It’s been 25 years……….

In 1989 an ‘average Australian bloke’ had a simple idea to make a difference in his

own backyard – Sydney Harbour. This simple idea has now become the nation’s largest community-based environmental event, Clean Up Australia Day.

As an avid sailor, Ian had always dreamt of sailing around the world. In 1987 his dream came true when he competed in the BOC Challenge Solo Round-the-World Yacht Race. As he sailed through the oceans of the world in his yacht ‘Spirit of Sydney’ he was shocked and disgusted by the pollution and rubbish that he continually encountered .

Once back in Sydney Ian organised a community event with the support of a committee of friends, including Clean Up co-founder Kim McKay AO – Clean Up Sydney Harbour. Clean Up Sydney Harbour Day in 1989 received an enormous public response, with more than 40,000 Sydneysiders donating their time and energy to clean up the harbour.

The next year Clean Up Australia Day was born. Ian and his committee believed that if a capital city could be mobilised into action, then so could the whole nation. Almost 300,000 volunteers turned out on the first Clean Up Australia Day in 1990 and that involvement has steadily increased ever since.

In the past 25 years, Australians have devoted more than 27.2 million hours towards the environment through Clean Up Australia Day and collected over 288,650 tonnes of rubbish.

Here at Cheltenham…

2015yr7 clean up day

The Year 7s gathered in the auditorium on Monday and heard about the TAKE 3 FOR THE SEA campaign which is basically saying every time you’re near a creek, river or ocean, take home 3 extra pieces of rubbish. Our poor marine creatures are suffering from our careless littering, as plastics, in particular, are choking and suffocating them or slowly poisoning them.

We are a bayside school and our litter is washing down drains and ending up in the bay. We talked about the excess PACKAGING in our lunches and how a simple lunchbox or reusable container is a more responsible choice than excessively wrapping and packaging everything.

We also spoke about DRINK BOTTLES and how they estimate that 40 % of debris in the ocean comes from the beverage industry. Melbourne has some of the best water in the world-all we need is a permanent drink bottle and turn on the tap! Let’s try and stop this waste filled and disposable lifestyle!

The Environment Team ( mostly Year 9s and 8s) also helped out on the day and they were in charge of the litter analysis. Their hypothesis was that most of CSC’s rubbish would be wrappers and that is indeed what we found. There was also a high percentage of drink containers, lids and straws. Zip lock bags were also numerous and the Envrionment team hoped that students would talk about this waste with their families and instead use containers and permanet drink bottles.

The Year 7s did their pick -up with efficiency and good will! The school grounds looked so much better. It was great to be involved with the 25th year of CLEAN UP Australia!

By Cheltenham Secondary College|2017-11-06T18:22:33+10:00March 19th, 2015|0 Comments