Saturday 20 to Sunday 28 January 2017
As a member of Outdoor Bloggers I think we can safely assume that you care about the environment and would like to do something to help nature survive and thrive. Sadly, one common aspect of the outdoors that’s difficult to miss is the abundance of litter. Not only is it unsightly, it is also a danger to wildlife and can, in the case of plastics, take thousands of years to break down. If no one clears the rubbish, it will just stay where it is forever more.
At the end of January, we will hold our second annual BIG OUTDOOR BLOGGERS CLEAN UP. This (just over a) week-long event encourages Outdoor Bloggers members from around the UK, and in fact all over the world, to spend a little bit of time collecting rubbish that is littered about their local areas.
Research published in the journal Anthropocene suggests that Humans have made enough plastic since the second world war to coat the Earth entirely in cling film, and that no part of the planet is free of the scourge of plastic waste. Everywhere is polluted with the remains of water containers, supermarket bags, polystyrene lumps, compact discs, cigarette filter tips, nylons and other plastics. Some are in the form of microscopic grains, others in lumps. And the impact is highly damaging to wildlife, nature, the environment, and our resources.
The Meek Family, well known in outdoors and adventure circles, are doing their part to rid the world of single use plastic through their Kids Against Plastic campaign. Did you know that around 100,000 sea mammals die from entanglement or ingestion of plastic in the oceans? As a family, they have therefore committed to removing 100,000 plastic bottles from the environment, encouraging people to stop using single use plastic, and lobbying big brands to stop using plastic packaging.
Inspired by their ambitious campaign, Outdoor Bloggers members went out in January 2017 and litter picked in excess of 700 items of single use plastic waste – plus a whole host of other rubbish including glass bottles, crisp packets, drinks cans, McDonalds packaging, paper waste, and a football. And it’s time to do it all again! The second annual big Outdoor Bloggers clean up will take place at the end of January 2018, and we are hoping you will want to take part.
Rather than all coming together to do one massive litter pick in a random location in middle England that only a small handful of us can get to, this event doesn’t involve any travelling for anyone – you take part wherever you happen to be.
Here’s how it works…
At some point from Saturday 20 to Sunday 28 January, whenever and wherever it is convenient for you, go out for a walk lasting an hour (or more, but an hour is what we are asking for) in the countryside close to your home/work/wherever you happen to be. Go on your own, with your family, take your work colleagues or friends along, it’s up to you.
While you are out, collect up all the single-use plastic rubbish you see (take a bag or two and some gloves!). Look out particularly for the biggest four problems – plastic bags, coffee cup lids, straws and plastic bottles. Please pick up the other rubbish too, but it’s those single-use plastic items we are most interested in here.
Take a photograph of your “haul” at the end of your walk, preferably with you in it, and post it on twitter and/or instagram stating the number of plastic items you have collected with our hashtag #OutdoorBloggers and the campaign hashtag #Refuse4Good. The total we collect between us will go towards the Kids Against Plastic campaign aim to pick up 100,000 pieces of plastic rubbish from our countryside and roadsides.
Put the waste in a suitable bin to give it the best chance possible of being recycled and not ending up in landfill.
If you can, share your litter pick experience on your blog to encourage others to also do their part. Be sure to link back to the Kids Against Plastic site so others can see what it is all about and get involved themselves.