This is the last part to our travel blog ‘Is Travelling and Producing Less Waste Possible?” If you missed Part One click here and for Part Two click here .
With all of the rubbish we weren’t able to divert from landfill or avoid whilst in Japan we did do something that we hope made a little bit of a difference. Here’s the last part to our story…..
Our Beach Clean Up – The Ki Peninsula Japan
One of the nights while we were still travelling in the campervan we stayed at a camp ground in Ki Nagashima. It was a beautiful spot, surrounded by a tall green forest on one side and the foreshore on the other side. Being the middle of winter it was very quiet. The campgrounds looked in need of some maintenance with long grass and overgrown paths so we decided to head for the beach. Our beach walk unfortunately turned to disappointment. Plastic bottles, styrofoam, packets of food, fishing gear, thongs and sushi containers just to name a few things were spread along the sand. I thought to myself that I would come back early in the morning and clean up some of the rubbish. However, my daughter had something else in mind as she ran up to our campervan. She returned with 5 plastic bags and said excitedly “come on, let’s clean up the beach!”. Thankfully we had some bags from our last shop, when we forgot to take our reusables. So, together we did our first beach clean up as a family. If we had more bags we could have gone on longer but we collected what we could, separated the recycling and the rest went into the general waste bin. I love spontaneous moments like these and it’s amazing how enthusiastic children can be when they know they are doing something positive.
Continuing to Create Change
Since returning from Japan, I have done my own little clean ups while out for a walk and participated in Clean up Australia Day, a local event with Beach Patrol Frankston and the Port Phillip Bay Nurdle Hunt. I was inspired to continue my rubbish collecting thanks to Andrea at Unwasteful who informed me of these events. Andrea has recently started her own blog to inspire others to think more sustainably, and she volunteers regularly with Beach Patrol Frankston. You can visit her website here.
Below are a couple of organisations doing wonderful things to clean up our oceans and land.
Beach Patrol Australia is run by a group of volunteers in and around Melbourne working with locals to keep our beaches clean. They also aim to raise awareness through education about proper rubbish disposal. They run monthly or bi monthly clean ups and also encourage suburbs who don’t live near the beach to join in. You can find a local clean up near you or start one of your own, make an enquiry today.
Take 3 for the Sea – I love this cause and their mission to inspire people to make a difference with small, simple actions. Anyone can join in by collecting 3 pieces of litter and disposing of it the way it should be disposed of. You might find it hard to stop at 3 though, just saying! Participate in the global movement and share your finds on instagram at #take3forthesea.
I am not obsessed with collecting rubbish (not yet anyway!), but I do see it everywhere now! I do what I can when I can so that it doesn’t become something that gets put on the ‘too hard list.’ If I am on my way to work, I don’t pick up rubbish, if I am on my way home I do. If I am out exercising, I don’t pick up rubbish but if it’s a leisurely walk and I remember my bag then I do. I have used my shoes to collect rubbish on a beach walk recently because I had nothing else to put all of the small pieces of plastic in but sssshhhhh don’t tell everyone haha! You may just inspire someone with your actions one day and that’s what it’s all about. Awareness, caring for our environment and making a difference however big or small.
I would love to hear your thoughts on picking up rubbish. Are you a professional and done it for years? New to it like me? Or does the thought of it make you feel dirty? No judgement by the way as not so long ago that used to be me!
Hopefully you’ll be inspired to do your own little clean up one day soon and try take3forthesea.