As a follow-up to OurHood’s blog post last week about Heritage Month (and Day), Tourism Month, Arbor Week and National Wildlife Day (Put SA First This September), we wanted to bring World Cleanup Day to the OurHood community.

 
Picture credit: Facebook: @worldcleanupday2018

It is estimated that each year, 8 million tonnes of waste ends up in the environment – causing a serious threat to people, wildlife, soil, water and air.

 
Picture credit: Creative Commons

On the 15th of September 2018, people around the world will be ready to pick up trash, as World Cleanup Day starts in New Zealand when the sun rises, and moves around the globe, until it sets – ending in Hawaii 36 hours later.

150 countries globally have committed to the Let’s Do It! campaign – where 60 countries are on our very own continent – and, of course, South Africa being one of them!

 
Picture credit: Facebook: @letsdoitsouthafrica

An NGO in Delft, in the Western Cape, called Vlottenburg Community Organisation (VCO), has used the opportunity to gain a portion of its earnings through a local recycling partner, who buys various plastic, glass, paper and cardboard waste collected.

On the last Saturday of every month, VCO and unemployed community members get together to clean up the neighbourhood in exchange for food parcels.

 
Picture credit: Creative Commons

Unfortunately, when it comes to the need for a clean and safe environment, proper waste management and residents who assist to clean up their neighbourhoods are still outweighed by an ill-informed society who add to the enormous waste issue. Simply put, littering. 

Communities need to be reminded about the many and severe negatives of litter, and be encouraged to make a change – as well as a change in mindset. Individuals seem to have the mindset of: “Well, I didn’t drop it there, why must I pick it up?”
This, of course, is not conducive by any means.

 
Picture credit: Creative Commons

Approximately 75 – 80% of ocean waste is derived from land-based waste.
And plastic waste is putting the environment under considerable pressure, with the equivalent of a garbage truck of plastic being dumped into our oceans every minute.
Furthermore, South Africa risks running out of landfill space over the next couple of years.

 
Picture credit: Creative Commons

To prevent this, Plastics|SA is encouraging South Africans from all walks of life to get involved, and finally, begin to realise the impact our actions have on the environment.

It is every single person’s responsibility to make this change, as well as be responsible in their daily activities by ensuring their recyclables are collected for recycling, as we all continue to work towards a common goal: creating a cleaner world.

 
Picture credit: Creative Commons

Human beings created this lethal problem, but we can easily solve it too.
By bringing awareness to this global issue, we can make an effort every day by changing our current consumer behaviour doing simple things such as:

  • Say no to using plastic straws.
  • Don’t buy plastic bags at the supermarket – rather buy reusable bags or paper bags.
  • Avoid stick-on/press-on nails – they’re also made of plastic, and the glue is bad for your natural nails anyway.
  • Stop using earbuds – not only are they the biggest form of waste found on our beaches, they can cause real damage to your ears.
  • Glitter is plastic, but luckily eco-friendly glitter is now an option.
  • Avoid plastic wrap, single-use plastic water bottles and the plastic lids of takeaway cups.
 
Picture credit: Creative Commons
  • Say no to plastic cutlery.
  • Plastic toothbrushes can be replaced with ones made of bamboo.
  • Avoiding wine bottles with plastic stoppers or screw lids.
  • Upcycling – get creative with your glass bottles, tins, etc.
 
Picture credit: Creative Commons

OurHood would like to encourage you to join the initiative this Saturday and do your part in and around your community.
Some organised cleanups around the country are:

WESTERN CAPE

Sunrise Circle, Muizenberg
Contact: Silindile: 072 244 76787

Saldana Bay
Contact: Johan Lewin: [email protected]

Kreupelboom Dam Park, Protea Valley
Contact: [email protected]

 
Picture credit: OurHood user, Kevin Stasch

EASTERN CAPE

Ntselamanzi Township
University of Fort Hare
Contact: Wandile: 071 482 1082

East London Town Hall
Gonubie Beach Boardwalk
Contact: Yolisa: 071 4821 082

KWAZULU-NATAL

Corner of Amandlacrest Way, Durban
Contact: Keri: 084 967 2123

GAUTENG

Brown Street, Laudium, Pretoria
Johannesburg CBD
Diepsloot
Contact: Michael: 063 1322 705

Hillbrow Spar, Caroline Street, Johannesburg
For more information: http://bit.ly/2O65ZB9

FREE STATE

Bloemfontein – UFS Surroundings
Contact: Keri: 081 439 2620

 
Picture credit: Creative Commons

If there is not an event which you can attend, a digital platform has been developed by Shoprite and volunteer organisation, Brownie Points, to help you find one in your area, or organise your own!

“This global drive presents the perfect opportunity for people to get behind our initiative to act for change by cleaning their neighbourhoods and public spaces. Our aim is to start a movement by staging regular events and in this way initiate people into the culture of keeping our environment clean,” says Lunga Schoeman, CSI spokesperson for the Shoprite Group.

 
 Picture credit: www.actforchange.africa

Simply visit: Act For Change Africa, click on “Find cleanups”, and “Search your location”.
Follow them on Instagram: @weactforchange

Another way to get involved is to go to www.worldcleanupday.org, at the top of the page, click on “Get Involved”. Then scroll down to where it says “3 ways to sign up to be a cleanup volunteer”.

 
Picture credit: Creative Commons

Read more on these social media pages:
Facebook: @worldcleanupday2018
Instagram: @worldcleanupday2018
Twitter: @letsdoitworld