Clean Up Australia Day
Clean Up Australia
The first Sunday of every March is officially Clean Up Australia Day! It's an easy way to make a difference in your local area; making it more beautiful as well as safer for animals.
This year it was postponed to Sunday the 20th in QLD due to the floods, but it was a gorgeous day to be out beautifying the coast! Honua Bars HQ is in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast, and we set up our own event as there weren't any in the vicinity already. It's very simple to set up your own Clean Up event, and it doesn't cost you anything. They team at Clean Up will send you a pack containing x6 collection bags, x10 pairs of gloves, hi-vis vest and a safety kit. For more information visit: https://www.cleanup.org.au/events
On the day of your clean up you check in all your volunteers via QR code, and you complete a short exit survey report online afterwards. (They'll ask you to estimate how many masks, straws, bottles etc you found, so try to keep a tally if possible!) Most cleanups last around 2 hours, and it's always nice to have a little BBQ at the end to celebrate and discuss who found the most interesting objects!
Alternatively you can join someone else's event by using the Site Search feature on the website. You don't even need to wait for the official day; you can order a kit and hold a clean up any day of the year.
We were initially a bit concerned that there wouldn't be much to pick up in Coolangatta/Kirra; the beaches always look pristine; but boy were we wrong! Once we started really looking (especially around benches, parks & near restaurants) there was plenty to be picked up. Common objects included cigarette butts, food containers, beer cans, bread tags, random small plastic pieces, plastic bags, napkins, bottles and cups. Some of the more... interesting... items we found included: many pairs of underwear, syringes (they don't officially advise you to pick these up) and doggie poop bags.
On a positive note however what we were surprised about was how few plastic straws we found; there were hardly any. (Plenty of cardboard ones however) Single use plastics like drinking straws were in fact banned in QLD back in September 2021 (see article linked below), and it was great to see the difference in the environment.
We have fearless eco-champions like Molly Steer of Straw No More to thank for demanding change in schools and government; never underestimate the power of a determined individual! See her site here: https://www.strawnomore.org/
Overall it was a fantastic day and the whole team came back pumped! If you're sitting on the fence about this one, it's well worth a go and the environment will thank you.
No more single use plastics in the Sunshine State: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/breaking-news/single-use-plastic-banned-in-qld-from-today-as-part-of-pollution-crackdown/news-story/d8ffacb8f3343ad782c6f82280ad3eda