Simply cleaning our beaches, brick by eco-brick

We live in a scary world, life is challenging as it is without having to deal with crime, illness, over population and climate change – to name but a few. I feel like we wake up with blinkers. We are scared of acknowledging problems; we only see what we want to see.

Last weekend I joined hands with a group of people who see the world differently. They have no blinkers. They embrace problems and create opportunity and solutions. I joined hands with Ali and his team from UPCycle Project in Muizenberg for a beach clean-up. This was no ordinary beach clean-up; it changed the way I see things.

UPCycle Project normally collects leftover food from shops, restaurants and events and distributes it to the less fortunate. With 30% of the world’s food going to waste there should be no reason for any child to go hungry.

This past weekend the guys from UPcycle Projects did something different. They used their resources of food and an amazing Italian chef to encourage people from all backgrounds to get involved and clean the beach.

Eco-bricks … nailed it!

Each person had to fill a plastic bottle with non-recyclable rubbish, compacting it with a stick, and then hand it to Candice, a member of UPcycle Projects who has an amazing way of engaging with people, especially kids. Candice checked that each bottle was full and compact before giving the person a meal.

I soon learnt that these compact bottles are called eco-bricks. I had heard about this concept, but never really understood the real value. Not only are these bricks used for building schools and houses, they are also educating people about litter, recycling and our environment.

The secret to saving our environment is two-fold: Firstly, we need to actively care for and protect it and secondly, we need to educate younger generations.

I have become a massive fan of eco-bricks and plan to adopt the concept at home. Instead of throwing everything in the bin it might just find its way into a bottle and then potentially help to build a school. Now that makes me excited!

If you want to learn more, follow Waste-ED and UPcycle Projects on Facebook.

Not only was I humbled by the clean-up, I was reminded about the power of people working together, sharing skills and resources to make a difference.  It was awesome to have our friends and soon-to-be clients from Simply with us on the day. Anthony and the team sponsored the signage that we had up on the beach to let everyone know what we were doing.

Simply has a fantastic product that makes it easy for domestic workers to access life insurance products so that their families are protected if they are unable to work due to death or illness. These guys have really good hearts and are changing the way we buy life insurance in South Africa for the better.

Thank you Simply for making this clean-up possible. Its time to create inclusion rather than exclusion.

Blake brings a lot of energy, passion and heart into everything he does. He is extremely passionate about our country, it’s people and the environment. He is based in Cape Town and is happiest when he is running around exploring the beauty of the mountains.