Do something for someone else: clean up the beach edition

 
 

I remember when my sister and I were little, we'd head to a random beach or park with our parents and clean up the area for no other reason than because it needed some love. We'd pack a couple of rubbish bags and put some gloves on, and then we'd start climbing over rocks, or through the trees, picking up long-lost drink bottles and other bits and pieces until the rubbish bags were filled to the brim. We'd always leave feeling like we'd done something good, and it felt great. 

 
 

Well, my sister and I revisited those days when we recently ventured to our hometown's beach, Weymouth Beach, to take part in an organised beach clean-up, of which Briar actually coordinated. Along with our mum and stepdad, and a big crew of other beach cleaners, we all got stuck in. Weymouth Beach is well known for being polluted, and since I hadn't been there for several years I was expecting a real gross place. However, I was quite surprised with how tidy it looked from the outset — however there was still plenty of rubbish lurking for us to find. I found plenty of little bits of plastic in amongst the seaweed that had been washed up with the water. But it wasn't until we ventured in amongst the trees on the grassy verge of the beach that the reality of all the rubbish hit. 

 
 

We were coming out of the trees with unopened beer cans from nearly 10 years ago. There was polystyrene that had obviously been sitting there so long it had plant roots growing through it. There were kids' broken shoes that had been discarded on the beach instead of in a rubbish bin, and plenty of empty plastic bags caught in the branches. After only two hours, the whole team came back to the starting point with full rubbish bags, and plenty of weird things that didn't fit in the bags, like car radiators and spades.

 
 

I've been back to Weymouth Beach since we did the big clean-up, and it's really nice to be there knowing you've helped in making it a cleaner and safer place for people to visit. If you've got a bit of spare time over a weekend, I would encourage you to find a place or a group that could do with a bit of a hand. Not only will you feel good for having helped out, you'll get the privilege of seeing the place or people you helped flourish and grow. It's a wonderful thing.