Last updated on September 17th, 2021
Just this past August 14, 2021, a group of us ventured out and worked on cleaning up our shoreline around the Humber Bay Park Etobicoke Point and it was exhilarating. The title of the event was Shoreline Tidy Up.
At first I was worried about the amount of people who were coming to clean up our shoreline and if there were enough of us tackling this feat.
Did you know twenty-two million pounds of plastic enters the Great Lakes every year? There is enough plastic waste in the Great Lakes to challenge the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Three million pounds of plastic garbage ends up in Lake Ontario each year. That’s enough plastic garbage to fill 28 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The Ocean Cleanup group, an initiative helping to clean up plastic waste in our oceans and freshwater lakes, had developed quite a technology. They launched a tool that visualizes the trajectory of plastic pollution by the click of a button. It is called the Plastic Tracker at https://theoceancleanup.com/plastic-tracker/
This map shows where your plastic waste is going and where it could ultimately end up over a twenty-year period. This tool will show you just how far plastic can travel from its starting point.
So you can understand my dilemma, trying to find and locate more people to help the cause. I sent an event listing or advert to the South Etobicoke News to be printed in the newspaper. Our web team had posted the event poster to Facebook, Instagram, on the MLC website, and in the newsletter to reach more people. I even reached out to multiple initiative groups to share the poster on their social media outlets. Those initiatives being Etobicoke Climate Action, Global Marine Conservation, The Ocean Cleanup and 4Oceans. As all of this was happening, I was worried that I wasn’t doing enough. What could one person accomplish by themselves?
Then someone had mentioned to me that even one person can help to change negative mindsets. Also thinking to myself all of those successful initiative groups I had listed previously, started with one person.
The same idea I found in Matthew 5,3: In the sermon on the mount Jesus tells his disciples: You are the salt of the earth. One grain of salt can make the difference in a dish, can make something taste better or worse. Also, salt is used to make food preservable. I find it very reassuring that God trusts me and you with the responsibility of stewardship for his earth and his people. He tells me: You can make a difference, with your words and actions!
So as I entered August 14th I saw there were 16 of us! More people than I had originally thought! This motivated me to clean up my share and also to have a great time. The sun was shining, there were sailboats off in the distance and we had managed to each do our part.
We had successfully picked up 83.4 lbs of waste and it was wonderful! To see people out in the park all busy, happy and committed to a great cause. So this one person learned a valuable lesson.
I urge you to try and do the same. In Gen 2,15 god specifically asks Adam and Eve to prerserve and care for his garden, that is all creation. As we enter into September – KAIROS 2021 Climate Action Month, take action and try your hand at helping out a great cause. Please visit the following website that will show actions that people can take to address the climate crisis.
Be sure to take photos of your community in action. Your photos will be shared with people around the world, and could inspire prayers and action to protect creation. (Kindly ask consent to share people’s images, and refrain from close ups of children without parent/guardian permission). Please upload your photos at http://www.SeasonofCreation.org.
Also join us as we work on cleaning up more of the Humber Bay Park shoreline with the Humber Bay Shores Condominium Association’s 24th Annual Waterfront Clean Up on September 18. Meet at 8:45am in Humber Bay Park in front of Eden Trattoria or in Humber Bay Park West to pick-up your gloves and bags. Please also follow the initiatives that the Etobicoke Climate Action group are implementing on their Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/EtobicokeClimateAction
Thank you! Michelle Brennen, September 6, 2021
More information at:
Plastic Ocean Project
The Ocean Cleanup