For most of us, a new year resolution ends up being an unfulfilled promise to yourself. But, a 70-year-old grandmother from the UK has cleaned up 52 British beaches in 2018 – to keep up with her new year resolution of cleaning up one beach each week.
‘Action Nan’ kept a beach-cleaning diary
Pat Smith, an active environmental activist, is now known as ‘Action Nan’ for cleaning 52 popular beaches in Devon and Cornwall in the south-west of UK. She collected plastic, rubber and other non-biodegradable items discarded at the beach by the visitors. Every week in 2018, one would find her in a different British beach, armed with trash bags, rubber gloves and a small garbage picker. Her contagious enthusiasm sometimes inspired her family, friends or other volunteers to join her.
As reported by Daily Mail UK, Pat Smith maintained a beach-cleaning diary online chronicling her day-to-day experiences during the yearlong campaign. She has detailed about the nature of pollution at each of the 52 beaches, most of which are battling plastic menace. At times, Smith has expressed her frustration over the callousness of the visitors who litter rampantly.
“It is so disappointing when I cleared the same beach last week and find it in a worse state this week,” she shared a Week 11 excerpt from her diary with Mother Nature Network. Sometimes, onlookers would mistake her for any petty offender doing community service as her penalty, but Pat Smith’s determination remained unperturbed. “Doing 52 beach cleans in 2018 was my New Year’s Resolution and it’s finally done. I won’t stop, as our beaches need me,” she wrote after accomplishing the 2018 resolution.
No plans of stopping
Smith is the owner of a bed-and-breakfast inn at Cornwall and also founded an environmental awareness group ‘Final Straw Cornwall’ which is actively campaigning to stop plastic straw usage in the area. In 2017, watched the award-winning documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’ – where the unfiltered presentation of marine pollution scared her to the core. Being a part of the generation which gave rise to the plastic revolution, she felt responsible for the menace and decided to do something at the earliest. That was how her 2018 operation was planned.
Pat Smith has no plan of stopping now, as she aims to continue her beach-cleaning drive in 2019. Talking about her 2019 agenda, Smith appeals to all to try being more thoughtful in this coming year.
Pat Smith believes that picking up litters is not the ultimate solution. She feels that politicians and lawmakers should come forward to address this issue. “A closed-loop system needs to be developed so that single-use plastics must be recyclable and have an end of life reuse programmed in so they never become waste,” she shared on her online journal.
Efforts For Good applauds the amazing initiative by Pat Smith at such an age. We believe her work would inspire people of all ages globally to protect their beaches.