On Saturday September 19th a group of 13 CIEE staff members and students woke up early to volunteer in Selibon NV’s (http://www.selibon.com/) World Clean Up Day. Many different sponsors and volunteers made the day a huge success. The event is held all across the island and this year nearly 5,000 kilos (that’s over 1,000 pounds) of trash were collected! Over 80% of the trash collected consisted of recyclable items like glass, plastic, and aluminum.
As a coral reef ecology and conservation research station we opted to do a beach clean up. So we headed
down to a section of beach on the windward side of the island and got to work. When all was said and done we collected about 15 large garbage bags full of trash in addition to a number of larger miscellaneous items (rope, a baby seat, plastic buckets, plastic crates, etc.). Most of the items we picked up were plastic and many of them plastic bottles. At the end of the clean-up one of the students, Kate Howard, exclaimed “If I ever needed reaffirmation to use a reusable bottle this was it!” The experience was rewarding for students and staff, giving all a sense of accomplishment.