- What challenges did you overcome throughout this action project? How did you go about overcoming these challenges?
My original challenge was the heavy rain and how it was flooding the areas I was trying to clean but I temporarily fixed it by bringing an umbrella and rain boots. Now more recently my struggles have been the heat. Finally, my largest problem was something called sargassum. This is when mountains of seaweed surface from underwater and cover the beach. This was a struggle because it covered large areas of the beach that I had planned on cleaning.
- How did this action change the way you think?
By doing these ocean and nature cleanups I have become a lot more aware of the effects mine and generally, everyone else’s use of one-use materials has on our environment and on the wildlife living within it. It also opened my eyes to how much garbage one small stretch one land can be filled with. For example, when I was in Mexico, I collected 23 straws amongst lots of other garbage on one beach around the size of two classrooms. After collecting such large amounts of garbage, I have been continuing to do river cleanups while I walk my dog in order to try to put more effort into doing my part in helping the wildlife around me. I also try to recycle and encourage recycling when I can.
- How did this investigation/action impact your future decisions?
These cleanups have encouraged me to plan to be as environmentally friendly as I possibly can in the future. for example, by avoiding individually wrapped items or food, not wasting food, avoiding fast fashion, and purchasing furniture such as tables and chairs second-hand. I also plan on encouraging more friends and family to join or individually do cleanups around their communities. Specifically, because summer is right around the corner public areas will be busier and as a result, the amount of garbage will increase.
- What impact will this investigation/action have on others locally and/or globally?
Nature cleanups have and continue to take place within many communities by citizens of all ages. Specifically, in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, there is the Ocean wise great American shoreline cleanup. They are a group of people who meet at 10 am on Saturday at the Gazebos at Lions Park and do cleanups along the Coquitlam River. They have had this group for over a decade and have collected over 8, 647 kg of garbage throughout 628 cleanups.