Thanks to those that came out to support Clean Up Australia Day on the Coast Track in Royal National Park. It was a great success in so many ways.

Firstly, we were pleasantly surprised by how rubbish-free the Coast Track in Royal National Park was. We expected to find mountains of discarded water bottles and chip packets etc, but thankfully, we collected a couple of bags each of rubbish and recyclables only. Compared to previous years cleaning up at Wattamolla, it was encouraging.

Secondly, we met people along the way who were immensely grateful to us for volunteering our time to clean up the Coast Track. This always manages to put a smile on your face while sweating hard for a great cause.

Thirdly, we managed to see the storm approaching and call for a lift from Wattamolla before we became too drenched. Actually that’s not right, we were soaked by the time we reached the car park but proud of our efforts.

What did we collect?

  • Two bags of recyclables: mostly plastic drink bottles and aluminium cans with a couple of glass bottles.
  • Two bags of rubbish: chip packets, chocolate bar wrappers and lolly pop sticks. Lots of corners of muesli bars wrappers and nut packets. Plastic, plastic and more plastic from the beaches.

What did we learn?

The more accessible a location, the more rubbish it attracts. Most people who walk the Coast Track do so responsibly but like everything, the minority leave their mark.CleanUp2015_2_original-WEB

Sort all your gear in advance and remove packaging when planning a hiking and camping expedition. Packaging is designed to look good on a supermarket shelf, it has no practical use once outside the shop. It also adds weight and creates unnecessary rubbish in the bush.

Use reusable bottles. It’s amazing Australia even has a bottled water market. We have unlimited access to fresh, clean drinking water and yet we spend billions buying it in bottles.  Buy a stainless steel or strong plastic bottle you like and keep refilling it. Buy a filtration system if you feel the need. On a long hike invest in a Camelbak or similar hydration system. They are brilliant. You drink more because it’s easier and therefore stay better hydrated. It has health benefits and is better for the environment.

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