Cleaning the Beach: Summer Edition

This activity counts for Activity and Service.

Learning Outcome: Consider the ethical implications of my actions.

Goal: Attempt to clean every beach I visit this summer.


Come this summer, I will no doubt be going to the beach quite a bit. During my time there, I will aim to pick up all the trash I am able to see. In this way, I will be taking care of the environment.

The only set back I can imagine regarding this activity is that I will not be able to pick up larger pieces of trash. Unlike my pervious experiences beach cleaning, I will not be in a large group, but most likely with my family. Not only that, but I will also need to be keeping an eye on my younger cousins, previnting me from dedicating my time fully to cleaning.

Still, I am excited to start this activity, as it will help the environment at least a little bit.

During #1

Lately, I have been going to the Deba beach quite a lot. I am pleased to say that it is quite clean! However, I did find some plastic bags here and there, which I managed to take care of. I am glad the beach was clean, but it’s a shame that I could not help much! I hope to be more useful to the environment throughout the summer although, at the same time, I also wish the beaches were clean enough so I would not have to be useful to them.


During #2

Yesterday I visited Arrigunaga beach. There, I found a plastic container which I disposed of. I could not really look around the beach all that much because I was there with my younger cousins and I needed to take care of them, but I hope that even this small action has saved some sea creature from trouble.


During #3

This past week, I have been going to a relatively isolated beach near the village of L’Ampollá, in Catalonia. There, I have been able to find many pieces of plastic and other trash floating in the water. Although small, these toxic materials could have harmed the sea animals that living in waters nearby. (In fact, this region of Catalonia is commonly visited by scuba divers!)  One day, I was even able to find a large piece of cardboard lying around, although that particular piece of trash had probably been blown into the beach from a bar nearby.

Although the trash I picked up there might not seem significant, I like to think that every bit counts. It is also scary how even remote beaches have been polluted by the human race.


cardboard and crap

During #4

Today I have visited Arrigunaga beach and found an incredible amount of trash! This time, I think the pictures will speak for themselves:


That is the total amount of trash I was able to find (with some help from my aunt, who came with me). In order to recover some of this trash, I had to walk a little ways into the sea, which was unpleasant because of the cold, yet worth it in the end, as I recovered some large pieces of plastic as shown:


It is horrible to see how humans are ruining the planet’s oceans, and it is sad to think about all the wildlife that we are losing because of it. Hopefully, the trash I picked up today helped out, even if in a small way.


This activity has helped me realise just how much humans are endangering the health and beauty of our planet. It was especially shocking because I had been to some of these beaches before, but I had never really noticed much that was wrong with them. This summer, I discovered that, if you search for it, you will most likely find human pollution at any beach you visit, no matter where it is located or how many people visit it.

If I could repeat this activity all over again, I would definitely try to visit more beaches. However, this was difficult to do this time around, as I had a very busy summer full of traveling and family. Therefore, I did not have much free time to go to the beach and productively look for trash.

However, this experience was eye-opening, and I think I will keep up picking up trash at the beach whenever I see it even after my IB times are over.



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