This experience, which was part of my CAS Trip to Lisbon, consisted of picking up rubbish from the ground in the Forest Park of Monsanto, which is Lisbon’s biggest green area. I enjoyed this experience because I like nature and wildlife very much, and picking up rubbish is something very easily doable by anyone and helps the environment a lot.
At the same time, I was helping the Surfrider Foundation Europe. With this experience, I learned to be more respectful with the environment, more concerned about global issues and readier to work hard. However, everything has its pros and cons: at one specific point in the park, we started to notice many empty wine bricks and a plastic bag with something furry inside that smelled a lot. Unfortunately, we had to carry the stinky load with us until we found a larger container in which to throw it.
This made me pose myself the following question: To what extent are the visitors of the park responsible for picking up rubbish? In my opinion, the fines should be higher in order to prevent people from repeating the same action in the future. In addition, people should be more concerned: despite the fact that the park was clean in general, under no reason should the littering of empty bricks, pieces of PVC and bags with decaying organic matter (we found all of this) be tolerated in the park.
As this experience has finished, I can summarise my experience based on the learning outcomes achieved: Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively (LO5): An activity such as this one can also be done individually, but it would take more time and there is more chance of leaving rubbish behind.
As the saying goes, “four eyes see more than two”. In this case, I would say “twenty hands pick up more rubbish than two”. Thanks to our teamwork, we managed to collect quite a nice amount of rubbish. Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance (LO6): Both land and water pollution are issues of global significance.
According to what Antonio (the representative of Surfrider Foundation Europe in Portugal) told us, most of the rubbish that is thrown to the ground ends up in the ocean. By doing this experience, we are contributing to keep the Monsanto park clean, reducing land pollution in Lisbon and diminishing the chances of that rubbish ending up in the ocean. You can see my evidence for this experience here.