CNN Call to Earth Day: “Cleaning & Running Marathon” at EU-CONEXUS
From 19 October to 3 November 2022, for the second year in a row, EU-CONEXUS is commemorating the CNN Call to Earth Day and getting together the community of students, staff, researchers, and partners to clean their coastlines. In an hour’s time, each university team was to pick up as much trash as possible on their home coasts from the Baltic to the Mediterranean. On November 3, we are summing up the results of a friendly competition on the amount of garbage bags (capacity of 60 liters) collected in each country and also emphasizing the impact of the cmpaign on the coastal areas of EU-CONEXUS port cities in general!
On October 19, the first university to have started the ‘Cleaning & Running Marathon’ was the Catholic University of Valencia at Port Saplaya, a beach in Valencia, popular for its beautiful port. About 20 participants, students and academic staff, collected three bags of garbage and managed the waste by recycling the plastic found.
On 22 October, the University of Zadar was the second to join the initiative; its community were cleaning the beach on the island of Ilovik, where Underwater Archeology Minor courses are given by prof. Irena Radić Rossi. Students from all over the EU-CONEXUS alliance participated in the ‘Cleaning & Running Marathon’ and the result was three bags.
At Klaipeda University (KU), the community members came to the ‘Cleaning & Running Marathon’ that took place on 26 October in the most favoured local beach of the First Melnrage, to express their gratitude and prevent the pollution of the Baltic Sea. Their result was 24 bags within one hour. KU partners ‘Dancer Bus’ took care of a zero-emission trip from the University campus to the seaside on an electric bus! After this cleaning promotion, the welcoming seaside café ‘Ateik Ateik’ warmed up the participants of the campaign with a cup of coffee and tea, as everyone had brought their reusable cups for this occasion.
Frederick University joined the ‘Cleaning & Running Marathon’ initiative with a beach clean-up that took place on Thursday, 27 October. Students and staff volunteered to clean Dasoudi beach, one of the most popular beaches in Limassol, and the surrounding area. They collected four bags of garbage in one hour, thus contributing to the prevention of the pollution of our seas.
On 27 October, students and staff members of La Rochelle Université as well as members of the French NGO Echo’Mer accepted the challenge of CNN’s ‘Call to Earth’. Following the rules of the common competition launched amongst EU-CONEXUS partner universities, the participants had one hour to collect the maximum amount of garbage. In total, nearly 8 bags were filled up with plastics.
Famous for its oyster and mussel exploitations, La Rochelle also suffers from the derived waste coming from these activities. In fact, most of the waste collected on the beach that day consisted in oyster collectors and mussels’ nets. Echo’Mer raised the awareness of all participants of the deterioration time of such waste in the ocean and its huge negative impact on the fauna and flora. They reminded us about the importance of protecting our ocean from the pollution, and they also detailed how they collected some of the most common waste in La Rochelle such as wine stoppers, oyster bags, cigarette stubs, or even boat sails that can be reused to produce arts, decorations, or clothing.
This very instructive activity was really enjoyed by the students as the staff members who are already looking forward to another similar campaign.
On Friday, 28th of October, Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest (UTCB), together with Act for Tomorrow NGO and the Constructions Students Association, joined forces and responded to CNN’s ‘Call to Earth’! Together they made a team of 25 participants and, within an hour, managed to clean the park next to a university – Lacul Tei Park. Firstly, a small training held by UTCB partners from the NGO, regarding the importance and procedures of cleaning actions, and continued with a small presentation of EU-CONEXUS opportunities for the students. Then started the clean-up and, one hour later, their community managed to contribute to a better and cleaner tomorrow by gathering 18 bags of garbage! At the end of an action, all students received EU-CONEXUS goodies.
On Sunday, October 30, on the beach of the Municipality of Alimos, Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) joined the ‘Cleaning & Running Marathon’ in collaboration with the AUA’s Volunteering Team, the AUATalks team, and the AUAClicks photography team. 60 people participated in the action, 97% AUA students and 3% faculty members. The team has collected 25 bags of garbage. They managed to clean the coast as well as a large part of the surrounding area.
EU-CONEXUS community members responded to the proposal to treat their coastlines with great respect, and jointly collected 85 bags of garbage in 7 different spots of the old continent! Inspired by the CNN Call to the Earth Day, the coastal areas across Europe got cleaner, and the European society got one more call for the conscious way of living. To reduce a negative impact on the planet by adopting an eco-friendly mindset, we encourage everybody to leave footprints in the sand instead of trashes!