Beach clean-up

Apologies for the late blog on the beach clean-up it was now a few weeks ago but nevermind, here it is!

My personal project was organizing a beach clean-up. The location for this was not a hard call to make. During our 2 weeks training Chloe and JJ showed us Hondura beach in Puerto Galera. There was a lot of garbage on it that had been washed up. It was a no brainer; this beach had to be cleared up! As mentioned in my previous blog I had spoken to the Barangay captain of Puerto Galera to get him on side and to help spread the word. I also went to see the mayor with a letter requesting to send a garbage truck to pick up the all the rubbish bags at the end of the clean-up. Once he signed it off and I visited the garbage men so they were informed it was a case of getting things together for the actually day and promoting it.

 I wanted to have an education aspect to it to create awareness to the local community about responsibly deposing their garbage. A great poster had already been put together by Green Fins Thailand on how long certain manmade items took to breakdown in the environment. I decided to get it printed off on large tarpaulin and use that as a way to engage the community.Some answers were going to be covered up and therefore allow the locals to try and guess. Chloe came up with a good idea of having a prize at the end of it so I decided to cover up how long it took a plastic bottle to breakdown and get the locals to write down their guesses and the one to the closest wins. Once it was made it was time to put together a poster together and starting distributing it around Puerto Galera. It was quite a daunting prospect to walk into shops, cafes, restaurants, hairdressers etc and start talking to them and encourage them to come and help out on that day. I always got weird looks when I first went in and took out a poster from my folder but as soon as I started to explain they were all more than willing to display my poster and tell others about it. Some were really enthusiastic and said they will tell all their friends and get them to come! It’s also the kids summer holidays at the moment as so when speaking to a lot of the locals nearly all of them said they would send their children, I think this was to get them out from under their feet!  After going into a few places and handing over posters I began to feel a lot more comfortable approaching people and talking to them for a while about the project. I really enjoyed talking to the community and getting them involved!  I also think it really helped advertising that there would be a prize on the day of up to 500 peso.That all seemed to grab their attention!

Once the word was out it was time to brief the Green Fins team! Analyn, our landlady in Aninuan was more than willing to help and so she is now officially working for Green Fins! JJ, Simon, Stef and Analyns partner Mark were walkers who were going to help collect garbage as well as talk to the locals about the importance of responsibly disposing of their rubbish. I assigned Chloe and Sam to weigh the garbage and Analyn to help with the registration and to be translator!

On the day we got there at 7.30 to set before everyone came, however when we arrived there was a large crowd of children there and it turned out that they were all there to help with the clean-up! Yay! It did mean we had some onlookers when we were putting everything together but it was great to see their enthusiasm. Once it was set up they were dying to get a bag and start collecting. Analyn was on hand with a megaphone to tell the children and the other locals to move up the beach and start collecting further along as most liked to hand around one small area. It was great to see who turned up to help! The Barangay captain, the police, the garbage men, dive centres, local basketball team and many other people from the local community all came to help clean-up the beach. It was also great educating the public about garbage and its breakdown. All showed an interest and were shocked when they found out how long certain items took. (plastic bags, batteries, glass bottles etc. )

Everyone helping out to clear garbage of Hondura Beach, Puerto Galera

The overall clean-up was shorter than planned. It got very hot very quickly and within an hour and a half people were stopping find shade. It meant bringing the prize giving forward before too many people left! In the end it was a young girl who won the 1st prize! It was weird handing over 400peso to a 6/7 year old but It’s great to see the kids getting involved and educating them when they are at this age!  Luckily the garbage truck was able to arrive earlier as well and we loaded all the bags on. Seeing them on the truck made us all see just how much was collected. Overall it was 253kilos of garbage, mainly plastic and hopefully they all went home with a little bit more knowledge on the importance of reducing their usage of plastic and ensure they dispose of garbage responsibly.

The garbage truck with everything we collected 🙂

 It was so great to see the enthusiasm of the community and the complete willingness to help and give up their time to do so. A very big thank-you to the the Green Fins crew for helping out! 🙂

Green Fins crew!

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This entry was posted in Lizzie, Puerto Galera, Volunteer Coordinator and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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