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Beach Cleanup


Ivana & Natalia

23rd of July, 2023


Costa Rica (Turtles I)

This post is from July 21….

Today we got the opportunity to really see the effects of all of the plastic waste in the world. We started off our morning by cleaning up as much trash as we could around the hatchery, and in doing so, we saw so many things that are such common occurrences in our own homes, and not things you would expect to see on a beach. Seeing things such as toothbrushes, shoes, lollipop sticks, deodorant and bottle caps in such a different context then what we’re used to caused us to better understand how much our waste affects the world, and made us think deeply about ways to prevent all of this waste ending up on our beaches. These solutions varied from different ways of waste management, to alternative materials other than plastic. It’s crazy to think about how each piece of trash that we picked up probably traveled to far to end up on our beach. A single bottle cap could’ve traveled the entire ocean to end up here. After our beach cleanup, we returned back to our house and into circles to reflect on all of this. We touched on the fact that our work this morning barely even scraped the surface of the problem. The trash we picked up is a fraction of the trash that washes up on beaches all over the world. In our circles we mentioned that our work was for so many more reasons than just to rid the beach of the trash this once, and practiced thinking about how we can address the root cause of the problem rather than just the symptoms. I feel like the experience raised so much awareness even with just the 14 of us, and in doing so will help us be more conscious about our waste, and even encourage more work of this sort in the future. After lunch, we returned back to the station to sort all of our trash for proper disposal. We all worked hard separating and cleaning so many bottle caps, bottles, and other general waste. The second step of this process was another way for us to see the magnitude of the problem.

Another memorable part of our day happened after dinner. The first group of night patrols went out with Juan and Alba, and the constant flashing of lightning made it difficult for our eyes to adjust to the darkness. After a little bit it started raining, and it came down in heavy drops at a fast rate. We ended up having to turn around because of the storm. It’s crazy, sitting on the floor of our rooms illuminated by the light of a headlamp, hearing the sounds of thunder and rain pounding on the roof, seeing the flashes of lightning briefly transform the world into daylight for a moment. This day has created so many different experiences for us to take with us for the rest of our lives. Hopefully we never forget.

P.S. Happy Birthday Ava & Irena!



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