Take Action! The 2013 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

By Hannah Alper, 10 year old eco-blogger

The WWF is getting reading and has launched another year of The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. This year is the 20th Anniversary of The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup that takes place in the early fall all across Canada to get people thinking and taking action for the well-being of our waterways. It is a call to action for all Canadians to take responsibility through cleaning up their local forest trails, streams, creeks and beaches. We all need to do our part to clean up – when litter is left on the ground animals could eat the packaging and it will make them sick or they could get caught in plastic bags, ropes other garbage that collects along the trails and in the water. Another thing that could happen is that small animals can pick the packaging up and throw them in a stream and this pollutes the water and affects the fish and ecosystem. We need to take this seriously and take responsibility –  it’s our fault for littering every day! Let’s take local action, clean up and and make a local and global impact together!
The WWF just released this powerful video for the 2013 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup:

This video shows what will happen if we don’t take care of our earth and that we need to clean up our world. If we don’t act now, our ocean might just be a giant landfill. What is happening makes me angry. It makes me angry to know that this happening to these animals and we are doing it. Why? Because people are being lazy and irresponsible with their garbage and not disposing of it properly. Last year I did a Shoreline Cleanup at a trail near my house and together my friend and I collected 10 full bags of garbage. I couldn’t believe how much garbage there was and how many people just threw their trash on the ground as they walked or rode their bike, not thinking about the impact.
But is empowering me to take care of our environment and pick up litter around our neighbourhood and save the eco system! I am proud to have made this contribution with my friends and family. Here are some of the amazing (and disgusting) successes of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Amazing because together people took action and responsibility to clean it up and disgusting because there was so much:

  • Since 2003 over 400, 000 participants have removed almost one million kilos.
  • In 2009 15, 930 garbage bags were full.
  • In 2012 57, 422 registered in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup ready to take action.
  • In 2012 416, 995 cigarette/cigarette filters have been collected.
    © Hannah Alper

To get involved in the The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup go here to find teams in your neighbourhood to join. If you have a shoreline near you that does not have a team already, think about leading that team. That’s what I did last year. There is a trail near my house where I ride my bike and walk my dog. No one had committed to clean it up, so I signed up as a Site Coordinator and invited my friends and neighbours to come out and help. It was a great day because we cleaned up so much, but also because we did it together.
The environment is my spark – my passion. Participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup can be your spark and your call to action! A few hours of your time, together with others who care will make a big difference. Get motivated and empowered and be a change maker! The ripple effects of cleaning up all this litter is bigger than you can imagine.
Together we can make a difference. We have to.
Originally posted on Hannah’s blog Call Me Hannah, on September 8th, 2013 here.