Mission 1: Trash beachcombing in Katwijk

My New Year’s resolution more or less coincided with my birthday, and was set in motion by Hella: a ‘greener’, more sustainable life.

In addition to a beautiful photo book with heartwarming and funny pictures of waste-separating friends and family, I also received a well-filled application list for all sorts of activities. As a friend of son W. strikingly said, some people are required to do this as a community service, for others it’s a birthday present. Can be, but I was incredibly happy with all applications and the prospect of doing a useful and enjoyable activity together!

Sunday 7 January was the first activity kick-off: we went to the Katwijk beach to trash beachcomb (grondstofjutten) there. It was a beautiful day with a clear blue sky and a nice refreshing ice-cold wind.

At the beach pavilion with the appropriate name ‘Het Strand (= The Beach)’ we all got a beautiful burlap bag. The crystal-clear instruction was to leave the shells and the sand, but to collect any found money and return it to the owner of the pavilion.

Still a bit squirrelly with the empty bags.

When asked whether there was much enthusiasm for the trash beachcombing, the friendly girl replied that it was mainly done by children. That pinned us good,  middle aged and all …

We went to the beach in a good mood, where at first glance it did not really seem there was a lot to pick up. But when we looked closer, there actually was a lot to pick up. Within half an hour our bags were filled to the rafters with waste. The vast majority was plastic: fishnet remains, caps, plastic bottles, plastic straws etc. This time Agneta won the award for the most unusual find: a plastic woman’s torso. Unfortunately there is no picture of this, but see below our harvest: four stuffed bags and four very satisfied people.

Katwijk 7 januari 3
Accomplished beachcombers!

Afterwards we received free coffee and hot chocolate from Het Strand on behalf of the beach.

To summarize: it was shocking to notice how fast we got the bags filled. On the one hand, there was the feeling this was just a dribbling drop on a gigantic glowing plate, but at the same time it was also nice to do something. And hopefully we have inspired other people who suddenly saw four people, in their 50’s, cleaning the beach even without community service jackets!

The next event will take place on Saturday 13 January. We will clean up our neighbourhood, the Maredijk (the event is called: Maak de Maredijk Mooi!). For this, even more people have already signed up, exceeding all expectations. I’m already looking forward to it!

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