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The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup lives by the four Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle. Our volunteers do the same. Every year, we hear incredible stories of volunteers reusing materials found during shoreline cleanups.

Here are just a few examples of the creativity and resourcefulness shown by our volunteers this year.

Foamy Insulation

Insulating the floor of a cabin with freshly cut foam blocks from the beach.

Linda Leith and her partner often find large amounts of foam while cleaning the beaches of Naikoon Provincial Park, near Masset, BC. They saw the negative impact foam was having on the environment when it broke down into tiny pieces, but they also realized that this plastic still had incredible potential.

They decided to start slicing the foam into blocks using a hot wire slicing guillotine borrowed from their neighbour. As it turned out, these new blocks acted perfectly as insulation during the construction of their new cabin. An amazing ripple effect occurred and now the slicing guillotine is passed along to others in the community to use.

New Boxing Gloves, Anyone?

These gloves still got plenty of punch!

Each month, Outreach Specialist Susan Debreceni hosts a shoreline cleanup for fellow social innovators and community members. Cleanups take place along the surrounding streets and alleyways of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup’s Toronto office located in the Centre for Social Innovation.

As a successful season of monthly cleanups came to a close, her team spotted a brand new pair of boxing gloves still in  original packaging. The gloves soon found a home with a friend of one of the volunteers.  Perfect timing, as well as a great reminder to donate unwanted sports gear and clothing instead of trashing it.

Pop Cans into Crafts

This year, Earth Rangers members across the country hosted more than 400 shoreline cleanups through the Shoreline Savers mission. A few creative members reused pop cans as model rafts. Once shoreline litter is cleaned, it can become awesome materials for arts and crafts projects.

Floating on Trash 

About five years ago, Jeff Osenenko started collecting foam cylinders and large fishing buoys from the shorelines of Kyuquot, on Vancouver Island, with a plan to build a foundation for a new home. When building the foundation, he made sure to wrap all the foam in industrial-grade garbage bags so that no foam made its way back to the environment. In total, he collected over 40 floats, which support over 10 tonnes of weight, aka his new floating home.

 

This floating home is supported by a foundation made of floats and foam found on shorelines.

Have you ever reused shoreline litter? We would love to hear your story. Send photos and stories to shorelinecleanup@ocean.org or share with us on social media using #shorelinecleanup #shorelinelitterhacks.

See you on your shoreline!

 The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, is one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. A conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and WWF-Canada, the Shoreline Cleanup aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through cleanups. Find out more at www.shorelinecleanup.ca.

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