One of the things I absolutely LOVE doing is cleanups. There’s just something almost ‘thrilling’ in the challenge of the ‘treasure’-hunting process — treat every piece of trash that you can spot out in the natural environment of greenery as a game and the goal is to see how much treasure trash you can collect. Fun game, no? It is to me! 😀
For that reason, you’ve already seen me participate in several shoreline cleanups (see here and here). I’ve done 3 now as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and so when I saw the advertisement of the next one in the fall time, I knew it was calling my name to do another one. The three that I’ve done before were all organized by someone else. It didn’t seem too difficult to organize, I observed, so when I scoped out the website, I found out it really was very simple to do, and in less than 2 minutes, I had set up my very own shoreline cleanup as a Site Coordinator. Easy peasy! Hehe. Choosing a site wasn’t too hard either because I knew I wanted to cover a large area that had the possibility of lots of trash (since we were going to be doing it anyway, of course, the aim is to use our manpower to do as much good coverage as possible!). One shoreline I did previously was at Bluffer’s Park and it seemed to be a good place to drive out to as well.
I created the event weeks ahead and asked friends to see who would be interested. There was a good handful of people interested but many declines unfortunately. On the day of, we were met with unexpectedly good weather. It was cold that morning; around 5 degrees so I made sure to bundle up by wearing double layers and leggings under my jeans! (It makes a world of different against any autumn wind). Although it was cold, the slight breeze and warm sunshine made it a perfect fall day to do a cleanup.
I had all the cleanup gear with me, clear and black garbage bags, gloves (provided to me by my dear friend Priscilla – thank you!), data cards, liability wavier form, and my trusty, handy picker upper tool. Yay! 🙂
The six of us arrived at the Bluffer’s Park in Scarborough (this was a slightly different area of the beach than where I had been before). We were met quickly with the beautiful shoreline and wide expanse of soft sand. If this was in the summertime, it would have been so nice to feel the soft sand with my toes. 🙂 In the background, the stony rocks were embedded into the colourful and rich tones of autumn — beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows. Truly gorgeous.
We got to work right away. It was easy to spread out the tasks too. Jason was our data recorder, documenting all the trash that we picked up; Lawrence was our main garbage bag holder; Simon and Franklin were our active go-getters; and Christian and I were garbage seekers as well. I loved Simon’s enthusiasm and drive towards the cleanup. I know he’s always been passionate about earth-friendly initiatives so this cleanup event was something he definitely held close to heart.
Very quickly, other than the always ubiquitous cigarette butts that you always find all the time everywhere, we picked up big recyclable items like plastic bottles, coffee cups, and glass bottles. Our clear recycling bag started filling up so quickly! It was great! As usual, I loved scouring for the tiny embedded items like cig butts, bottle caps, and tiny pieces of paper and plastic. Every little bit makes a difference!! 🙂
We worked towards the shoreline to the water’s edge where the water was lapping gently on the sand. It was such a calm beautiful morning. No waves. What a beautiful beach to be at and enjoy at this time of the year. 🙂 I was so thankful! We continued to pick up items and even found a working calculator, running shoe, Tupperware, diapers, and more. We went into the wooded areas a little bit and found a lot of cups and bottles hidden under the shrubbery. Great job, guys, on finding all that! 🙂
Soon, we had to turn back because our bags were getting full and we picked up something that left a terrible lingering smell. It wasn’t fair for Christian or us to endure it so we turned back. However, some of us had to leave at just about this time too so we ended up calling it a day. I would have loved to stay for another hour more but majority ruled. No fear, because I know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m going to do another one of these. Now that I’ve experienced what organizing a cleanup feels like, I can do it again no problem.
In the end, we filled up two full bags of trash and recyclables and covered over 5 km of ground. Yay us! 🙂 Bluffer’s Park is an absolute beauty to enjoy and next time, I organize a cleanup, I will most certainly choose this site again. 🙂