On September 24, 2016, I had the opportunity to lead a team of 10 students to the annual U of T Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. This event gave U of T students from all three campuses an opportunity to register, either as a part of a team, or individually, and help cleanup one of the three chosen beaches in the GTA.
As part of a team from the St. George campus, all of us took out about six hours from our Saturday to visit Woodbine Beach and work with the Centre for Community Partnerships (CCP) & the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to clean up. When we arrived at the beach, I was skeptical about my team finding a lot of trash as we were a pretty large group of 150-200 students. However, in about a couple of hours, our small team of 10 managed to collect about 250 cigarette butts, 100-150 pieces of glass, food wrappers and a lot more. I was surprised by the kind of things people left at the beach. Things ranged from small items such as a Tim Horton’s cup and bottle caps to large appliances such as a cooking grill. Something that shocked me even more was finding so many pieces of glass at a place where so many people, including children, walk barefoot and can easily get hurt.
Participating in this cleanup was an amazing experience as I got the opportunity to lead a team, make new friends, and make a difference in the process. This event made me realize that if a small group of 10 managed to collect so much trash, imagine how much trash we could dispose off if all of us started cleaning up, not only after ourselves, but also after others who littered somewhere. Small steps like calling someone out for littering may help as maybe next time, they’d think twice before doing it.
To conclude, I would strongly encourage all of you to participate in the CCP’s Community Days throughout the year. The next one is coming up on October 9th where they will be joining the North York Harvest Food Bank for their Fall Food drive! For more details about this event, please visit ccp.utoronto.ca and sign up for their newsletter at http://utoronto.us8.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=777eda4c4cb19f018d7e069eb&id=430dc811f8.
– Media & Communications Assistant, Office of the Dean of Students
The team took a little break to take a selfie!