Karen Jenner lives on the East Coast of Canada in beautiful Nova Scotia near the iconic Bay of Fundy. She grew up there going to the beach now and then to walk along the shore and to enjoy the view. But that view wasn’t always flawless, ocean garbage is often washed up by the well known tides in the bay, and she would see every kind of plastic you can think of end up there; from fishing garbage, such as rope and lobster bands, to household items, including bottle caps, plastic cutlery and plastic bottles.
For the longest time she ignored it as many people who visit a beach do. Then about a year ago she decided she was going to do something about it. “I don’t know how it happened or why,” she said. “Seeing the amount of plastic on the beach for some reason, it just struck a chord with me, and I decided I’m going to collect as much as I can for as long as I can.” That is how she began a journey that would see her collect a massive amount of ocean garbage and remove it from that ecosystem. See, in that year or so of collecting she’s taken home more than 2,200 kilograms worth of trash. If your math is a little rusty that is over 4,400 lbs or 2 tonnes of garbage.
The worst part? She says it’s not enough; “It’s a drip in the bucket,” she said. “There could be 100 of me out doing this, and yet the trash would still be coming in. There’s just so much in the water.” Yet she keeps going out two or three times a week and bringing back as much as she can using 5 gallon buckets to collect the garbage. What does she do with it? Well, first she brings it home, then she sorts it, then she photographs it for posting on her Facebook Page – Nova Scotia Beach Garbage Awareness.
Why does she catalogue the garbage? To showcase the breadth of the issue. It’s hard to go through her photos and not feel the true weight of the problem and realize that something needs to be done. Though it might also seem overwhelming to see how much garbage there is in the ocean, you are not alone in that, even Jenner sometimes feels the same. But she says she’s been able to overcome those moments by focusing on how her cleanups are removing hazards for local birds and marine life, and how her example can inspire other people to stage cleanups of their own.
And that is why this is your Good News Story of the Day; the hope to inspire others to go out and make a change in the world. The opportunities are abundant, from feeding the poor, to tending the sick, to visiting the old, to cleaning up our world for the generations to come and the wildlife that live here with us. You can be a keeper of God’s world without too much effort. As Karen Jenner said, “You don’t need to go and come back with 100 pounds, or 100 things. All you need to do is, if you see something where it shouldn’t be, pick it up, and anybody can do that.”
Find out more about her and her efforts here.
Story and Image from CBC.