Action of the month

Our Action of the Month campaign was started as part of  the Third International Year of the Reef (IYOR) in 2018 and is a great way for everyone to find new ways to take positive action for our reefs and oceans.

Even though it’s not technically IYOR anymore, we think every year should be, so each month, Reef Check will continue to suggest an action you can take to help our reefs (or to help you so you feel empowered to help our reefs). Some of these actions will be more involved than others, but you can check out the suggestions below and pick which ones you can do. We can all do something – and the time to act is now!


May 2021 Action: Care for each Other 

As another month passes, and it feels like time continues to speed up, always racing away from us, I am reminded of a story I heard recently about life being like a giant bus. The bus of life comes down the road and you jump on. It has no brakes, and no instructions. It has no map; it just keeps moving- with or without you. It doesn’t care if you are sick, how much money you make or how successful you are; nor how you define success. It just keeps going. Until one day it doesn’t.

Sounds a little scary, right? And yet its oh so true! How many times have you caught up with a friend; realising its been months since you saw them. Or you look at your calendar and realise another month has gone. Or six. Time is flying… are you using the tail wind to your advantage, or are you gripping on for dear life? Would you recognise the difference?

Last month’s action of the month focussed on looking yourself; put on your oxygen mask before assisting others. Now that you have that covered (or at least made a start.. right?) we want to take a look at how you can look after those around you; your community; as well.

Time is the most precious thing we have. We all have exactly the same number of hours in a day, minutes in an hour, seconds in a minute. So how are you showing up in those seconds, minutes, hours? Are you living the life you want? Are you showing up in the world how you want to be seen? What does this even mean?

Your community is all the people around you. It’s the people you interact with on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. It's anyone you choose to share time with. It’s the people you turn to when stuck, it’s friends and family, coworkers, peers, and anyone with whom you have an impact on through your decisions, buying power, words and language. How are you showing up for any of these people?

Thinking of all the people you interact with; how are you showing up with them. Are you present? Do you actively listen to what they have to say? Are you attached to your phone, to scrolling, to watching peoples online life, whilst real life and real people are in front of you, sharing their most precious resource; time; with you- right here, right now?

This months action of the month is simple. Just choose to be present. In anything. In everything. Switch off your phone, your computer, your TV and pay attention to those around you. Go for a walk in nature, and really look at how amazing the world around you is. Stop trying to multitask (badly, I might add) and be in the moment. In meetings; in person and online. And see what happens when you choose to be present. This small change can make huge differences in your work, your life, and in your relationships with your community. Are you up for the challenge?




April 2021 Action: It's time to look after yourself first.

Once again we blinked and another month has gone. Wow. Three months into the year already! Where did it go? What did we achieve? Have we been watering the seeds of intention we had set for ourselves at the start of the year? One quarter of the year in, let's take some time to reflect on the past 3 months. Check in on our ourselves. How are we feeling? What is working for us, and what isn’t? What are our priorities? Have they changed from January, and if not.. are we actively working toward making our priorities.. a priority?

It's easy to allow our lives to be busy; to keep working hard, to say yes to all of the things, and to push what’s really important to the side, because we will get to it ‘later’. But when is later? Thats why the action of the month for April is to practice caring for ourselves first. That’s right, remember that before we help anyone else, you need to put on your own oxygen mask first.

So. What can you do for yourself this month? We believe that to look after the world around us, we first need to look after ourselves. So what can you do this month to truly encompass self-care? Take some time off; even if it's just an hour. Get comfortable with your thoughts, and seek to understand YOU a little better. Delve a little deeper, and let's learn to love ourselves a little more, for everything we are, we were, and what we want to be.

No-one ever lays on their death bed wishing they worked a little more. So what can you do to ensure you are loving the life you are living, today?



March 2020 Action - Take 3 for the Sea!


Sunday 1st March marks Clean Up Australia Day - but we're asking you to extend it for the month of March (and why not beyond!) with the simple pledge to Take 3 for the Sea.

When you visit the beach, the park, or any natural outdoor area, do your bit and Take 3 for the sea, by picking up three pieces of rubbish you come across. The Take 3 initiative is a fantastic way to make a real difference through simple everyday actions while connecting people to our marine environments. 

Don't forget to tag us in your clean up photos and include the hashtag #take3forthesea.

February Action - Fight Fire With Fire!


February's action is a bit different to normal, because this is not a normal situation for Australia. Along with everyone else, RCA have been devastated to see the horrendous fires taking place across our incredible country and, like you, we want to do what we can to help this beautiful country recover.

So our action for February is to get active for the people, lands and animals affected by these horrendous fires. There's any number of groups needing your help with donations of funds and equipment. The below lists just a few:  

But also, now more than ever, let's reach out to each other and offer support. Australia is an amazing country - let's fight to keep it that way




January Action - New Year, Old Stuff!

As this is the time people traditionally make new pledges, we've got a suggested one for you:

For 2020 and beyond, see if you can reduce your consumerism and buy less new stuff!

The production of new goods contributes to emissions, land use and deforestation and even climate change. So swapping old for new can really be a drag to the planet. 

Have some fun with this one and challenge yourself to bargain hunt in op shops, on gumtree and Facebook Marketplace, in antique markets, and anywhere else you can think of! Every time you are about to buy something new - stop and think if you can replace old with old instead!

December Action - Bring the Reef Some Festive Cheer

We all want this time of year to be special, but if like us you want to have a fun festive season without harming the environment, please take on our December AOTM challenge and work on giving ocean friendly gifts this year.

There's plenty of options - so why not consider some of the below?

Head over to a site such as  Biome and grab some reuseable straws, water bottles or any of their other eco-friendly gifts.

Grab some gorgeous ocean themed jewellery and help out Reef Check Australia at the same time. The awesome peeps at Dupa will contribute 20% of all profits of items sold via our link to Reef Check Australia - so head over and grab some stunning goodies! 

Or  Adopt a Reef for a loved one and give an ocean loving loved one a gift that gives back!

Don't let your good intentions go out the window this Christmas. Make it a special year for our oceans as well!



November Action of the Month - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

National Recycling Week runs this year from 11-17 November. Founded by Planet Ark, this initiative is now in its 24th year and it's more important than ever that we all do what we can to minimise and manage our waste.

So no matter how much (or how little) you already do, please take the time this month to make a positive change in how you handle your waste. If you don't already recycle your soft plastics - this is a great time to start! If you normally throw old clothes away - consider donating them to op shops. If you receive a gift wrapped gift - reuse the wrapping paper. There are always small changes each of us can make to reduce our environmental impact. So get inspired.

And if you have a great idea you don't think most people know - share it with us!



October Action of the Month - Grab a Box!

We've got some nifty new Reef Check Australia flat pack donation boxes in stock and we're keen to get them out in the community. So this month we're asking if you'd be up for talking to a local cafe or shop and seeing if they'd be happy to have one of our donation boxes in there.
Just send us an email at [email protected] and we can send you out one (or two, or ten!) donation boxes and let you know how to get any funds to us.
If every one of our supporters did this, and collected just a few dollars - it would be a huge help!




September Action of the Month - Get Some Sustainable Inspiration!

September 15 is Sustainable House Day - which aims to give Australians the opportunity to visit "houses that have been designed, built or renovated with sustainability in mind as well as the opportunity to talk to owners and receive unbiased advice."

We all need to find ways to live more sustainably to help protect our natural environment - so find out if there's an open house near you and go and have a good nose! Even one energy saving idea that you hadn't thought of before can make a difference. And if you find one that you think we should know about - tell us about it on social media!




August Action of the Month - Celebrate Science!

National Science Week is held from 10-18 August and will feature events, both large and small, across the country to celebrate science and technology.

This month's action is to get involved and learn more about some of the amazing science changing and shaping our world around us! The goals of National Science week include "to encourage an interest in science pursuits among the general public, and to encourage younger people to become fascinated by the world we live in". That's a goal we can really get behind - and we hope you will too!

If you're in Brisbane, you could come along and see the RCA team at the Brisbane Science Festival. Or check out if there's any events happening near you!  




July Action of the Month - Recycle Your Approach to Recycling!

Recycling is something we've all been hearing about for so long now . But many of us may still be doing things wrong, or throwing out items that could be recycled.
So this month's action is to brush up on your recycling skills and set yourself a new goal.
Perhaps you're in an area that has just brought in cash for containers and you could set a goal to take your drinks containers to a deposit scheme once a month.
Or maybe you've been chucking your soft plastic in the normal bin? If so, why not start collecting them up and taking them to a soft plastics deposit scheme (lots of supermarkets have them!).
Or if you've invented your own way of recycling something - let us know!


June Action of the Month - Help Change the World!

Two incredibly important international events fall in the month of June - World Environment Day on June 5 and World Oceans Day on June 8.

Both these events look to build awareness of and inspire people to protect our environment, including our marine ecosystems. So our Action of the Month for June is both fun and simple – help us celebrate these days and build your awareness on environmental issues affecting our reefs and oceans to help change the world!

Come along and see Reef Check at the World Environment Day Festival, join in one of our beach clean ups or check out what other events and activities are happening near you.

Or why not organise your own event with your friends and family? We’d love to hear about what you get up to so be sure to share your stories with us!


May Action of the Month - Make a World of Difference

Our action of the month for May is to get your volunteer hat on! 

National Volunteer Week 2019 falls from 20-26 May and the theme this year  – “Making a world of difference” - is something we can really get behind. 

Get in touch with Volunteering Australia  to join in one of their events, or register your own. Or simply get together with your friends during that week and organise your own event - whether it's a beach clean-up or a walk around local cafes to ask them to ditch plastic straws - whatever you like!

Don't forget to tell us what you get up to!



April Action of the Month - Share if you Care

Our Action of the Month for April is super simple - if you care about the threats facing our reefs and oceans - share the information far and wide!

You can find out more about some of the biggest threats our marine environments face, and how you can help reduce them, at

Please share this link with your friends and followers on social media and help us get the word out that, while our reefs are under threat, it's not too late to save them if we all do what we can to help!



March Action of the Month - Plant It!

This month, we want to continue the fight against climate change, which is one of the greatest threats currently facing our reefs and oceans.

Planting a tree is a great way of doing this - trees absorb CO2 and other pollutants, store carbon and emit pure oxygen. Magic right?!

So for those of you who have a garden of your own, please get out and get planting! For those of you who don’t, why not donate to one of the many charities who will plant a tree on your behalf. Or even simply choose to offset your carbon next time you fly– lots of airlines offer this option now.

Of course, simply reducing our carbon footprint is the best way for us to help fight climate change. But planting a tree in your garden or your name is a pretty cool way of doing just a little more to help.


February Action of the Month - Get Cleaning!

We know we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves with this one, but we REALLY want you to support Clean Up Australia Day on 3rd March so we thought we’d give you plenty of time by making it our Action of the Month for February!

Clean up Australia Day started in 1989, when founder Ian Kiernan decided to try and clean up Sydney Harbour. It has since become Australia’s largest community-based environmental event.

We want you to take part in this huge event any way you can. Whether it’s signing up to an event in your area, creating an event yourself or simply setting yourself a task like picking up ten pieces of trash on 3rd March – we can all get involved!

Our beaches and oceans desperately need our help. So get busy cleaning – and don’t forget to share your stories on social media and tag Reef Check Australia in them – we’d love to see them.


January Action of the Month – Veganuary!

Climate change is one of the greatest threats currently facing our marine environments. According to the UN, livestock plays a major role in climate change, management of land and water and biodiversity.  

Reducing the amount of animal products we consume is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce our personal environmental footprint. And these days it’s easier than ever to do!

So to kick off our Action of the Month program for 2019, we’re supporting Veganuary (yes that’s a real thing!).

So grab yourself a free starter kit from the Veganuary website and commit to an animal free month this January. You never know – it might be easier than you think to keep it up as well!

December Action - Have an Eco-Friendly Xmas!

Christmas is known as the silly season for a reason. We can go a little OTT when it comes to, well, pretty much everything. So for our last Action of the Month for 2018, here’s some tips to make your Xmas environmental impact a bit lighter!

  1. Avoid buying material items that aren’t wanted/needed . Instead, try making a donation or adoption in someone’s name, or getting them an experience to remember, like a scuba dive or snorkel trip if they’re an ocean lover!
  2. Scrap the wrap – We use around 8000 tonnes of wrapping paper each year in Australia alone. So ask yourself – do you REALLY need to wrap it? Or can you re-use wrapping paper from last year, or find another material to wrap with?
  3. Resist the urge to splurge – When it comes to the dinner table, we all tend to get a bit over-indulgent at Christmas time. Try to only cater to the number of people you have coming and how much they can eat! And if you do make too much food, use all your leftovers.
  4. Source local – Whether it’s gifts or food items, try to source from small local businesses or locally made items.
  5. Take back the power – Yes it’s Christmas, but do you really need 2000 fairy lights, air con blazing, TV on and the radio playing festive tunes all the time? Give the environment a gift this year and reduce your carbon footprint!

November Action – National Recycling Week

Join the team at Reef Check in celebrating National Recycling week from 12-18 November!

Recycling is something we can all do every day to make a positive change in our environmental impact.

That’s why our November Action of the Month is to encourage everyone to recycle, recycle, recycle! If you’re already a regular recycler, find out more about compostable products and recycling soft plastics.

And if you’re a recycling star and already doing all of these, please share this action on social media and ask your friends to join National Recycling Week too. Don’t forget to tag us and use the hashtags #NationalRecyclingWeek #togetherforouroceans #reduceyourwaste


October Action – Get Educated This October!

Our Action of the Month for October is simple – pick an issue relating to our reefs and oceans and educate yourself a bit more about it and what we can do to help.

None of us know it all – even top scientist are constantly learning more about the pressures and factors affecting our marine environments. But the more we know, the more we can do!

So our challenge to all you reef lovers this month is to learn more about any one of the threats facing our reefs and oceans and follow the Reef Check tips on how to tackle it.

Share this challenge with your followers on social media and ask them to get educated too!


September Action – Be Carefree and Car Free on 22 September!

September 22nd marks World Car Free day, and here’s why we should all get involved.

Our personal vehicles are a major contributor to global warming. As climate change has been recognised as the greatest threat to the long-term health of reefs around the world, it’s important that we all take what action we can to help.

So let’s get keep up the good work during the Third International Year of the Reef, and go car free on 22 September. But why stop there? Take every opportunity you can to walk, run, cycle or any other car free travel you can think of to get to your destination! 

Why not get together with some friends and plan a fun way of getting about on World Car Free day? Share your car free journeys on social media with the hashtags #worldcarfreeday #fightclimatechange #taketheheatoff and don’t forget to tag us!


August Action - Become a Virtual Diver!

Our August action gives you the chance to be a reef surveyor - from your living room!

Reef Check Australia is part of an amazing new initiative to gather information on the Great Barrier Reef - and you can be part of it too. 

The Virtual Reef Diver project lets you become a virtual diver to help classify Reef images to contribute to coral cover models for the Great Barrier Reef.

Take citizen science action this month! 


July Action - Plastic Free July

Happy Plastic Free July! Your mission for the month, should you choose to accept it, is to avoid all single use plastic for the month. 

Download our free Ocean Action Kit, full of helpful tips and reminders to make things easy. 

Fill out the plastics quiz to find out where you are currently doing well and not so well!

Last step - Just do it! Ditch the plastic, share this with your friends on social media and ask them all to do the same. We really can make a world of difference!




June Action - Pledge For Our Oceans

Let's share our love of the oceans and show the world how easy it is to make a difference! 

Our Action of the Month for June is all about conservation pledges. Choose a pledge- something you DON'T already do, but will be able to achieve and do everything you can to uphold that pledge for the month of June (and beyond!). Prove you are upholding your pledge- this can be done via a photo (i.e. you using your keep cup, or sitting in rather than using a throw away cup), and share your amazing effort at upholding your pledge with us via your social media channels. 

Are you up for the challenge?




May 2018 – Pay It Forward!

Inspired by our amazing Reef Ambassador Tanya Kenyon, who decided to hold a raffle to raise funds, in part for Reef Check Australia to “Pay It Forward” for her scholarship from the Layne Beachley Foundation, our suggestion action for May is to find a way to pay it forward while helping the marine environment. You could take your neighbour’s children to school along with your own to help them reduce fuel emissions, or maybe buy your mum a plastic shopping bag so she’s ready to ditch single use plastic bags! Whatever you do, make sure you tell them why you’re doing it and tell them to pay it forward too.


April Action - Check in on your plastic use

Sunday 22nd April was Earth Day, and this year it focused on one of the biggest issues facing the environment today – plastic pollution.

In every square kilometre of ocean it is estimated that there are 18,000 pieces of plastic, with over 11 billion pieces of plastic debris on coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific region alone. Every piece of plastic has potential for devastating effects on our environment, wildlife an even our food chain.

Our suggested April Action is to visit the Earth Day Plastic Calendar and find out exactly how much plastic you use each year. Then use the Plastic Pollution footprint tracker and reduction plan to start reducing your single use plastic consumption. 



March Action - Switch Off

We switched off for Earth hour on March 24, along with 30,000 others who signed up to participate.

As part of the third International Year of the Reef, it’s more important than ever to remind people how their energy use impacts on our reefs and oceans. Climate change has been recognised as the greatest threat to the long-term health of reefs around the world. Earth hour is an amazing display of solidarity in climate action. Everyday we can each commit to an action that reduces our climate footprint. Take the first step and estimate your environmental footprint, then check out our simple tips to start reducing your footprint



February 2018 – Help Us Find a New Love!

Help us celebrate Valentines Day by taking a few moments to tell us (and everyone else) about an Australia Reef that you love. Share a photo and a little info about the reef you’ve chosen and tag @reefcheckaustralia in the photo.

Let’s let everyone know that our reefs and oceans need to be loved and cared for just like we all do!

We’re always looking for new sites to survey and it might be that your local reef isn’t on our radar yet. Plus you can let your friends and followers about the amazing marine environment on their doorstep.



January 2018 – Letter to the Editor

We’d love you to take a few minutes to send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and make sure people in your area know about IYOR and how they can help. Use our template if you like!

Letters to the editor are a great way of reaching people. To give your letter the best chance of being published, keep it short and to the point and follow the guidelines below:

Keep your letter under 300 words and make clear and simple points.
Add your name, address, email and a contact phone number to the bottom of your letter (they won’t publish these but they do need them to accept your submission).
Put “Letter to the Editor: International Year of the Reef” in the subject line.