From Stages to Shorelines, Oh The Places You Will Go! when sustainability leads the way
From talking about microplastics on the TEDxTinHauWomen stage on October 17, to the shores of The Adventure Cleanup Challenge 2020 in Hong Kong this weekend, 24 to 26 October, the thread of environmentalism follows us everywhere we go.
The Adventure Cleanup Challenge (ACUC) is the first multi-discipline sports competition with a mission for good – help clean some of the harder to access coastal areas in Hong Kong.
Joining this year’s judging panel, I will swap high heels for footwear that can handle the remote and polluted coastal areas in Hong Kong the competing teams will be assigned. Each team is given a difficult to access, polluted coastal area in the city. Throughout the challenge they compete with each other to achieve the best results. 13 teams have signed up with names as adventurous as their undertaking: Team Earthero, Team Fastlaneswimmers, Team Dirty Dolphins…
The purpose of the challenge isn’t limited to litter collection, but also awareness, education and community engagement. Teams will be evaluated and score points based on the following criteria:
VOLUME: Number of bags of trash collected
‘EXTRA MILE’: Extra efforts made to have greater impact: from equipment procured, to applying creative means and ways to expand the team’s reach
SAFETY: Evidencing individual and team’s safety is prioritised
TEAMWORK: Showing concrete signs of teamwork and collaboration
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Raising awareness about the challenge and spreading the word
WALKING THE ECO TALK: Passion, commitment and energy teams put in place to minimise their environmental impact.
Hong Kong Island has around 80 km of coastline of which large parts are coastal cliffs. The easy accessible beach sites get cleaned on a regular basis by government services, and community organised beach clean ups. The majority of coast and cliffs are more remote and harder to reach by the general public. Trash has been collecting in these areas for years.
ACUC prides itself of being an adventurous, sporty, environmental challenge and that can mean different things for different people. Each team is assigned a site based on the members’ skills and capabilities. The purpose is for teams to feel challenged enough, whilst being able to access and perform the cleanups in a safe manner.
ACUC partners with the NGO Outward Bound Hong Kong and is sponsored by Patagonia Loke Foundation and EcoMatcher.
By engaging the sporty community in an outdoor challenge, fun and adventure are combined with practical and experiential action to raise awareness in relation to waste and coastal contamination and the personal actions we can take to minimise this in the future.
I love the spirit of athletes and adventurous people, there is an effervescent energy that sees people push their limits and break new ground – isn’t that what the environment needs right now? No matter which team comes out in first place, we already know the ocean will win.