A year ago, I started Clean-up Lake Burley Griffin Day in my home city of Canberra, Australia. As a long time paddler, I was sick of seeing rubbish in every waterway I had ever paddled in around the world.
While I obviously wasn’t the one who put the rubbish in the water, I felt like this important natural asset to our community was worth the effort of trying to clean it up. So, I first checked to see if anyone else was doing somehing about this problem. When I found out the answer was no for most of the Lake, I asked like-minded groups if anyone wanted to help.
Last year, six groups raised their hands. Then, with some support from Clean-up Australia, the National Capital Authority and the ACT Government, this was how the event started.
This past Sunday, we did the clean-up for a second time. We were able to get 138 volunteers and thirty something boats to collect about 104 bags of rubbish plus lots of big stuff that didn’t fit into bags. And afterwards, I took 350+ of bottles and cans to the container scheme to be recycled.
Now, to organise this event takes a huge amount of my time and others. Why should I commit to another year of managing this growing clean-up effort when I’m not making a dime from it?
Most people wait for someone else like the government to do something, and therefore just complain about it like a bloke on Facebook did. However, the ones that actually make a difference are the people, like our volunteers, that just go out there and do something.
If more people decided to take on responsibilities like this when they see a need, think how much better the world would be.