This last Tuesday 10th of may, in a collaboration with LIDL , year 8 and year 9 enjoyed an excursion to Charco La Araña in Los Silos in an effort to clear it of litter as a contribution to protection and conservation of the environment . The trip served as a way of taking environmental awareness in schools one step further, by not only informing and encouraging students but urging them to actively participate in organized projects and interact with the natural world. The topic usually tends to be viewed from afar, and the first-hand experience was very much appreciated in highlighting the reality and immediacy of the issue.
At first glance, upon arriving at the beach, many observed that the designated area did not really seem littered at all-that is, until further inspection. Students aged 12 to 14 scavenged for rubbish on the beach, stumbling upon stray bits of metal and plastic, dozens upon dozens of broken glass shards – many eroded by the waves and camouflaged amongst the rocks- plenty of wrappers and bags, masks and plastic gloves,discarded sanitary items,and even worn garments such as socks and underwear. But, most plentiful of all, were cigarette butts, disguising their numbers in plain sight. All our findings were later classified in order to be recycled.
Additionally, we found animals on the coastline such as several jellyfish, and even a lifeless seagull which had been throttled by a piece of plastic, a sad sight indeed yet after all one which perfectly illustrates our sad reality.
Overall, it was, doubtless, an eye-opening experience,taking away if nothing more that the wretched trail of human waste is not so easily erasable. Yet even with the beach considerably cleared, our mission has only just begun. That natural landscape is just one among billions, barely of significance in the great scheme of things. Yet it is someplace to begin, a starting point, an initiation. The rest is up to us. The future lies in our hands. To quote Howard Zinn, who perhaps put it best:
“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”
Author: Violeta Muñoz