Even though beach vacations are mostly for relaxation, be sure to get your own Beach CleanUp organize. Because the nature of many classic travel destinations is now littered with plastic waste, which would remain there for a long time without the help of environmentally conscious people. It's time to organize your first CleanUp on the beach during your next vacation. From my own experience I tell you that this CleanUp will give you a fantastic feeling. Not only because you are doing something environmentally conscious, but also because it brings like-minded people together. I've met many people who are just as passionate about a clean environment as I am and have discovered these CleanUps as a community event for themselves. So today I'd like to explain in more detail why you should do a Beach CleanUp and how easy it is to organize your environmental action.
Notice: Join our worldwide Beach CleanUp community on Facebook and share your own actions against the Plastic waste in the sea. At Beach CleanUps worldwide you will also find a wonderful overview of most of the CleanUp actions around the world.
Why a Beach CleanUp is so incredibly valuable
My motivation for Beach CleanUps on the beaches of this world is so great for different reasons. I would like to make you aware of this motivation with the following 5 points for your own Beach CleanUp:
Reason #1 Plastic in the environment does not decompose
Since plastic is not biodegradable, it does not simply decompose in nature. Discarded plastic bottles, for example, remain in the ocean for 450 years until wind and weather break them down into smaller microplastics. In the detailed article What the plastic waste in the environment you'll learn much more about the impact of plastic in nature. Because the fact that plastic waste is not biodegradable is one of many reasons to organize your own Beach CleanUp.
Reason #2 You set a sign
In Sri Lanka, I started my Beach CleanUp without any organization. After I started, a few locals joined me and in the evening we discussed plastic waste on the beaches together in a larger group. Through a CleanUp campaign, the plastic waste problem gets more attention. And this in places where people were not aware of it before, because the level of education is not comparable to western cultures. That's why a CleanUp can turn your vacation into a sustainable journey be
Reason #3 You bathe in the sun and do good
With your own Beach CleanUp, you can hang out on the beach and develop yourself personally at the same time. Because such an environmentally conscious action also has a positive influence on your personal attitude. You will certainly consume more consciously in the future and think about your purchases in a meaningful way. A positive side effect: You'll still be brown, of course!
Reason #4 You meet fantastic people and bring them together
For me personally, this is a very important reason for my own Beach CleanUp. Because with such actions you immediately get to know like-minded people with whom you can share your attitude. And in our Facebook group Plastic Garbage CleanUp Group (worldwide) we all stay in touch and share future actions. This bonds us together and creates a really positive atmosphere. There is no suffering in this group, there are only people who care worldwide that plastic waste does not end up in the oceans.
Reason #5 You collect massive karma points
For a Beach CleanUp you need some motivation. I get the motivation from the first 4 items on this list of reasons to do your own Beach CleanUp. The last reason is for your head. Your environmentally conscious attitude is part of your personality and will help you to clean up properly. Collect karma points. At some point you will benefit from it again, I'm sure.
Tip: Take a look at the article Collect garbage on vacation in. There you'll get even more motivation to take the initiative yourself on your next trip.
Hard to get everyone in one Picture. This is our squat at the CleanUp at Saba Beach. We are proud of all the kids, that joined. ? please join our worldwide FB-Group "Nature & Beach CleanUp Group" to share your own actions #careelite #plasticcleanup #worldwithoutplastic #plasticfree #sababeach #future #optimistic #plasticgarbage #beachcleanup #cleanbeach #trashhero
How to organize your own Beach CleanUp
You can also start your Beach CleanUp on your own and hope that as many people as possible will come to help you. But it will definitely be more effective and fun if you plan your CleanUp with some lead time and mobilize a lot of supporters. Just use these 8 steps for your own successful Beach CleanUp:
Beach CleanUp Step #1 Determine Place & Time of Your CleanUp
As with any other event, you should first determine the location & time of your Beach CleanUp. Find a beach that is really full of plastic waste and really needs your help. Otherwise, just ask the locals who know where the beaches are full of plastic waste. In countries like India, Sri Lanka, Thailand or Indonesia (see Beach CleanUp Diary Indonesia), the search will not take long. Unfortunately, you will find a lot of plastic waste on almost all beaches. As a time for your Beach CleanUp I suggest especially in these warm countries 7 - 10 o'clock and 16 - 20 o'clock. In less hot countries the optimal time varies of course. Just decide by feeling which time is best for your Beach CleanUp. Then do the action in our Beach CleanUps Facebook Group or just generally as a Facebook event fix.
Beach CleanUp Step #2 Mobilize like-minded people for support.
If you have many of your Facebook friends in your area, you already have a large group of supporters together. Since this is often not the rule abroad, you should simply look for support in your hotel/hostel, at schools, in bars & restaurants or other institutions. Approach people openly. You don't want to sell them something, but do something really valuable for the environment. You will quickly find like-minded people who are happy to help you with your CleanUp. By the way, word gets around faster than you think at many vacation spots. This way, more people can be on site for your campaign than expected.
Beach CleanUp Step #3 Get bags for the CleanUp
Depending on your location, you can either go to the nearest supermarket and get sturdy plastic bags or use these classic rice bags. In countries like Indonesia or Thailand, you can get the bags almost on every corner. Especially if you tell them what you plan to do with them. It is important that the bags for your CleanUp do not tear open at the first sharp object. If you have a lot of supporters, you need to get more bags. This will make your Beach CleanUp super effective! And you usually don't need more material.
Beach CleanUp Step #4 Plan the collection of the plastic waste.
This is one of the reasons why many people do not even start their own CleanUp. The collection of the garbage bags after the CleanUp is usually uncomplicated. Try to find a collection point near your CleanUp. In Sri Lanka, for example, there was a collection point for waste nearby, which is driven to once a day by a tractor. Even better, however, is to locate a waste management organization that will collect the trash after your CleanUp. For example, in Indonesia there are Eco-Bali or Bank Sampah organizations. (Thanks to Melissa from Indojunkie.com for the tip).
Beach CleanUp Step #5 Mark the CleanUp Area
This is important so that everyone knows where to collect the plastic waste and to attract new supporters. The easiest way is to use two surfboards to mark the beginning and end of the CleanUp area. On the surfboards you should attach two cardboard signs asking for help. Add a couple of trash bags. This way, everyone else who joins later can get started.
Beach CleanUp Step #6 Start Beach CleanUp
Just start collecting the plastic waste and try to get more supporters in the meantime. Since coconut shells and other biodegradable natural products do not need to be collected, you should focus on plastics that would remain in the environment for many decades and centuries. Plastic bottles (about 450 years), tin cans (about 200 years), fishing lines (about 600 years), baby diapers (about 450 years and plastic bags (about 10-20 years) are just a few of many things you will find on the beaches of this world that need to be collected urgently.
Beach CleanUp Step #7 Take photos & videos of the action!
We share and like thousands of photos and videos every day. Most of the time, it's nonsense that has a lot of reach. So that your environmentally conscious attitude reaches many other people, you should record the action on photos and videos to be able to share them later. This way you can show that Beach CleanUps are not only environmentally friendly, but also really fun. Because working together against plastic waste brings people together and creates friendships. Share your action in our joint Beach CleanUp group and get a little pat on the back from the community. You've earned it 😉 .
Beach CleanUp Step #8 Become aware of the reasons for plastic waste and share your action with others.
If you share your action, you should always make yourself aware of the reasons for all the plastic waste at the location of your Beach CleanUp. This way, you might be able to make a lasting difference. In Sri Lanka, there are far too few garbage boxes and free plastic bags and plastic bottles with every purchase. Also, people's attitude towards environmental protection is not very strong due to lack of education. By the way, you can read the whole interview about plastic waste in Sri Lanka with the environmentalist Ravindra Kariyawasam at read through here. Just ask yourself the cause question again before you share your action on social media. I recommend you share the action on your Facebook profile, on Twitter, on your blog (if you have one) or even on Instagram and Pinterest. Be sure to become part of our worldwide Facebook group for Nature and Beach CleanUps and share your action among like-minded people.
Make the difference with a Beach CleanUp
Finally, here is a wonderful overview of the wonderful people who organize unique CleanUp's around the world. Wherever you are, you are sure to find a CleanUp near you that you can support.
Otherwise, here are eight simple steps to organize your own Beach CleanUp. And do it in a way that is sustainable and effective. Feel free to send me your actions as well. I'm always happy to see that. Good luck with your own Beach CleanUp, make the world a little bit better!
PS.: Getting rid of plastic waste in the environment is one thing. The other thing is to prevent the plastic waste from being created in the first place. In the article Plastic free - life without plastic you learn how to produce less plastic waste and live more sustainably!
I am a "thing finder". I especially enjoy finding driftwood, shells, stones, etc. on the beach. Every year we go to Crete. There are incredibly beautiful things to find on the water. Last year, however, I saw nothing of all the beautiful things. I saw only plastic, garbage, garbage. The more I focused my gaze, the more I saw.
The desire to clean up became stronger and in my own household I have already greatly reduced plastic and found alternatives.
In January, I will start my first trash collection campaign, near my apartment building. If I'm lucky, a few neighbors will join in. So I have resolved to collect a few kilometers of garbage in each month. Let's see how much comes together at the end of 2019.
Starting in March, I will be traveling with my husband by motor home through Eastern Europe for 6 months, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia ...... I want to continue my garbage collection campaigns there.
You have already given good tips on starting collection campaigns. I would still like to know how I can still get support? My stomach aches especially when I ask how I can get in touch with those who pick up the full garbage bags. Perhaps we can exchange a little. Best regards Kerstin
Hi Kerstin, that's great!
To your questions:
Depending on where you are exactly, Google may help you - just search for "waste disposal" in the respective place to find contacts there. In our worldwide Beach CleanUp group on Facebook is also a large list of people from all over the world who are campaigning against plastic waste. There you can certainly find one or two contacts.
You can get support either by creating a Facebook event for the CleanUp or asking around locally and publicizing the exact date 🙂
I wish you maximum success and think it's great what you're doing!