Venice Beach is located on the Southern California coastline, and is adorned with waves that majestically break on its shores. Additionally, it is flanked by myriad shopping and entertainment spots; that lure revelers who throng to the beach on sporting and recreational excursions. Incidentally, the scores of people who visit the beach, form the bandwagon of unscrupulous individuals who litter the beach with all sorts of materials; that cause harm to the environment. The insensitivity of people to the environment, is what prompted a clean up drive of the Venice Beach, which was done on November 19th 2011 from 10 am to 12 noon.
People nowadays link volunteer work with unemployment, and not as an act of charity the way it should be perceived (Straub 31). Volunteer work or volunteering is a non- obligatory activity, which is undertaken in an organized setting, has no monetary remuneration, and is done for the benefit of society (Decker and Halman 1). It is an act that one engages in out of philanthropy, without expecting anything in return.
According to Decker and Halman, “volunteering is not just an expression of individual engagement and spontaneous result of community life; it is often consciously organized and managed and It can be made an object of policy making” (1). When people engage in socially responsible community work like beach cleaning, they provide an impetus for the government to institute legislations, which curb wanton pollution of the environment.
On our arrival at the beach, we were appalled by its wanting state with regard to sanitation. The beach was cluttered with materials that were majorly composed of pieces of cigarette butts, bottles of water, cups and papers. Conventional wisdom dictates that trash should be safely disposed by putting any waste that is a remnant of consumption into in litter cans; that are conventionally placed on strategic points on the beach. Seemingly, beach-goers have become oblivious of the need to keep the beach clean for it to be safe for everyone to visit.
The process was carried out professional, by the use of safety gear such as gloves and safety boots. Everyone was equipped with a waiver sheet and a trash bag or waste bucket, where all the litter was placed. There were also drinks for everyone to take, incase one was parched. Clearly, there was a lot of fun in the entire exercise, because people were merrily taking pictures of stuff the picked up. There was concerted effort by everyone in the entire exercise, and it was heartily conducted in a space of two hours; that culminated with a lottery to reward a randomly picked the participant in the group.
The two hour exercise which some might consider an ordeal; because of handling filthy things disposed by people, filled the entire group was with ecstasy. Arguably, this was attributed to the fact that the group managed to restore the lost glory of the beach, by giving it a rejuvenated look of sparkling white sand.
It is incumbent upon everyone, to make sure that the environment is always protected from defilement by the human race; which is always throwing caution to the wind, and ignoring the importance of having an ecosystem that is pollution free. Sadly enough, people still give environmental activists a deaf ear; despite the issue of global warming that is already with us. Therefore, there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way we view the world we live in.
Environmental conservation and economic growth are forever inseparable and entangled issues, whose effects are far reaching. From kindergarten all the way to college level, school curriculums should be designed to make students aware of the repercussions of environmental degradation, and should not be left only to the corporate world and the government. Through the clean up exercise, we are made to understand how we can assist in environmental protection, through simple acts like putting trash where it ought to be.
Cities and towns should exercise their autonomy in the enactment of laws, which deter the proliferation of environmental pollution; by imposing fines on individuals or organizations that are hell-bent on altering the natural state of the ecosystem. In beaches for instance, there should be supervisors to ensure that all litter bins are emptied in a timely fashion, to avert the temptation of careless disposal of waste occasioned by filled up trash cans. The corporate world also needs to step up its effort in the conservation of the environment, by adhering to laws that require it to give back to society; by making sure that a substantial percentage of its profits, are directed towards environmental care.
Decker, Paul, and Halman, Loek. The Values of Volunteering: Cultural Perspectives. New York: Plenum Publishers, 2003. Print.
Straub, Susanne. Volunteering and Social Inclusion: Interrelations between Unemployment and Civic Engagement in Germany and Great Britain. Bremen: Dissertation Universitat, 2008. Print.