The salty crew from Sorrento Watertowers in Victoria ran a beach clean-up event with a twist over the Australia Day long weekend. An idea originally inspired by Seaside Scavenge was adopted and used to create “Trash-Trade”- a day of talking trash, cleaning up the local Rye beachfront area and trading the rubbish that was collected on the beach for second-hand threads donated by the local community. Along with a trading for clothes incentive offered to volunteers, there were also some amazing prizes to be won for those that wanted to take their cleaning skills to the next level.
‘Take 3 for the sea’ (i.e 3 pieces of rubbish) was the general currency used for the day, and everyone was encouraged to adopt this approach each time they visit the beach in the future.
Prior to the day, it was determined that there would need to be a big focus on removing cigarette butts from Rye beach. So the ocean lovers at Salty Surf School donated free surf lessons to the amazing volunteer who collected the most on the day. Cigarette butts also became part of the trash-trade currency, with all the nicest items of clothing traded for a minimum of 10 cigarette butts each. Another special volunteer was also given a Stumpsurf surfboard as a thank you for keeping the trash waves flowing into the sorting station all day long.
For the eco warriors who removed the most amount of trash from Rye beach on the day, Polpero Dolphin Swims donated free day tours to get wet with the creatures they helped to protect from marine debris.
Local dive store Dive2U provided free tank refills to any divers who removed rubbish from underneath the Rye Jetty and Girls Who Surf provided towel wraps so volunteers could dry off afterwards. On land, there were also activities running all day, including sustainability and beach themed yoga run by Honesty Yoga and an amazing talk by guest speaker Captain Trash.
The whole event was filmed by the incredibly talented Marty O’brien at Old Pal Productions and there were so many other amazing sponsors and supporters that helped make the day successful and extremely fun. The Sorrento Watertowers group would like to extend their deep gratitude and thanks to Tangaroa Blue, Bendigo Bank, Lilly Napper Art, Bliss Beauty Therapy, Port Phillip Ecocentre, Woolworths, VinsBins, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Sheree Marris, Clean Coast Collective, Share the Word Design Studio, Kmart and The Dolphin Research Institute.
There is a Trash-Trade Facebook page that will remain active, updating members on similar events being held all over Australia and continuing to get people talking about marine debris issues and ways in which we can help reduce our impact on the planet. Looking forward to more events like this in the future!