Beach Cleaning: Service

Every time that we used to visit the local beach Dumas, more than the beauty and aesthetics of the beach, I would observe the litter and the dirt surrounding it. Beach has always been a place which I visit to gain peace and calm but when I see people littering and dirtying the beach, It would affect me deeply. Thus, with the vision of one day visiting a beautiful clean beach, I organized a Beach Clean up along with a couple of friends where we went for 3 mornings on the weekend and picked up as much garbage as possible.

Learning outcomes

LO3-Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience

Since the day I decided to take up an initiative for beach cleaning, I pitched the idea to a few friends who I knew would be interested in helping out. Following this, we made posters, spread awareness and gathered around 10-15 people since because of covid we couldn’t gather in large groups. Through this experience I learned a lot of management skills. I made sure to be well organized not just myself but encouraged the whole cohort to do the same as this task needed all of us to be able to come together for one greater cause. Since beach cleaning required certain items such as gloves, trash bags and masks, I also made sure that each one of us brought one item each so that we could complete our cleaning drive appropriately. 

O6 – Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance

The waste on the beach is not only unpleasant to look at but has a greater impact on the environment. When we ignorantly throw litter around the beach, we damage our environment profoundly, although not immediately but it’s effect gradually increases. Most of our waste goes into the ocean, which not only pollutes it but also causes harm to the organisms inside which leads to extinction of species, destruction of habitats and downfall of ecosystems both inside the ocean and outside on the shore. This issue is something I am deeply concerned about as an IB ESS student. In our studies, we learned the importance of maintaining a balance in all the ecosystems as each one of them contributes to the sustainability of global weather patterns, food chain, livelihood of organisms, our lives and ultimately our planet. Contributing to combat this issue made me feel like a responsible citizen of our world, the one who does not just speak the big talk but actually takes action about it. I saw people on the beach who were looking at us and I felt that they were inspired by what we were doing, if not to clean the beach but at least be more conscious of their actions. This made me feel like I am actually being a significant part of a big change, for the greater good of our planet through this CAS activity.

Lo7 – Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions

One of the biggest ethical issues that were involved in this activity was the global pandemic. Even though things were relatively in control and it was okay to go out with more than 2 people, it was still a risk for many of us as the beach is a public place and we ther was a chance that we would be exposed to the virus. This issue affected us directly since our whole project was based on it. It made us feel helpless for some time because we almost gave up on going there as our parents were also concerned about our health. However, thankfully, we came up with a solution. We made COVID guidelines together and made sure to follow them at all costs so that we stay as safe as possible. A few agreements included; to wear masks and gloves at all times, maintain social distance with each other as well as the members of the public, carry a personal water bottle and hand sanitizer and also be as cautious as possible. Doing this we were able to complete our 3 session drive for almost 2 hours each day. 

Final takeaways 

This cas project, for me, was very fulfilling and provided me with a sense of achievement. Even if we participated in the beach clean up for just 3 sessions, it made me conscious of the daily actions that I do and also to be a part of more such activities not just for CAS. 

I developed the learner profiles: 
Since I cared so deeply about the beach and it’s environment, I was able to organize this clean up. Not only did it inspire the spark in me, but also in my peers and the public that was on the beach, observing us taking care of our environment. A lot of the actions that we take for the benefit of our environment comes because of the fact that we care about the well-being of our planet. So by doing this experience I developed the learner profile caring and ignited it in others. 

Lastly, the highlight of this experience, was when people who were observing us also volunteered to help us clean the beach. They came and asked us about why we are doing this and what they can do to help. It was really enlightening to have a conversation with them about something so crucial. This made me think that we should have these conversations everyday of our life with every individual and keep them going, only then will awareness spread and people will become more conscious of the actions they take and how it affects the environment. After doing this I also realised to organize more clean ups like this and keep doing them even after CAS. 

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