Sustainability

Beach Clean Up in North Berwick | Ok wow.

The climate crisis and therefore the environment is attracting a lot of attention thanks to Fridays for Future and other organisations. Maybe you are involved with FfF yourself or in another initiative. But maybe you see the protests or the commitment of your friends and acquaintances and ask yourself how to start. You think that you don’t have time or don’t know what possibilities there are. Or you just want to find other ways and inspirations to get more active and involved in sustainable projects.

Beach clean up, North Berwick
Beach clean up, North Berwick

Then, let me tell you about my saturday morning at the beach clean up in North Berwick and how you can help protect the environment on a small scale and integrate it into your everyday life.

The Beach Clean Up

On Saturday some friends and I went from Paisley (where I am currently completing my Erasmus semester) to North Berwick to participate in a beach clean up. One of my friends heard about the event through Keep Scotland Beautiful’s website.

First, we were told about the dangers of waste in the environment. It is of course a satisfying feeling to find large plastic parts, but according to the organisers small plastic parts shouldn’t be neglected. They can easily be absorbed by living creatures in the oceans and on the coast or they decompose in the oceans and can even end up in our food chain again.

After this little ‘lesson’, we started to clean the beach. There were many of the very small plastic parts we were told about. But we also found cigarette butts and little styrofoam parts. It is always frightening to see just how much we as humans pollute the environment.

Looking for those pesky little plastic pieces.
Looking for those pesky little plastic pieces.

What I’ve learned

Technically it should be clear, but it was once again a good reminder that we shouldn’t throw anything into the toilet, which doesn’t belong there. After all, just because we flushed it away, it didn’t magically disappear.

So remember, only the four P’s belong in the toilet: pee, poo, paper, puke!

Cotton buds, tampons and everything else doesn’t belong there, otherwise they can end up in the environment. Especially the small or narrow parts can’t be filtered very well and end up on the beach, for example.

In the end we even got a little ‘reward’ and received free tickets for the Scottish Seabird Center!

Scottish Seabird Center, North Berwick
Scottish Seabird Center, North Berwick

Travelling that far ‘just’ for a beach clean up might seem like a big effort to some, but since we were on the east coast anyway, we were able to drive to Edinburgh and explore this city as well. So, I easily integrated this into my ‘everyday life’. Well, not everyone who reads this is an Erasmus student and travels through Scotland in their everyday life. But that is not necessary at all! There are clean ups all over Scotland and certainly also in other countries. (I remember that there were garbage collection activities in my primary school days.) I’m sure you’ll find local events on Google or Ecosia. There is also the possibility to find or start such events on Keep Scotland Beautiful’s website.

Of course you can also collect litter regardless of such actions. But be careful that you don’t touch anything that could injure you (glass splinters) or infect you (dead animals).

I hope this blog post has helped you to find ways to protect the environment with small actions in everyday life. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or write me a message.

Lena <3

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