World Cleanup Day
18th September 2021

What is World Cleanup Day?

In 2008 amazing volunteers from Lithuania joined forces to tidy up their country. It’s estimated that 50,000 people showed up and managed to clean up the entire country in about 5 hours! Since then, World Cleanup Day has become a yearly tradition which has spread around the globe. In 2018, World Cleanup Day managed to unite 18 million volunteers from 157 countries. In 2019, those numbers had risen to 21.2 million people from 180 countries – making this the biggest civic action against waste ever! This is a wonderful day for people from all ethnicities and religions to join together and do their part to combat global waste.

This global event is run by an organization called Let’s Do It World (LDIW). There are leaders from LDIW in each country who work to organise this event on a local scale. Each country addresses it’s waste problem in the most relevant way. But the mission is always the same: to work together to clean up our home – the planet.

How can we get involved?

World Cleanup Day 2021 takes place on September 18th. It’s a day where millions of volunteers from all around the world will join together to take action against waste. This year it is estimated that more than 150 countries will participate and bring together approximately 5% of the global population (that’s a whopping 380 million volunteers!) to clean up our planet!

Although we are living in unprecedented times with the presence of Covid-19, and the restrictions that have been brought with it, as part of World Cleanup Day we are being encouraged to have a digital cleanup. This simply means to take the time to clean up our email folders, apps, photos and videos that are no longer wanted or needed. These take up a huge space on our servers (and minds!) and cleaning them up can help to reduce the output of carbon dioxide. To put it into perspective, it’s estimated that the internet, and all the systems that support it, are responsible for about 3.7% of all greenhouse emissions – that is similar to the emissions caused by the entire airline industry!

How Can We Minimise Our Own Waste

The best way to reduce the amount of waste that you contribute to our planet is simply to reduce your use of single use items and to ensure that you are recycling properly. That means that all items which are eligible to be recycled in Ireland must be clean and dry before being placed in the recycling bin. When dirty items, and also incorrect items, are placed in the recycling bins that usually means that a lot of recycling will be thrown into the landfill with the general waste. For items that are not recycled in Ireland you can always find creative projects to up-cycle them.

There are also various events or programmes that take place in different cities and towns which aim to do regular cleanups all year. For example, many coastal communities organise regular beach cleanups and many municipalities organise litter picking sessions in their cities. This is a great way to get involved in the community and help keep our planet clean even when it isn’t World Cleanup Day! But even if you don’t want to attend these events, spending five minutes picking up rubbish while you are walking on the beach or the city or in the wood will help keep our planet clean and healthier!

It is also important to consider carrying a portable ashtray around with you if you are a smoker. And during these Covid times remember to always dispose of your mask and gloves correctly!

Cleanup with Cork Nature Network at Beaumont Quarry

Cork Nature Network regularly holds cleaning up events at Beaumont Quarry in Cork city. This site is incredibly important to Irish wildlife as it is a calcareous (alkaline) grassland, which are quite rare around Ireland, making it especially important to preserve the biodiversity in the area.

Between the months of September and April you can find a team of volunteers organised by CNN down at the quarry helping to keep it clean. There are also regular events including wildlife talks, an annual picnic and even an Easter egg hunt for families. Check out the CNN website for more information on our projects and how you can get involved in keeping Beaumont Quarry clean!

World Cleanup Day Events in Ireland can be followed on https://www.facebook.com/worldcleanupdayie/

 

Written By Shelby Caughman

 

References

World Cleanup Day [Online at: https://www.worldcleanupday.org/ , accessed 2021]

Digital Cleanup Day [Online at: https://digital.worldcleanupday.org/ , accessed 2021]

Cork Nature Network “About Beaumont Quarry” [Online at: https://corknaturenetwork.ie/beaumont-quarry/ , accessed 2021]