Welcome to August’s installment of the We Are The World Blogfest, when we share positive news on the last Friday of each month. Thank you to this month’s WATWB co-hosts: Simon Falk, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Uppal, Lynn Hallbrooks, Eric Lahti, and Mary J Giese.
DoMinga – Weekly Puerto Lopez beach cleanup
This month I am writing about a weekly Puerto Lopez, Ecuador beach cleanup effort. I have no article to link to so I will just tell you about it.
Where plastic bags thrown on the ground go
Dead or dying whales, dolphins and sea turtles periodically wash up on shore, stomachs full of plastic. A plastic bag tossed out a car window miles from shore flows into the ocean, carried by rivers and wind. That plastic bag, along with other garbage, threatens to become a death sentence when sea creatures eat it.
There are already an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Containing the plastic before it makes it to the ocean is the best way to prevent that number from growing.
DoMinga in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
Environmentally minded Kelley Budding owns Puerto Lopez based Tentáculo to offer exhilarating, educational experiences that encourage positive interaction and facilitate a deeper understanding of global culture. She also partnered with a national group, Mingas por el Mar, to help keep Puerto Lopez beach litter free.
A minga is a volunteer project to achieve a shared goal for the betterment of a community. They are a part of the fabric in Ecuador and most residents have participated in at least one (for example building a home or repairing a road). Since the Puerto Lopez beach cleanup group meets on Sundays (Domingo in Spanish), the gathering is called a doMinga.
Every Sunday at 5:30 PM, volunteers gather at Tentáculo or their doMinga partner, Punta Piedrero Ecolodge for a Puerto Lopez beach clean up. Anyone with one hour available scours the beach, armed with donated gloves and bags, picking up trash before it goes into the ocean and possibly into the stomachs of sea turtles or fish.
I recently joined the effort. In less than one hour walking the beach, I found two unrelated shoes, plastic bags, candy wrappers, a dirty diaper (glad they give us gloves!), a bathing suit, countless bottle caps, and a tire. All together, the other volunteers and I collected 4.5 kilos of trash.
|Volunteer team from the south end of Puerto Lopez beach clean up
August 20, 2017
Once a week, one person at a time, Kelley’s volunteer team and others like hers on beaches throughout Ecuador work to remove trash. These efforts can be done on every beach and inland in every country around the globe with volunteers collecting garbage before it reaches the ocean.
What can you do?
What are you waiting for? Put on some gloves, grab a bag and pick up some trash. You just may save an endangered sea turtle’s life. I will be doing the same each Sunday during our doMinga.
More positive stories
Read more WATWB stories on Emily in Ecuador here.