Meet TAKE 10, a Simple Environmental Initiative Born in Split

Total Croatia News

We are delighted to welcome Tash Pericic to the TCN team. An energetic free spirit with plenty of life experience despite her tender years, Tash explained a little about her simple but effective environmental initiative on May 27, 2016, an intiative which was born in Split but is slowly going global.

TAKE 10 is an initiative that has been started here in Split and has since gone international. The concept is simple – when you are out for a walk, take 10 pieces of rubbish, or take 10 minutes to clean up an area, take a photo, post it to the TAKE 10 page, spread the word, spread awareness. Tash Pericic, a born New Zealander now married and living in Croatia, started this initiative purely as a way of doing her part. She believes that it is the small daily actions of many, that can create real change.

“Croatia is a beautiful country; it stole my heart the moment I first stepped off the ferry. The nature here is incredible, so it breaks my heart when I see rubbish lying around, especially if it gets into the sea. I am by no means saying that there is rubbish everywhere, but with a combination of the ignorant actions of a few, strong winds and sea currents that lead from other countries on the Adriatic, rubbish and plastic does get strewn about and even more sadly – ends up in the waterways or accumulates in small bays and beaches. I have been told that starting an initiative publicizing the fact that there is rubbish around, is counter-intuitive to a country who relies so heavily on tourism; but I feel the opposite. Pollution and particularly plastic-pollution is a world-wide issue that is slowly coming to the forefront of the public stage. I believe taking such actions, shines a positive light on Croatia to show that we are a conscientious country; turning a blind eye is not the answer.

There are already so many great initiatives, local organisations and environmental activists who are already doing their part here, which is amazing and I want to make it clear that I by no means think I have started a completely new concept; but I truly believe real change will only come when it is in the awareness of the masses. Which is exactly why I started this simple initiative. It is a small act that anybody and everybody can do, when multiplied by many over time, it can and will have a huge impact (and will hopefully move into tackling larger issues). Thankfully recycling bins already exist here, but they are not everywhere and there are definitely plenty of areas and beaches that could do with more care and rubbish bins. So the next positive step that can come from this, is if it filters into the minds of the everyday people, we can make a move to put more pressure on the powers above, to continually update our structures and systems to reflect ecological movements. Croatia has been ranked to have some of the cleanest waters in Europe, why wouldn’t we want to keep it that way by doing our part?”

Since starting this movement, I have received posts from Split and surrounding Dalmatian islands and the page has also received international posts from New Zealand, Australia, Malta, Canada, Italy and I am in contact with an international charter agent who wants to launch this in the Caribbean along with supporting me to create some more ‘green’ movements here, particularly in the yachting industry. I worked with the Fun2Learn play school in Split and a local Vrtic in Dugi Rat to organize and execute a ‘beach clean’ with the children and parents for TAKE 10. I have also had the support of local businesses – Maria Mustapic, another fellow expat, leading the way – allowed me to come in and speak to her teams at restaurants Zinfandel and Brasserie on 7 about the initiative and then to take a walk with me and clean up a local area. To Je To café bar also included this in their staff training/team building day and another local entrepreneur Sharlene McNeil-Alajbeg has supported this initiative through her wedding events business – being someone that promotes the beauty of Croatia she understands that we need to keep it beautiful. Every year the Trogir Diving Center do a ‘sea clean’ before the season and this year will be doing it to show their support for TAKE 10 and the impact of pollution on the beautiful Adriatic. There are so many local businesses, initiatives and individuals who have shown their support and who are already doing their part (too many to name), so the idea of TAKE 10 is also to recognize and promote these wonderful people who are doing their part to make a small difference in the world.

What do you think about the fact that the Split City Council pay people to keep the city clean?
“Yes they do and arguably the old town is in great condition, but again, I truly believe it is all of our responsibility to care about our communities and the world we live in. Inaction is not the way forward; we can all make a difference through any number of small actions such as these and if change is needed from above, then hopefully this awareness will only aid this.

Is there anything that stands out when you have been doing TAKE 10?
“Yes. Plastic bags and bottles in and around the sea and cigarette packets everywhere. Some people have said – ‘why should I clean up after others?’ It is a good question, if I am not personally littering, why should I go out of my way to try and make a difference? Well, the fact is, change needs to start somewhere. I cannot single-handedly tackle the plastic-pollution problem (which is a world-wide issue), nor can I stop people from throwing their cigarette packets, but I can do my part, encourage others to do the same and hopefully the ripple effect of the larger picture reaches far and wide.”

Have you faced any resistance or opposition?
“I have mostly received support, beginning this project has lead me to meet some amazing people around Croatia and the world, who genuinely care and are doing great things already. It has also opened up a dialogue with internationals and locals alike and I have been amazed (but not surprised) that actually, at our core, we all want positive change. Of course I have had a few nay-sayers tell me that I cannot change the mentality of people here, cannot make a difference and definitely cannot change the system… But this is to be expected, I don’t take it personally and know that these things are normally said out of peoples’ own frustrations at the situation.”

Where else do you see this going?
“Well for now, I am doing my best to spread this through social media and personally working with local businesses and organizations, with the intention to possibly set up an Udruga. Also this season I will be doing my part to find more ecological solutions on board yachts – beginning with ways to reduce plastic. I am starting with Gulet Alba – the yacht I work on and thankfully have the full support of the well-established company director, who understands the importance of this movement as the sea has always been his passion and livelihood. So tourism and environment do not have to be opposing forces, the forward-thinking know that this is the way of the future. Change starts now.”

So there it is. A small act, that has potential to have a huge effect. Think big, start small. TAKE 10.

Want to get involved? Follow the TAKE 10 Facebook page.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment