The annual Celebration of Light in Vancouver is a great excuse to get outside and enjoy your local beach, park or shoreline. Though most everyone enjoys a good firework show, our Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup team can’t help but think of the enormous piles of litter that get left behind by the crowds heading home after the last firework explodes over English Bay.

Luckily, it’s easy for you to play your part in keeping the beach clean while taking in the spectacular fireworks competition. Follow our easy tips to skip the litter and leave no trace. The local ecosystem and the cleanup staff will be forever grateful.

  • Pick it up. After finishing your picnic on the beach, make sure to pick up the litter you’ve produced. Before the fireworks begin, and while it’s still light outside, double check that you’ve picked all of it up.
  • Don’t add your litter to an already overflowing garbage can. Wind can blow this garbage straight into a storm drain or into the water. You might be surprised to find out where our unwanted litter can end up. If a garbage can is full, don’t leave your litter next to it. Instead, hold onto the litter until you find a bin that has space for it. Worst case scenario; take your litter home to dispose in your garbage bin.

    Litter left behind after the fireworks in previous years.

    Litter left behind after the fireworks in previous years.

  • Pack a plastic-free picnic. Bring reusable cutlery, plates and cups, and reduce the amount of plastic you use to wrap your food. Pick up some handy tips from our in-house plastic-free expert Tanya.
  • Avoid unnecessary swag. During events like the Celebration of Lights, there can be a lot of freebies on offer — but do you really need another pair of plastic sunglasses? Or that plastic-wrapped candy? Think about whether it’s worth the waste before you are stuck with an arm full of giveaways you’ll never reuse again.
  • Have a positive impact. Leave your local shoreline a little cleaner by picking up one or two litter items as you leave. Go a step further by coordinating your own shoreline cleanup, anywhere land meets water. Not sure what’s involved? Read our Site Coordinator 101 or send us an email at [email protected].

Aquablog by Kate Le Souef, manager of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited and supported by Ricoh Canada and YVR, is a joint conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada. Find out more at


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