Tenerife cleans up
Across Tenerife you will find many incredible landscapes including its stunning coastline with many beautiful beaches, perfect for swimming, sunbathing and enjoying some sensational views. Due to the huge popularity of the island’s beaches, unfortunately many have become spoiled by high quantities of discarded trash from a high proportion of those spending time there.
Despite being a huge part of the problem though, we as humans can also be a significant part of the solution. Problems facing the planet created by humans are numerous, especially the extremely grave threat of global warming; this certainly doesn’t mean we should ignore the terrible issue of natural environments being destroyed by vast quantities of garbage.
Of course, not everybody treats the local environment in such a destructive way, with most people using bins rather than the floor to dispose of their trash, with many also trying their best to reduce and recycle. It is even more positive to see that many people are also becoming actively involved in trying to clean up the problem themselves.
On August 19th, the Canary Green team were very proud to be part of the first coastal cleanup event at Palm Mar beach organised by Trashing Force, an initiative created by Irene Rusconi with the aim of turning the tide on the issue of beaches covered with rubbish.
The clean-up had a good turnout of people, including a team from Hotel Jardin Tropical. The hotel also kindly sponsored the event by providing the materials needed for the clean-up and the t-shirts that everyone wore. During the clean-up we went around the beach in pairs picking up a variety of different types of rubbish and placing the items into separate bags, based on what material they were made from.
From a distance you could have been mistaken for thinking the beach was relatively clean, but when we looked more closely it was filled with a multitude of small pieces of rubbish, including cigarette butts, bottle tops, bit of glass, pieces of plastic, food wrappers and much more. Even worse than this was the fact that there had already been a beach clean-up earlier that day by a team sent by the local council, so if not the beach would have been filled even more with rubbish!
We began the clean-up from the Chiringuito Palm Mar which is owned and run by Martin Hejnar and finished off back there once we had finished. Seeing local companies becoming involved with helping to be part of the solution is fantastic, especially when it directly affects their business. Ultimately if excessive amounts of rubbish made the beach too dirty and unattractive, this would affect local businesses and tourism as fewer people would choose to go there.
Beaches ruined by rubbish poses a variety of significant threats for the Canary Islands, because not only does it look awful and destroy the natural environment, but this could also have a significant knock-on economic threat to the islands due to their heavy reliance on tourism economically.
One of the most important reasons why people travel to the Canary Islands is to be able to spend time at the beach, due to the famous year-round warm, sunny climate. If these beaches are allowed to become ruined by garbage and pollution, tourists could certainly start to look elsewhere.
The reality is, that protecting our planet for future generations shouldn’t just be left up to authorities and is all of our responsibility. A concerted education program is needed in schools and public advertising to promote positive principles and need to dispose of rubbish correctly in bins provided, recycle as much as possible and other steps that are standard practice in other countries.
As we were cleaning up the beach some kids approached and handed us some rubbish that they had picked up. Seeing the younger generations becoming more environmentally conscious is great and offers significant hope for the future. There was even some applause from members of the public walking past the beach at the end!
volunteer litter pickers with gloves on our hands and goals in our minds.
Thank you to everyone involved in this Canary Green project where our aim is to help promoting local sustainable individuals, projects and companies in the Canary Islands.
- Irene Rusconi and Trashing Force for organising this event
- Hotel Jardin Tropical for helping to clean and providing the t-shirts and clean-up materials
- Martin and the Chiringuito Palm Mar for their support
- Estrella Damm for sponsoring the beers for the volunteers
- John Beckley; Founder of Canary Green non profit
- Canary Green non profit:
- Simon Turkas
- Photos by Kate Michelle Conti
- In cooperation with Canary PR, Tenerife Magazine