Step Five Action Post:

1.) Where are you with your action? (e.g. what involvement have you had so far? Describe with examples)

For my ocean clean-up action project I am several clean-ups in. My group, which includes Dorra J. and Itzel C. and I have now completed our third clean-up. This means that we are more than halfway done our goal of five cleanups in different locations around Coquitlam. The last cleanup we completed was in Mundy Park. You may remember from my first blog post a few weeks ago that we had already cleaned Mundy Park, however we decided to go there again, as we did not clean the entire park last time. While we picked up trash from quite a large section of the park, both on the main paths and in the forest, the park was too big to clean in its entirety in just an hour or so. Therefore, we even though it is not a completely different location cleaned, it is a separate part of the past location. At this site we picked up garbage for about an hour and a half and had a pretty successful day, despite a few challenges along the way.

2.) What are some successes that you have had? Provide specific examples.

As always our biggest success was the amount of garbage picked up off the ground and was properly disposed of. We were able to find and collect 62 pieces of trash during our hour and a half of searching. This amount is significantly less than that of our last cleanup when we found 97 pieces,however there is a reason for this. We went out on Monday, Dec. 6. The night before and throughout the day that Monday, it had snowed significantly. But we were committed to completing our third cleanup so searched in the forest where less snow had fallen. Because of this, another success of ours was being extra vigilant and working harder in order to find the garbage that had been covered by the snow. But we picked up as much as we could find and although I was perhaps not as much as we had hoped, we did the best we could. I am proud that we stuck to doing our project even if the conditions were not ideal, because we knew that if we did not do it that day we would not be able to complete another cleanup for quite some time and we wanted to make that we continued making a consistent difference in our community.

3.) What are some challenges that you have faced? Have you been able to overcome them? If so, how? Provide specific examples. If not, can you problem-solve some ideas that might work for next time or if a similar situation arises? Again, provide specific examples.

As one might imagine, the snow that had fallen before our cleanup at Mundy Park had presented various challenges that we pushed through, problem solved and overcame. The first and possibly the challenge that affected us the most was that the snow had coated the ground and covered the majority of the trash, especially the small pieces. Luckily, some of the snow had turned to slush by the time we walked through the park as many people had already walked there throughout the day. This made it slightly easier to see colourful pieces of garbage. However, this also presented a few obstacles of its own. For example, it was quite slippery between the snow, ice and slush. At one point, Itzel had spotted some garbage and went off the path to grab it, but she ended up slipping on the slush on a slope and fell to the ground. She was ok but we did have to be more cautious when walking after this. Once we were back to looking for trash we came up with a strategy that helped us clean more efficiently and effectively. The strategy was sharing roles of picking up the trash and holding the garbage bag. Due to a bit of miscommunication, only one pair of gloves was available at the time. So we took turns. While one person held the garbage bag, another wore the gloves and collected what we found. Every once in a while we would switch roles so everyone could help and participate equally.

4.) What are you doing next and why?

Our next cleanup will be planned for sometime over winter break. We want to continue this project on our own time to make sure that by the time the semester ends we will have completed our goal of five cleanups in five locations in semester one. For me, this is important because we set this goal sometime in beginning to mid way through the semester and I want to be able to see it through. I know that we have already made an impact, however the bigger the impact made the better. Garbage pollution is such an immense problem world-wide that the least we can do is continue our small cleanups for as long as we can and to help our community in this way. Plus, my group and I always have fun doing these cleanups which is amazing.

One Reply to “Step Five Action Post:”

  1. Hi Chantal,

    This post made me realize that small actions are better than no actions, and it made me feel very inspired!

    Your goals are very well-aligned with your progress, and it’s amazing how determined you and your group had to be in order to overcome harsh weather!

    Best of luck in your future posts,

    Karen Zoulau

Leave a Reply