Clean Up Australia inspires and works with people to clean up, fix up and conserve our environment and below are just a few examples of how communities and individuals have been involved with Clean Up Australia Day.
Business Clean Up sites can vary greatly; some businesses use the day to Clean Up a local area, park, beach or creek whereas others use it as Clean Up their own office space and kick start environmental programs.
The team at House Call Doctor are out every night providing urgent after-hours medical care to residents in Queensland. On Tuesday 28th February, the team swapped doctors bags for rubbish bags to participate in Clean Up Australia Business Day.
Which areas did House Call Doctor clean up?
A team of House Call Doctors and their chaperones took to the streets throughout Townsville, Ipswich and Hervey Bay, to clean up the local environment.
"We focused the clean-up efforts in popular parklands, around playgrounds and shared BBQ facilities," said Craig Glover, Chief Operations Officer at House Call Doctor. "Our aim for Clean Up Australia Day was to reduce some of the rubbish that could be hazardous for children and families."
Our teams cleaned some of the most popular parks in Queensland, including Strand Park along the beach in Townsville, Queens Park in Ipswich, and the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens.
What items were found during the clean up?
All of the parks that House Call Doctor focused on cleaning are regularly used by families for picnics, parties and other celebrations. As such, lots of the rubbish collected during Clean Up Australia Day was recreational in nature, including:
"Clean Up Australia Day was an important reminder that even during a celebration, people need to be mindful of the waste left in parks and public spaces," said Craig.
Lots of the rubbish that House Call Doctor collected was very small, like straws and bottle caps, but even tiny pieces of waste can cause considerable damage to natural ecosystems.
How did the community hear about the event?
House Call Doctor's participation in the Business Clean Up Day drew lots of media attention to a very worthy cause. Media outlets such as River 949 radio Ipswich, Townsville Bulletin newspaper, and Channel 7 and WIN local television news covered the event.
"House Call Doctor helps to keep the community healthy by night, and we were very happy to contribute to a healthier and safer community as part of Clean Up Australia Day," said Craig.
Since 2010, Latitude Gallery in Geraldton, Western Australia has been holding a Flotsam and Jetsam exhibition with rubbish collected during their Clean Up Australia Day effort. It is their way of trying to minimise landfill and help spread awareness to the community that what they throw into the ocean doesn't just disappear.
Zanah Banes, Gallery Manager at Latitude Gallery shares her Clean Up experience
Where do you conduct your Clean Ups? Why there?
We conduct our clean up at the Abrolhos Islands which are approximately 70km off the coast of Geraldton, Western Australia. We chose the island because Pia Boschetti, "the girl that grows the pearls" (the gallery owner) has a strong connection to the Islands. She was married there, her pearl farm is there and her family has camped there all her life.
What is the most unusual item you've come across?
The most unusual items we have come across are dolls heads and bed parts.
How long you've participated in Clean Up?
We have officially participated in Clean Up Australia for three years. However the fisherman and pearl farmers of the Islands have had collection points and cleaned the surrounding waters of the Abrolhos Islands for just over ten years now.
Who else is involved?
We try and have the entire community involved. Friends of the gallery and family members of the gallery staff are all invited to help out.
And tell us about the recycling (Art). Once we collect all the rubbish we take it to the Geraldton Wharf and invite local aspiring and established artists to come and take any pieces they may think they can make art out of. The artists have a month to design their pieces and then we hold the ‘Flotsam and Jetsam' exhibition that runs for a month. It is a not for profit event and Latitude Gallery provides a $1000 gift voucher as first prize. Surrounding businesses such as Karl Monaghan Photography also donate prizes for the Artists.
The exhibition always raises the same questions; "Is that really rubbish?" and "Did you really find this in the ocean?" Unfortunately the answer is always yes. This is a large part of our motivation. Clean waters are so important not only for our business, but for the sustainability of this planet.