could be used on playgrounds or roads.
    It has threatened biodiversity ie Main Arm last year and frequent fires from campers in remote areas.
    Instead of No Camping
    We need Pay to Stay support our Community respect and protect
    Real people images and ones that relate to the audience like campers images etc
    Love your input
    Love your help

  3. Jim says:

    I saw these on a shower in Byron last week and was very impressed how well the design communicates the issue without relying on language alone. Really great work for a great cause! Well done Michal and Daneila!!

  4. Rafael Dosantos says:

    Hi Michal, ¡hola!
    I need to contact you regarding this issue.
    From here I authorize The Echo to share my email with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsor Brunswick Picture House.