Members of ABRU joined Helsinki Voluntary Work Beach Bee on May 4th in Lapinlahti

Out of sight, out of mind? Not on our watch! Tom Jilbert, Mari Joensuu and Mareike Paul helped to clean the beach in Lapinlahti

Saturday, 4th May at 11 a.m. in Helsinki: busy bees gathered in Lapinlahti to do something good for nature. Among those busy bees were ABRU members Mareike Paul, Mari Joensuu and Tom Jilbert. As of March 2019, Mari started a new job as environmental planner in the Baltic Sea Challenge at the City of Helsinki. Mari and her new colleagues co-organized the beach cleaning event, which is part of the Clean Beach Programme.

ABRU Group members (left to right): Tom Jilbert, Mari Joensuu and Mareike Paul

Unsurprisingly, soon after Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki opened the beach cleaning event, the eager volunteers found what they were looking for.  

Yet again, the event has shown how important it is not to look away: cigarette filters, different kinds of plastic packaging, glass fragments and even larger items like parts of fences and trolleys were in our catch. Not only that litter is harmful and possibly lethal to flora and fauna of both land and sea, some of the objects turn out to still be in working order. And even if not fully functional anymore, litter can still be recycled, as demonstrated by Tikke Tuura, who makes art of what we dump into the environment, or by the Cleaning Women – a band who turns discarded material (mostly metal) into instruments.

Nevertheless, the main goal of an event like this is to wake up society and to take measures to both avoid waste and to recycle before dumping, because one thing we shouldn’t forget is, whatever we thought of as left behind, it surely will come back to us in one way or the other.

This event was organized and supported by the Baltic Sea Challenge, the City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division, Lapinlahden Lähde, the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE as well as THE SATAKOLKYT project and the Metsätuokio wilderness guides.