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Keep it clean - Teaming up with Karla & 4Ocean

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STAY UP TO DATE & FOLLOW OUR FB-EVENT PAGE Our very first beach clean up took place in April 2017. I got invited by our tour guide Karen who is working for the non profit organization Manta Trust and back in the days she was working as a private tour guide for Kay Tours Mexico.

If you are frequent listener you know that I am really in love with the area of Sian Ka'an in the south of Tulum. I don't want to get into it but it's a beautiful place ...

Learn more about SIAN KAAN

...and it caught my attention that there's always trash on the beaches. Even though it's a National Park, a protected area people, tourists, even tour operators leaving the trash behind. It is obvious that part of the trash is washed ashore from the oceans, which does make it even more important to consider the education about plastic pollution as a global issue rather than a local.

At the places where the trucks are unloading the tourists we find a plenty of cigarette butts, a lot of plastic bottles and plastic bags. It is obvious that this trash was left behind from the tours and their tourists. This always makes me angry! When I see it, I take trash with us. Well, any place we are going we are taking our trash with us back to the office and recycle it, but when I saw the littering in these beautiful areas I decided that we have to do something about it if we want to keep enjoying the beauty of the nature here. Once again we are making a living by sharing it with our guests. Not is it only a logical step to do protect what we are living of, it is also the right thing to.

That's where that thought grew: OK! We have to organize these beach clean ups and start raising awareness, start doing it in a frequent way, at least once a month and try to make it a common thing, a regular thing, a habit. The idea is that people go to the beach and not leave their trash behind. It's that simple and sounds like common sense. Unfortunately it is not!

In my opinion the beach clean up is more about calling attention and raising awareness instead of cleaning the beaches. Obviously cleaning the beaches is a part of the activity, but it is more about making people aware why we are doing it. It is because of people throwing their stuff away (littering). Many bring trash to the beaches, or in other words bring certain products like drinks and snacks to the beaches and leave the packing material behind. Its the restaurant's and beach bars handing out straws with their drinks on the beach. The straws eventually are blown out of the glass by the wind easily. Many of them are even transparent so you don't see them in the sand. I decided to keep doing that on a monthly basis, every 1st Sunday in the morning. I would be at the beach I would announce it on a Facebook event page, would announce it on my own social media and the there were Sunday's were 12 people, 10 people would show up and help and there were Sundays where it was just me, doing the beach clean up alone. So I figured it's the social media part about the activity about raising awareness about plastic pollution or in general pollution. It is about spreading the word and reaching a broader audience.

After year I met Karla again. She joined our very first clean up and left a great impression as a film maker and positive person. She filmed my youngest son that day and made a little video clip, which was quite popular on Facebook.

Karla is an environmentalist, activist and speaker. Check out her homepage and make sure to follow her @karmuncol

She has been cleaning beaches and being involved in raising awareness on natures and animals preservation long time before I did.

After she joined our very 1st beach clean up in 2017 she took a job and got busy in Cancun, but after a year she moved back to Playa del Carmen and we got in touch again. She started joining us on our beach clean ups and I'm very happy to have her helping us with all her energy and efforts.

She connected the dots by bringing in the company Verde Halago @verdehalagomx which is recycling the cigarette butts we collect, supporting us by preparing the events posters and spreading the word through her social media.

While she is working full time for a the non-profit organization Keeping Kids in School (KKIS) in Playa del Carmen and I am taking care of our tours, together we were able to increase the number of people joining the clean ups, but as well the amount of beach clean ups.

We are now doing them twice a month, every 1st and every 3rd Sunday and yes, it is a movement.

There are even people coming from different states of Mexico just because they are here for vacation and they are following our event. They show up and want to join. We even have tourists from foreign countries and it is a real pleasure to see people from all over the world are joining us.

As a tour operator we are receiving requests from future guests. They're asking us if there will be still our beach clean ups in this area and they ask me how they can join.

"The best way to stay in the loop is to follow our Facebook Event Page."

This is the best thing that can happen to me, that can happen to us, that we are actually reaching a world wide audience with what we are doing here on our local beaches.

Again, the main idea is to raise awareness about the fact that our beautiful mother nature is in danger, not only here in Playa del Carmen. We are are making a living of the beautiful surroundings here, of the flora and fauna. There is something you can do in order to take care off all over the world. There are Podcasts were we are talking about the pollution just by using sunscreen...

...and what you can do to protect the coral reefs just by using less deterrent or using less different soap or the choice of products you are buying in the super market. No matter where, even though you're living in let's say Austin, Texas or New York or Berlin, or Tokyo, it doesn't matter!

You, with your daily habits can make a difference and protect this planet. Protect is a poor choice of words in regards to this topic. It should not be necessary to protect this planet, so let's say taking care of this planet, our planet.

We're doing now the beach clean ups twice a month, the numbers of participants joining is increasing and since the last 2 beach clean ups we are organizing them in cooperation with the non profit organization 4Ocean.

They reached out to Karla, looking for a representative for 4Ocean in Mexico and she agreed to do that. Since then there is no stopping. We are excited to have such a powerful partner with such a world wide recognition of their logo, their bracelets and their logistics. We are now working together with 4Ocean and they support us with gloves, shirts and with bags, which is really helpful. We used to buy these by our own. Due to the sales of their bracelets, they are able to support volunteers like us here and all over the world. Another big advantage of such a powerful partner is the social media reach the wider audience we can reach, thanks to there are fans, followers and supporters. I am very happy to announce that we are now working together with the 4OCEAN organization and we are excited to be part of the improvement here in Playa del Carmen, excited to grow our events reach and we think it's becoming more common. More people joining, being interested and even more events being hosted by other companies. It seems to be a thing now. There was my initial intention, when I decided to start the monthly beach clean up. Doing it once a month every 1st Sunday that should become a regular thing. Actually the idea is to do it every Sunday!

When people are going to the beaches, making it a habit taking their own trash and some of the trash they find there back home. In that way, you will leave the place cleaner, nicer and more beautiful than you found it.

I like that idea a lot ...

If you like what we are doing, spread the word. This and joining or organizing beach clean ups helps the most.

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