Taking Action – the Adventure Clean-Up

Wednesday 23 October 2019

How far would you go to pick up some trash? Sacrifice your free Sunday? Rappel down a cliff face? Ever since launching the PollutionmapHK.com  back in early 2018, there was discussion about what would be the best next action step. Mapping trash along Hong Kong Islands coastline is great – but recording it alone does not change the Status Quo. In October 2017 we asked a couple of friends to help us on a Saturday afternoon to clean out a small cove along the coast. The result was amazing – in 4 hours thirty volunteers collected 230 trash bags and made a small bay pretty again. What if this could be done even bigger? Under the leadership of my wife Esther together with her partner Sole Riestra, they launched the project “Adventure Clean-Up Challenge” . The worlds first multi discipline sports challenge with an environmental purpose – or think Spartan race for doing good. Over eight months they bootstrapped an amazing event – thankfully generously supported by Patagonia and JPMorgan. The event launched in May 2019 – over the course of a month six teams, fought for victory. The aim was not just to clean the most adventurous site along Hong Kong’s coast (no, not the beaches but the remote cliffsites that see trash accumulate for year, but also to magnify the impact by sharing the issue of plastic and coastal pollution in schools and friends. The creativity was mind blowing – best summarised in a short video clip: The results speak for themselves: 1327 trash bags collected 2 Tonnes of bulky items removed 840 volunteer hours Here is a link to a video clip by the SCMP about the team “Filipino Dynamites” – it went viral – More than 500,000 in the first 24 hours. In fact the event was so successful, that Esther and Sole are hard at work to create the next version of the event. Even bigger! Even more impactful! Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. PS: Recently also the HK government Esther & Sole were named Clean Shorelines Heroes 2019 for their work on the Adventure Clean Up Challenge.

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