Travelling on foot the length of South Africa’s 3000 kilometer coastline, Camilla Howard and Michael Baretta are two eco-adventurers who are about to embark on a 7-month ‘trek for trash’. The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness for coastal pollution and litter through proactively collecting and recycling litter along their journey and to also engage with local conservation groups, communities and municipalities in the areas in which they will be travelling.
The Green Africa Directory asked CAN DO! Trekking for Trash what inspired their green trek: “On a personal level, I realised that you only grow as a person when you push your boundaries and get thrown out of your comfort zone and this inspired the idea for a physical and mental challenge on a larger, longer term scale than previous challenges” said Camilla.
It takes great strength and commitment to be a change maker and Camilla says that they are “ordinary South Africans who have a passion for adventurous travel and a strong desire to drive positive social change. We want to make South Africa a cleaner place and hope to create an awareness of our litter problem through our trek”.
This green team plan to walk between 18 and 30 kilometers each day depending on the terrain, weather, tides and river crossings and will carry a custom-made backpack in which to carry the litter collected. At the end of each day a support vehicle will then collect and recycle the trash. Camilla and Michael aim to collect about 10 kilograms each day of their 200-day trek – and in addition they hope to mobilise communities to assist in five public cleanup events that could generate up an additional five tons.
Taking a people, planet, profit approach to their trek for trash, Camilla and Michael aim to not only benefit the environment through waste collection and recycling, but also aim to engage citizens around litter and recycling awareness – motivating and educating people along their way. They will also be visiting primary schools along the way to encourage recycling programmes in conjunction with their sponsors (Can Manfuacturers Nampak Bevcan, Nampak DivFood and Collect-a-Can under the CAN DO! banner), and aim to create a media buzz around litter and recycling through their social media where followers and fans can also keep up-to-date on their whereabouts and progress.
The public is encouraged to also get involved in supporting CAN DO! Trekking for Trash’s public beach cleanups that they are organizing in Durban (6 April 2013), East London (3 March 2013), PE (16 February 2013) and Cape Town (17 November 2012). They are also encouraging the people in South Africa to get involved in Clean-up SA Week from 10 – 15 September 2012 by picking up litter in their neighbourhoods.
The Green Africa Directory aims to post more updates about the green team’s progress. For now, you can follow CAN DO! Trekking for Trash on Facebook and Twitter to read about their latest endevours, find out when they will be passing a town or city near to you and hear tips on waste minimisation and recycling.