cleanup together to save the world
Across the world there are rising living standards, increasing levels of peace and many other positive developments happening, but there is also a huge international problem which needs dealing with as quickly as possible. Man-made pollution is becoming an increasingly significant threat to life on planet earth.
A recent UN report has warned that one million species are at risk of extinction, global temperatures are rising and we are heading towards the increasing likelihood that planet earth could become uninhabitable for future generations in the near future.
Of course, everyone hopes that the situation will not become that bad, but in order to reduce the threats facing animal, plant and human life, we need to work together as a global community to make fundamental changes to the way we live. This is especially true in the Western world, as it is the West that has created the vast majority of the problem up until now and can set an example of positive change for the future for developing countries.
Thankfully there seems to be an increasing global consciousness and compassion, especially among younger generations, who have realised in growing numbers that the situation needs to change quickly. This is creating a global movement among larger and larger groups of people, who are regularly joining together to create different initiatives and events with the purpose of positive change. Governments have also started to respond to this growing will of the people and begun taking action and steps in the right direction, although for many experts the government response has been far too small and slow in general.
Disgustingly, for many decades the ocean has been treated by many individuals, businesses and even governments as a dumping zone for various forms of rubbish and chemical waste, because it was believed for some strange reason that this wouldn’t have significant long term consequences. It was thought that oceans had an unlimited capacity to absorb pollution and would simply somehow clean itself.
This of course has been proven to be a spectacularly stupid and naive idea and finally the world seems to be starting to wake up in a significant way to this huge problem. Measures are starting to be put into place to prevent rubbish being dumped straight into the world’s oceans and also to clean up the vast quantities already there.
Experts have issued some extremely strong warnings about what will happen if we just continue with business as usual, such as the fact that by 2050 there could quite possibly be more plastic in the oceans than fish! This of course will have many other knock on effects.
There is now literally rubbish and pollution filling up the waters along coastlines and beaches across the world, so this problem is now impossible to ignore. Tenerife has not escaped this mess, with many beaches blighted by a shockingly wide variety of different types of rubbish such as drinks bottles, fishing nets, metal, toys, pieces of glass, clothing and cigarette butts.
It is such a tragic shame to see so many of the beautiful beaches of Tenerife and the Canary Islands filled with trash. There is a horrible combination of rubbish washed up on the shorelines from other places, mixed with various unwanted things that have been discarded by careless individuals who are either on holiday, or the locals themselves who decide it is acceptable to destroy their own island.
On 15th September 2018, Ileana Irene Rusconi the founder of Trashing Force coastal cleanup group helped to organise a very successful beach cleanup to coincide with an important yearly event called The International Coastal Cleanup. This movement has grown significantly since the first cleanup more than 30 years ago, with volunteers coming together across the world in more than 100 countries.
Thanks to the help of Ileana and Trashing Force, in conjunction with the Canary Green team and sponsored by Jardin Tropical, a sizeable group of volunteers here in Tenerife including those from Trashing Force, Jardin Tropical, Second Home Tenerife, Pearly Grey Resort and more helped to clean up Las Galletas beach.
This was a fantastic effort with lots of trash collected from the beach, bagged and removed. All of the volunteers are in agreement that beach clean ups are not the solution to the larger problem of waste in the oceans and along the coast, but these events certainly make a difference. One benefit is that they get a certain amount of rubbish off the beach, thus making it a safer, more pleasant and attractive environment for people, plus it becomes much better for wildlife.
In addition to this and perhaps even more significantly, these clean up events raise awareness about this huge problem and how we need to significantly adapt our lifestyles, because if not the trash on the beaches are just the tip of the ice-berg of what could be in store for us and the world.
In fact there are many predictions that the world could become uninhabitable for humanity, unless we make massive changes to the way we live in the next 12 years. Hopefully we can teach the youngest generation and future generations to care for the planet a lot more than the previous ones have!
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