This was the haul from the Big Clean in Onehunga last year — look at those smiling faces! That huge pile of rubbish was destined for our oceans, but thanks to these guys, our marine life was spared having that rubbish in their home.
We’re looking forward to doing the same for Christchurch this year with the Hirepool Big Clean on 29 February 2020 (event now full!). The huge coastal clean-up promises to be a fun day out for all ages, with free Phoenix drinks and Mexicali Fresh to fuel the effort.
The Big Clean takes place during Seaweek, the national celebration that aims to reconnect New Zealanders with the ocean. Sustainable Coastlines programmes manager Dan Downing says that this connection is a major part of motivating individuals to look after our coasts.
“Our clean-ups are about getting out there, having fun and growing our connection to nature. That connection is what inspires people to make changes in their everyday lives,” says Downing.
We know that Kiwis care: the 2019 Colmar Brunton Better Futures report found that build-up of plastic in the environment is our number-one concern. However, a 2018 World Bank Report ranked us tenth most wasteful in terms of urban waste. And, according to Litter Intelligence, an average of 359 pieces of litter are found on every 1,000 square metres of coastline monitored.
The clean up and education focus will also have positive flow-on effects. Participants will be doing something meaningful and spending time in nature, and we hope to inspire them to reduce consumption of single-use plastics. With Hirepool’s help we’ll also be set up monitoring sites for Litter Intelligence, run clean-ups as team-building events for local businesses, and work with schools to inspire at least 600 Christchurch school children to take action.
Local community groups, Sustain South Brighton, Remix Plastic and Conservation Volunteers New Zealand, will be running the registration stations at New Brighton Beach, Sumner Beach and Lyttelton Harbour respectively. Groups will be directed from registration stations to rubbish hot-spots along the coast, spanning from Brooklands in the north to Governors Bay in Lyttelton Harbour.
“This is our largest clean-up series in Christchurch, and we’re excited to be able to work with these amazing local community groups,” says Sustainable Coastlines co-founder Camden Howitt. “Having grown up in Ōtautahi, I know how much we love our coastlines and we’re looking forward to seeing heaps of passionate people get involved.”
The Hirepool Big Clean is part of our Love Your Coast 2020 series, which includes beach clean-ups in Auckland on 7 March and Porirua on 4 April — registration for these events is open here.