There’s a well-known saying that goes, leave everything just as you found it, meaning everyone should take care not to leave behind any mess or litter at a certain place to make it worse off then when they walked in. Here at TCN, we live by the upgraded version of that saying: leave everything a bit better than you found it. Yes, in this particular case, we’re talking about beach cleanups again. A lot of cleanup actions have been taking place along the coast in recent weeks, and we believe every one of them is worth reporting.
The Croatian coast is widely known as a stunning corner of the Earth where the sand is white or golden, the sea crystal clear and the nature in general documentary-worthy. And yet, the growing problem of plastic pollution – plus the inconsiderate people ‘forgetting’ trash behind on purpose – leaves the beaches dotted with plastic bottles and lined with various garbage. It doesn’t take a lot to clean up a small parcel of land, and in many places on the coast, local enthusiasts have been gathering on a mission to rid the beaches and the seabeds of everything that isn’t supposed to be found there. Armed with trash bags and working gloves, they work quickly and effectively, cleaning up those little pieces of paradise in under half an hour. It really doesn’t take much time, so it makes you wonder – why aren’t we all doing it?
It might have something to do with human psychology, as we all sometimes come across a dirty public toilet or any kind of messy place and think – it’s not my job to do that. It probably isn’t, and no one is expecting you to scrub public toilets anyway, but when it comes to a couple of plastic bottles and random pieces of trash, how is it possible for any of us to decide not to do anything? We should all strive to make a change, however small it is, and help keep the Croatian beaches looking like something out of a postcard. Because in reality, they look even better.
The latest commendable action was carried out on the island of Silba, where a group of locals joined forces to clean the beaches of Mavrova, Vele Stene and Ugljenica. Sixteen volunteers left the beaches spotless in no time, accompanied by little helpers that are learning to love and respect nature from the youngest age.
This particular cleanup has an extra edge to it, as it’s part of the GEA Garbage Epic Art initiative. GEA is an art colony that cleans up beaches on Silba every year at the beginning of the tourist season; the colony members then use the collected garbage to make works of art, installations, instruments and other creative objects which they exhibit in public to raise awareness of the pollution. It’s a fantastic concept that both leaves the beaches in pristine condition, results in some quirky, imaginative art, and teaches the coming generations to take care of what they’ve got. Take a look at SEA – Silba Environment Art for more information and photos!