Today is International Coastal Cleanup Day… this year it is on the 19 September. As you know cleaning beaches is one of our family past times. We live at the seaside, we love the beach and it is an easy way for us to give back in a small way.


The Beach Co-Op

For the last five years we have been doing the New Moon Beach Clean Up with the Beach Co-op. During lock down, when beaches and mountains were banned to us, we couldn’t do our typical “take-3-for-the-sea” or “take-3-for-the-trail.” We had to come up with something a lot closer to home and we started collecting bits of trash in our neighbourhood… since all the litter in our streets washes into the sea, it was a basically a beach cleanup, only a lot closer to home.

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One of the best things about doing the cleanup with the team is the fact the we are part of a World Wide Citizen Science Project… data collecting at cleanups is part of the fun and after years of clean-ups, the Beach Co-op have determined that there are essentially twelve items, THE DIRTY DOZEN, that we collect over and over again.


Now that our mountains and beaches are open again we are back at it, but we are still unable to meet in groups. For the last couple of cleanups we have been using The Marine Debris Tracker app. You can record and sort the garbage you are collecting… and it means that you can clean up any beach anywhere and save your data to the worldwide database in the app.

This weekend there are a number of beach cleanups all over Cape Town, and in fact all over the world… but if your community is still in lockdown, or you are not ready to head out in a larger group… download the app and head out to any patch of beach, wherever you are.

Books to Read for Coastal Cleanup Day

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Clean Up!

by Nathan Bryon and illustrated by Dapo Adeola

There is nothing better than sharing the importance of a cleanup with young children with the help of a story book. We really loved this picture book, called CLEAN UP! By Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola. This is the story of a little girl, called Rocket, who is going on a beach holiday to visit her Grammy and Grampy. Rocket might be small but she has big ideas, and she is way excited about all the amazing things she is going to do on her seaside vacation…

Only when she gets there the seaside isn’t quite as wonderful as she expected… there is plastic and litter everywhere. Never one to sit back and watch the world go round, Rocket leaps into action and rounds up her clean up crew from fellow holiday makers on the beach. Before you know it, the whole community is involved, the beach is pristine, and Rocket is on her way to changing the world. This book has interesting little facts dropped into the narrative, the illustrations are delightful and have a lovely diverse feel to them, a real story of “working together to get the job done.”

If you would like to meet the author/illustrator team then take a look at this video:

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Be Plastic Clever

by Amy and Ella Meek

I have been watching out for this book for a while now and was thrilled when it landed on our review book pile. Amy and Ella Meek are sisters who founded Kids Against Plastic number of years ago. I have been following them on twitter for a couple of year and really enjoy their common sense approach to environmental activism, doing projects that count and making a real difference, not just talking about it. I was thrilled to hear they were bringing out a book and I have so enjoyed reading it, it is going straight onto our science shelf for school this year and is going to be essential reading for my kids this year.


This book is the perfect read for folk who love their information in snippets and bites… they start by explaining the problem with plastic, how we need plastic and how we can do without a lot of plastic. The book is full of well-informed snippets: interviews, things to do, closer looks at real projects, not just why to get involved, but how to get involved. This book is a must read for eco-warriors of all ages and stages, not just youngsters, I learned quite a lot reading through this book… about micro-plastics, microfibres, chemicals in plastic… it is a really interesting read… dividing myths from facts and enabling the reader to become a genuine citizen scientist, able to make an informed comment on the world around them and able to do something useful towards climate change.

I love that they include lots of interviews and references to projects, not just from Kids Against Plastic, but from outside of their own organisation, and there are useful links for those who want to know more and dig a little deeper. I think what I enjoy the most about the Meek sisters, is that they are anything but Meek, but their attitude that we are all learning together, rather than telling everyone what they should be doing… means that their voice in the public forum is one of encouragement and not dictatorship. These girls have done great work and they are really worth a follow… you can find them at their website: Kids Against Plastic over here. And if you would like to take a peek inside their book then follow the link to the DK Book Site in the UK.

Amazon Affiliate Links for Books Mentioned in This Post

All these books were given to us for review purposes by Penguin Random House South Africa. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely our own.


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