We always aim to positively impact the destinations we visit, and leaving the place cleaner than it was when we arrived is an integral part of that. Next month is World Cleanup Day, and we want to take the opportunity to highlight how cleanups help communities and why they are a great way to initiate positive change!
Why Cleanups matter
Simply put—cleanups work. Several studies have demonstrated that organised community cleanups are vital for supporting tourism and local economies, protecting wildlife and raising public awareness about the need to deal with our waste mindfully. We have witnessed the impact that participation has on students and truly believe that cleanups generate exciting, meaningful progress toward stopping waste.
Each community has unique requirements, and identifying local needs around waste presents ample opportunities to partner with local and regional organizations and invite community members to join in local clean-up efforts.
Benefits of cleanups (beyond the obvious)
- A community cleanup instills pride and empowers those participating.
- Cleanups can break the cycle of hopelessness and helplessness when it comes to living more sustainably.
- Cleanups are an accessible activity, and everyone can have a chance to contribute.
- Cleanups help improve the self-image of participants and community members as a whole.
- Cleanups improve the health not only of a community’s ecosystems but also of its residents. Large amounts of trash and garbage can create unsanitary conditions that encourage the development of health problems and diseases.
- Cleanups can serve as a springboard for other community actions or activities.
How CAS Trips does cleanups
Many of our trips include community, forest, and beach cleanups that allow students to participate in making the world a cleaner and healthier place to live while engaging in UN SDGs like Life Below Water and Life on Land.
In addition to the actual cleanup, we include education so students can see how their actions contribute to positive change. We partner with local organizations to help students appreciate, for example, how the world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents, and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind.
From the Netherlands to Croatia, students have had the opportunity to learn about the marine ecosystem from local nonprofits and assist in beach clean-ups and other preservation activities. All participants get to enjoy getting their hands dirty, working together, and cultivating a deeper appreciation for the land that sustains them.
As one of our student travelers reflected following a recent trip:
“This experience 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 of the environment, more concerned about global issues and readier to work hard.”
World Cleanup Day
September 17th, 2022, is World Cleanup Day. This unique event unites millions of volunteers, governments and organizations in 191 countries to tackle the global waste problem and build up the new and sustainable world.
A goal that crosses borders and defies cultural differences, World Cleanup Day is one of the biggest civic movements of our time. In 2018, 17.6 million and in 2019, 21.2 million environment heroes joined in on an epic 36-hour green wave of cleanups across the globe – beginning in New Zealand and traveling around the world before ending in Hawaii.
World Cleanup Day harnesses the power of people around the world to achieve incredible things by joining together. Its beauty lies in many of the same tenants we seek to cultivate through our work at CAS Trips, including cooperation and collaboration. The collective nature of World Cleanup Day helps build bridges between disparate communities and includes all levels of society – from citizens to businesses to governments.
We are pleased to take part because we know first-hand that community cleanups are an excellent way to create a cleaner, more sustainable planet. We are thankful to have the chance to partner with community members and local organizations to get involved and have a meaningful impact on the places we travel to.