Cleanup Diary: 14 November 2014

Singaporean International School with Liina Klaus

We knew that engaging 80 school kids on the beach at Pak Kok might be a bit of a challenge. Previous experience had shown that some kids just don’t want to pick up trash even when you’re standing there holding a bag for them.
Artist Liina Klaus showed a very simple technique to make sure that all the kids were participating fully. Instead of asking them to pick up trash, organise them into groups and ask them to pick up a colour.
Very soon we saw the yellow team, blue team, green team, orange team, pink team and purple team all hard at work, with others ridding the beach of black and white debris.
The trash comes in all colours and making it a bit of a competition ensured that the kids were motivated to their task. Once collected, they were tasked with arranging the rubbish to form a rainbow collage. This is an excellent way to get people to connect to the trash. it is looked at and photographed – and the efforts of the students could be admired in a way that is not possible if it is simply scooped up, put in a black plastic bag and sent to landfill.
While the kids were having their lunch, we talked about how they could make sure that their mealtimes were plastic free. They were invited to look at their packed lunches and count how many pieces of plastic they had brought with them to the beach that day. They were also invited to share ideas on how they could do things differently in future to cut the trash from their lunch boxes.