with Mia Lauzon
Rodolphe and I found them all. On a beautiful, sunny Easter morning, my boyfriend Rodolphe and I were going on an Easter hunt. But we weren’t hunting hidden eggs. We were hunting hidden trash. And the Easter Bunny must have had a lot of help, because he cannot possibly throw that much garbage into the bushes by itself!
Easter bunny aside, it was a very revealing Easter egg hunt and a very satisfying at that. Besides dozens of plastic Starbucks cups (no surprise here — demand a #bettercup), chips bags, and candy wrappers, we rid the environment of an LA cap, 2 frisbees, a soccer ball, a football, and pieces of a basket ball. Only a puck was missing to cover equipment of all popular sports in North America.
The highlight, however, was when some neighbours called the police on us, because what we did looked suspicious to them. I couldn’t help but wonder if they ever call the police on those who throw the trash into the bushes in the first place, because that is actually illegal. We just laughed it off and continued on our goal to fill all garbage bags that we had brought and found along the way. After three hours, we had collected one little bag of reusables, six bags of recycling and two bags of garbage. I don’t think anyone who went hunting for Easter eggs that day could compete with our output. What about you? Are you ready to compete for that title?
If you’re now all fired up and eager to get involved in big-scale clean-up actions, get in touch with Let’s Do It! and find out more about how you can help.
And if you want to take this even further (and who wouldn’t?), get your company involved as well. Show Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Lays, and other polluters how it’s done and lead the way to a Zero Waste world! Reach out to Zero Waste Canada to learn more about how you can minimize your environmental footprint and if you meet the criteria, you might even get certified to show off your Zero Waste commitment for the world, your customers, and your competitors to see.
Guest blog post : this week Zero Waste Canada member Connie Reichelsdorfer owner of Sunny Start-up Marketing shares her special Easter story showing you can have fun and do good things. Zero Waste Canada welcomes guest blog posts about Zero Waste experiences…and we always welcome new Zero Waste Canada members.
Mapping illegal dumpsites, litter and plastic pollution is a method that allows individuals to be environmental activists.
Mapping sites where illegal dumping, litter or plastic pollution is a problem brings a dirty secret into the public forum. It not only documents location, type and amount of materials but it helps to organize logistics for clean up. Mapping helps track reoccurring issues, and also it helps us to analyse the causes of waste not being disposed or recycled properly. Mapping also shows the real extent of the problem.
TrashOut is a smartphone app that enables users to actively take part in documenting the illegal dumps by uploading pictures and GPS data, which can then be verified and reported to the appropriate local authorities. It is an app used by Let’sDo It Movement and it is a tool to create a global map of illegal dumpsites.
Comox -Strathcona Waste Management Service (Comox Valley Regional District) as a means of engaging citizens to combat illegal dumping have created a facebook page “Keep Our Region Beautiful” and encourage citizens to download the TrashOut app to their phones.
To use the TrashOut app first the app can be downloaded to a cell phone and then report or confirm illegal dumpsite in your region. While mapping you don’t even need reception. Once the location of the garbage is mapped, it will be possible for us to see the locations, type, and size of the most troubling dumping areas around the world. Illegal dumpsite pictures that contain people, personal information or car registration may be rejected or blurred. TrashOut, also recommends that you share our pictures on facebook and twitter.
Litterati is mapping litter around the world and the types of litter. Geotags pinpoint the pieces of litter worldwide. An app can be downloaded through itunes. They call this crowdsource cleaning of the planet.
The Global Microplastics Initiative enlist citizen volunteers to take water samples while having outdoor adventures including hiking, snowboarding and canoeing. Adventure Scientists is the nonprofit organization collecting data for The Global Microplastics Initiative. Their mission is includes recruiting and training individuals with strong outdoor skills so that they can bring back hard to obtain data from far corners of the globe. The “adventurers” then become informed ambassadors as they retell the stories of their experiences.
The purpose of The Global Microplastics Initiative is to build one of the largest, most geographically diverse data sets on microplastic pollution to date. In addition to publication in a scientific journal, this work will be used to inform decision makers about the realities of microplastic pollution globally, offer insights which may guide and inspire innovative solutions from individuals and corporations, and can be built upon by future research.
Taking part in global environmental actions is getting easier.
Canadians would you like to be part of a global clean up day? On September 15, 2018 a massive civic movement to clean up litter and garbage around the globe is planned by Let’s Do It.
The Let’s Do It movement started in 2007, when a group of individuals in Estonia noticing the problem of garbage was being dumped in their beautiful forests decided to make a difference. They organized a countrywide clean up event for one day. They were able by partnering with 500 Estonian organizations to create a very well developed plan to not only clean up the entire country but to map out illegal dump sites. With massive community support the first clean up in Estonia saw over 50,000 citizens (over 4% of Estonia’s population) participate in cleaning up 10 tonnes of garbage in 5 hours.
Since that first clean up, other counties have used the model to have one day countrywide clean ups. Each Let’s Do It Clean Up has galvanized thousands of people in each country having clean ups. Volunteer citizens picking up garbage has been high: Latvia (210,000 participants), Lithuania (250,000), Portugal (100,000), Slovenia (270,000), Romania (250,000), Albania (147,000), Hungary (200,000), Bulgaria (375,000), Ukraine (500,000), India (54,000), and Philippines (28,000). To date over 113 countries and 16 million volunteers have joined the Let’s Do It movement.
On September 15, 2018, a massive global clean up is planned, uniting countries around the world to create a global effort to clean up the garbage littering the planet. The goal is to bring together people from 150 counties to join together to participate in this one day event. The rationale for 150 countries is that it would be approximately 1/5 of the world’s population. This number represents the estimated amount of people necessary to create lasting change and go beyond just one day of incredible activism.
Trash is a world problem. One need only read the dozens of headlines daily to realize that we have a global problem.
Long Island , Johannesburg , Region of Waterloo ,West Wimmera , Merthyr , Kochuveli are just some of the millions of communities that have problems with illegal dumping.
Could uniting as a global movement help us to increase awareness, change behaviours and create solutions for our trash problems?
September 15th 2018 Let’s Do It!
Let’s Do It is an accredited partner of UNEP and the campaign World Cleanup Day is directly addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Tackling waste pollution, adopting sustainable waste management systems, redesigning and innovating for maximum material recovery will play a significant role in reaching the goals for sustainable development.