Today, approximately 3 billion people – about half the world’s population – live within 125 miles of a coastline, according to PBR, and this number increases annually. It’s a staggering number of people who live near and depend on our life-giving oceans, seas, and waterways.
As a growing global community, we can each do our part to keep our coastlines cleaner and healthier. Every contribution, big or small, makes a positive difference. Because what we do today to make our planet better will have lasting impacts on future generations tomorrow.
One easy and dependable way to get involved is to rally together with friends, families, neighbors and communities to support and be part of International Coastal Cleanup Day.
So, what is International Coastal Cleanup Day (World Cleanup Day), anyway? It’s one of the world’s largest annual preservation and protection events and volunteer efforts for our ocean, waves and beaches. In fact, Surfrider Foundation chapters engage and motivate their communities to take action at local beach cleanups all over the world.
This environmentally conscious holiday is always held on the third Saturday in September, which is September 18 this year.
For many of us who want to get involved, we’re not sure how or what we can do to make a difference. Not to worry, you can care with Cariloha by setting up your own event or joining another coastal clean-up event. It’s quite easy thanks to this great check-list for how to make it happen in your area:
1. Pick your cleanup site and run a risk assessment; Do not forget about a first aid kit and mobile phone.
2. Think up a plan for disposing of the waste and plan the logistics; if necessary, contact the local municipal council or recycling company.
3. Promote your event with media and partners; identify team and cleanup area leaders.
4. Organize volunteer insurance; ensure that volunteers under 18 are accompanied by adults.
5. Delegate cleanup areas to volunteer pairs and groups; distribute cleanup materials.
6. Provide safety equipment for all volunteers; provide hand-washing facilities or hand wipes.
7. Clarify that during the cleanups all man-made materials should be collected.
8. During the cleanup sort the collected waste into the item groups; separate materials that can be recycled and disposed of appropriately.
9. If you find abandoned cars, weapons or suspicious items, contact the local police; caution in handling hazards!
10. Be environmentally sensitive: do not intrude on the bird nesting areas or any other wildlife refuges.
11. Weigh the collected waste and put it in separate trash bags.
12. Report your results. Send the number of people and amount of collected waste to the national team or coordinators.
13. Take a group picture with World Cleanup Day; share it on social and/or with your local organizer for the biggest publicity.
If participating in a cleanup activity is not an option for you this year, there are other ways to take action. Here’s how you can take part, from anywhere in the world:
About International Coastal Cleanup Day or World Cleanup Day
It’s the world’s largest one-day civic action to engage more than 180 countries to tackle global waste crisis. World Cleanup Day is not just about cleanups. It’s a strong and unique network of doers who share the vision of the waste-free world and believe that together we can clean up the world from waste.
About Ocean Conservancy
In partnership with volunteer organizations and individuals around the globe, the International Coastal Cleanup™(ICC) engages people to remove trash from the world’s beaches and waterways. Thanks to volunteers around the world, the ICC has become a beacon of hope, leading and inspiring action in support of our ocean. Since its beginning, over 16 million volunteers have collected more than 340 million pounds of trash.