Inspiration for a life less plastic …

sunset surf beachIt’s easy to think that the sea will look after itself. That it’ll keep on doing what it does for millennia to come, just as it always has. And maybe we’d be forgiven for thinking that, seeing as on the surface, things look the same as ever. Big swell days, wild stormy days, sunlight bouncing off the water days. It gives, it takes and appears to be not in the least dependant on our actions, us humans that live and play by the sea, eating its fruits and taking in its beauty.

But how wrong we’d be to think that. To imagine that our actions are of no consequence and that this great body of water will cope with whatever we throw at it. The odd plastic coffee cup lid, the plastic bag, the fallen bottle top. Yet the sea is full of plastic. We see it along the tide lines – no longer the black and brown of bladderwrack and kelp, but full of the colours of every piece of plastic that has ever been made. Crisp wrappers found inside a dolphin, Epsom ink cartridges in the bellies of albatross chicks. These images are our siren calls to wake up, the ocean’s way of bringing our attention to something we’ve been doing that has to stop … now. Without this graphic visual evidence we’d carry on regardless – who doesn’t love the convenience of a tub of hummus or a smoothie on the go? It’s so easy to move with the ease and speed of ‘progress’. Being pulled along by the currents, doing what everyone else is doing, eating and buying whatever the supermarkets package up for us.

Going against the grain is hard, it takes effort to do something different. But as surfers we know what it’s like to do that. Some of us are still building up enough strength to paddle out, to get out back. And there are those of us already out there, calling us on, showing us how it can be done. Whilst I’m not one of those (yet!) when it comes to surfing, I am one of those living a life with less plastic. I heard the call of the seas and responded by doing everything I could to reduce my plastic consumption; travelling with refillable bottles and coffee cups, taking reusable bags to supermarkets, butchers and delis. I make bread and biscuits – despite being a single-mum with a busy job and a full life. I set up an organisation – City to Sea – that aims to make it easier and more fun for people to join in with this way of life – and I’d love you to come along for the ride. Even just for a month – you could start by doing ‘Plastic Free July‘ with me. It’s not easy, but the rewards are beyond what I could ever had imagined from ‘giving something up’.

A small group of people is all it takes to change the world; simple changes make waves.

good gym beach clean


Article first published in SURFGIRL Magazine, Summer 2016 Issue.

2016: It Doesn’t Stop Here

Natalie Fee Presenter Refill Bristol2016 got off to a great start for City to Sea, the C.I.C I founded last year to tackle Bristol’s contribution to marine plastic pollution at source. We were invited to be part of Bristol 2015’s ‘It Doesn’t Stop Here’ campaign and this week saw our campaign go viral in a big way! The Refill Bristol film made for the campaign has had over 134,000 views on facebook and keeps on climbing! And we have billboards too!

On Friday 5th February we took part in Bristol 2015’s closing ceremony, as the title of European Green Capital was passed to Ljubljana. It’s been a fantastic year for Bristol and the ceremony on Friday was testament to the hard work of all involved – with seriously great statistics on how many people and projects were supported, educated and inspired to live more sustainable lives!

I’m hugely proud to represent the team and grateful to Bristol 2015 for supporting Refill Bristol last year – it most definitely doesn’t stop here!

And here’s the link to the Refill Bristol video that made a splash on facebook this week:

Help stem the tide on marine plastic pollution! Natalie Fee from Refill Bristol reveals the scale of plastic waste on the banks of the Avon, what they’ve done in 2015 and what we can all do in 2016 to help – visit… to learn more and get involved. It doesn’t stop here!

Posted by Bristol 2015 on Thursday, 4 February 2016

2015: people, planet and plastic!

On the TV:

2015 saw me presenting and producing half an hour of daily, prime time TV for Made in Bristol. From sewage to strictly, here are some of my highlights!


On the banks of the River Avon:

refill bristolIn Spring 2015, I formed City to Sea, a collective of local organisations, practitioners, scientists, marine biologists & campaigners addressing the problem of marine plastic at a city level. Our objectives are to reduce the amount of plastic litter flowing from Bristol into the Severn Estuary, by phasing out single-use plastics and creating a replicable model that can be shared with other coastal and river based cities. Have a look at the website for more info on our campaigns, Refill Bristol and Switch the Stick!

ITV West Country, BBC Radio Bristol and Made in Bristol TV have been supporting and following the journey.


On a raft made of plastic:

On World Oceans Day I launched the music video to my song, Burden, a year to the day after the crowdfunder that made it all happen. 15% of iTunes downloads and 100% of Bandcamp downloads go to Surfers Against Sewage Marine Litter Team. Hugest of thanks to everyone who backed it, especially Bristol 2015, The Wave, Bristol Water, Wessex Water, At Bristol, Bristol Aquarium, Reflex Marine and Bristol Port for their support!


Here’s to 2016! Thanks for your interest and please subscribe to my youtube channel for regular updates, interviews, plastic-free tips and more!


Burden: a song for the Ocean

New for Summer 2015 … Burden. A music video I made to raise awareness about marine plastic pollution and funds for Surfers Against Sewage. So please download the song from iTunes and share away! x

Official video for BURDEN, the new UK single, out now. Download on iTunes 15% of downloads go to Surfers Against Sewage (Marine Litter Team).

Song by Natalie Fee & Lee Bartholomew
Produced by Christopher Nicholas Bangs
Mastered by Daniel Goodridge. 2015

Presenter, producer, poet and plastic-free promoter!

Thanks to all who supported my Seas Initiative campaign last summer! The film is due for release 08/06/15 – that’s World Oceans Day – and one year since I launched the successful crowdfunder. You can find me every day on Made in Bristol TV, presenting and producing The Source, Bristol’s only daily ‘what’s on’ TV show.

And often down on the riverbanks of the Avon, raising awareness about marine plastic. More on that coming soon.

This clip is from the high tide, late February 2015 …

And this one, from the week after …

Please join me at the Surfers Against Sewage BIG SPRING BEACH CLEAN 2015 this month. Event details for Bristol here.