On September 21, 2019, the World Cleanup Day united 20 million people in 179 countries and territories. The one-day worldwide initiative is organized by a global NGO, Let’s Do It! World, and is currently one of the largest civic movements on the planet. First held in 2018, this is now becoming a welcome annual tradition.
People from all around the world, of all ages and backgrounds, in all countries and on all continents, came together and joined their forces to clean local streets, forests, beaches, and parks. World Cleanup Day 2019 started on the Pacific island of Fiji and ended 24 hours later in Hawaii. Up in the Arctic, a group of cruise operators who held their scheduled voyages in Greenland, Svalbard or Franz Josef Land participated by collecting beach waste on remote islands.
While an annual event dedicated to cleaning up is great, it is the little things we do every day that contribute to a better future. Poseidon Expeditions’ m/v Sea Spirit has a comprehensive garbage management plan compliant with international marine pollution prevention regulations. Additionally, our day-to-day initiatives onboard the vessel are aimed at cutting back on single-use plastic. Members of Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) have been involved in beach cleanups in the Arctic for almost two decades. Under the “Clean Up Svalbard” project, we encourage our passengers to help us collect beach waste during landings. Raising awareness is another important mission: our expert guest lecturers hold educational briefings and presentations about the effects of pollution on nature and wildlife.
The next World Cleanup Day will take place on 19 September 2020. Poseidon Expeditions will be on a cruise to East Greenland, most likely exploring the fjords and channels of Scoresby Sund. This is one of the places where falling in love with the Arctic is inevitable, once you see the vast, pristine landscapes, powerful but fragile musk oxen, colossal tidewater glaciers and massive iceberg fronts. Protecting the environment is no longer just a necessity, but a responsibility and a calling.