Recently, a lot of people in Surat started visiting beaches again, resulting in an increase in garbage and litter on the shore. Since it’s very important that we keep our surroundings clean and hygienic especially during a deadly pandemic, and do our part in protecting the environment, we thought of organizing a small beach clean day where people can come together and clean one of Surat’s most loved beaches. Around 10 of us went to the beach for 3 weekends to pick up litter and clean the beach.
LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
Working with others has always been quite easy for me, mostly because I understand how efficient and productive it is. Even during the beach clean, because we were a group of 10-12 people, we could cover a much larger area than we could’ve individually. All of us understood the importance of what we were doing and cooperated with each other incredibly well. It is important to work together because that helps reduce individual labour and also helps us improve our people skills. During the beach cleaning, we divided ourselves into smaller groups of 2-3 people so we could spread out and that also gives everyone a chance to take leadership and responsibility for what they are doing. Above all that, working together as a team is extremely fun. When we were cleaning the beach with friends it didn’t feel like a chore, rather it was like a bonding experience. Overall, working together in this CAS experience allowed us to be efficient, become leaders, take responsibility, and have a lot of fun.
LO6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
I focused on helping create a cleaner environment for animals that live by the shore. We specifically catered to these SDGs: life on land and life in water. The trash on the beach tends to go into the water and can kill sea animals. I know and understand that a few people cannot reverse the harm that has been done over several years and decades, but we did our part and at least take the initiative to do the bare minimum for the environment. Knowing and taking initiative about this global issue contributes to my personal growth by making me a responsible leader. Everyone knows what we should do for our environment, but taking the initiative actually makes us responsible leaders and global citizens. I’ve always been aware about this issue but now more than ever, I have started to understand how severely my actions affect the environment and how doing simple things can also make a difference. I don’t think that cleaning the beach for 3 weekends is going to change much, but it’s just a step in the right direction.
LO7: Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
The only ethical issue involved in this experience was meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic. It would’ve been very risky for us and others if a very large group of us went for the beach clean. In order to overcome these ethical issues, we took a few COVID precautions. We didn’t do any kind of promotion and instead individually asked those who were interested, only 10-15 people will be permissible to attend the clean. Each one of us would be wearing gloves and a mask and maintain social distancing throughout. We also divided ourselves into groups of 2-3 people so that it was easier for us to social distance ourselves and cover a larger area.
This CAS experience helped me become more aware and conscious of my actions. The learner profiles I developed were caring and reflective. During and after the clean, I was continually reflecting over my choices, especially in terms of what I consume and how I am also a part of the problem. Realising this only helped me recognize how I can change my consuming habits and make informed decisions. I became a caring learner by doing the bare minimum and discharging my individual responsibility of cleaning the environment that we ourselves have polluted. The highlight of this experience was the sense of fulfillment it gave me. If I were to do this experience again, I would have gone for more frequently and to different beaches in order to cover a larger area. It is really important for us to understand that we aren’t the only ones inhabiting this planet and that we need to make a sustainable living space so that we can coexist with other organisms.