Cleanups are a great way to bring people together and enact actual change for the local environment. But what can you do with a beach clean up to make it unique? Well for starters you don’t have to clean up a beach! Here are 6 quick ideas for holding a cleanup on World Oceans Day – or anytime you want to do something for your community. Click here if you’d like to download a full-length aquatic clean up guide.
1. A clean watershed makes a clean ocean
Beach cleanups are great, but your event doesn’t need to be at the beach. You can stage a cleanup at the local watershed, river, wetland, or even underwater. Removing trash everywhere helps the ocean.
The Instituto EcoFaxina in Brazil focused on their local mangrove forest for World Oceans Day 2014 and removed 274 kg of trash! They learned about the importance of reducing plastic and recycling, while helping out their community.
2. Include everyone
Try to have activities for all ages and skill groups to do, and make sure to have relaxing ocean activities for breaks.
3. Go underwater
Even if you don’t participate in the activities yourself, try to involve local interest groups such as divers or surfers. For them, the health of the beach environment is directly important to their day to day life and they may want to help out.
Have a fun activity planned for after the cleanup. Perhaps a beach BBQ, or a bonfire with s’mores. It’s a great time to get together and hang out with your local community of ocean lovers.
The group Sager der Samler in Denmark celebrated a successful harbor cleanup for World Oceans Day 2014 by enjoying a barbecue and live music together. Their event also included a large group of people including; sailors, rowers, divers, and anglers. According to organizer Paul Natorp, the day was great because it not only cleaned up the harbor, but strengthened bonds between the different groups who used it.
5. Get competitive for a cause
Why don’t you turn the day into a trash competition? Form teams and whoever picks up the most trash can win a prize (perhaps a WOD T-Shirt each).
6. Refresh: reduce, reuse, recycle
Afterwards you can refresh everyone’s knowledge of how to dispose of trash and recycling. Perhaps you can challenge the younger participates to reuse some of their own “trash” (such as water bottles from home) for crafts.
Have you ever participated in a cleanup? What happened in it that made it fun or unique for you?
NB. An article by Caty Fairclough for http://www.worldoceansday.org