Last week we wrote about encouraging kids to get microvolunteering in lots of different ways. One idea was to get involved in beach cleans and litter picks. Jenny, one of our product designers and champion of sustainability at toucanBox, had already embarked on several nature tidies. So we asked her to recount her most recent experience, walking the shores of Cornwall and Sussex to provide you with a dash of inspiration.
Beach clean locations: Tregantle in Cornwall, and Seven Sisters in Sussex.
Visiting home of the South coast in Devon, or going on a seaside holiday, I find it very hard to visit a beach without squeezing in a quick beach clean. It’s the perfect way to give something back to the beautiful beach you’re visiting and helping to clean up the big plastic problem.
I was visiting my parents and we set out to do a 2 minute beach clean. But as we began we found so many pieces that we ended up filling 3 carrier bag sized containers, which did take a little longer than 2 minutes. It felt very rewarding to walk down the beautiful beach, enjoying the scenery and doing a good deed at the same time. The great part about a beach clean is you can do it for as long as you like, then enjoy the beautiful surroundings you’ve helped to take care of. Plastic free ice cream cone, anyone?
Try to pick up the biggest pieces you can find. The bigger items break up into smaller and smaller pieces that are hard to collect, so bigger is better.
We found lots of bottle tops, plastic milk bottles and the plastic sticks from inside ear-buds. What items do you recognise? Could your family replace this with a plastic free item at home to help reduce the amount of plastics that make their way into the environment?
It’s only fair to lead by example, so the toucanBox team took to the little patches of green in Hammersmith to tackle a quick and efficient #2minutelitterpick. Armed with disposable gloves and some bags, we hit the stopwatch and got litter picking. It wasn’t long before we each had a bag full of bottles, caps, wrappers, bits of paper, leftover lunch packets and all kinds of junk. Truth be told, we didn’t heed all of Jenny’s advice above, and it turns out she’s quite right: use reusable bags! We ended up turning our plastic bags inside out and emptying out our litter hoard into the public bin, so we could recycle the bags. And it was the least enjoyable part.
After a swift two minutes and the power of six toucanoos, the entire stretch of grass, walkways and flower beds were spotless.
It’s such a lovely spot to sit, chill out, have lunch and enjoy the sun (when it shows up). And it’s made all the better after just a couple of minutes of tidying. From a personal point, feeling like you’ve made a nice contribution in exchange for just a few minutes is a great trade, and we look forward to continuing the litter picks to make our local communal spaces that little bit prettier.
Good luck on your #2minutelitterpick!