Volunteering with The SeaCleaners: Styve’s commitment
Why and how does one become a volunteer with The SeaCleaners? What do the teams bring to the community? How do you get involved?
Read the testimony of Styve, a recently arrived volunteer with The SeaCleaners. He talks about his commitment, his career path, and his role within the association.
What are the actions you implement with The SeaCleaners?
I am a volunteer in the Paris area. I have already carried out individual or small group actions such as the ‘No cigarette butts day’ with the City of Paris on the Champs Elysées. We spent the morning collecting cigarette butts and presenting the association and our actions to the onlookers who asked us questions. People were very surprised to see us collecting butts even though we were not cleaning agents of the City of Paris. They came to talk to the groups to learn more about what we were doing. And this led to very rich discussions about the ecological impacts of cigarettes. I also participated in a recycling day in Courbevoie where I drove awareness activities and presented the association with other volunteers.
What is the purpose of these awareness-raising activities?
Raising awareness helps people to project themselves into the the idea that everyone is capable of doing something. It also allows us to create a loop between generations: educating parents and children alike so that they spread the message. It is important to make everyone aware that small day-to-day actions do matter and can make a difference. We are not here to lecture but to explain the effects of waste and the way we deal with it: cigarette butts or plastic for example. We explain that The SeaCleaners’ clean-up boats can play a fundamental role in cleaning the oceans and that, at the same time, everyone can also act upstream at his or her own level.
How do you know when you are on the field that your awareness objective is being reached?
When people approach us and ask for more information. The human side is very important to get the message across and it is the discussion that can lead to change.
In your opinion, how can we go further in the education process against plastic marine pollution?
Some schools are developing the sorting of food waste to create composting. There is also a bigger emphasis on the relationship between humans, animals and nature. Promoting these actions and making them available to a wider public would be interesting to develop. We must succeed in extending this kind of actions everywhere so that everyone can have an equal access and can benefit from them. It is also necessary to set up more indicators so that people know how to carry out actions (in the districts, in the cities, etc) and where to go to carry them out. It is necessary to inform people about the channels that exist and those that need to be created to improve recycling actions for example or those that are available to act against pollution.
Why and how did you join The SeaCleaners?
I used to be a member of the Green Party in France, but I needed a more concrete involvement. I came across documentaries about marine litter and I became particularly interested in the issue. That’s how I discovered The SeaCleaners. I come from the island of Guadeloupe (Caribbean islands) , which is strongly impacted by climate change. It made me aware of the issue from a very young age. Getting involved with The SeaCleaners brought together my ideological background and the desire to take action on the ground.
What do you appreciate the most about The SeaCleaners?
I like the human side the most. The actors of the association know why they are here, everything is clear and we know why we are acting. The discussion is open and there is a mix between the interest for the events that we lead and the people with whom we support the association. There is a lot of diversity, which I like a lot, and it helps to boost the motivation.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get involved in the association?
At The SeaCleaners, the ways of action are very concrete, we try to fulfill our objectives to the most. All our endeavors are coherent, everyone can carry out operations around their home and find importance in them. It is important to understand that we can transform these enterprises into fun activities. Mixing usefulness and pleasure is a great feeling!
“Everyone must assert their sensitivity to the subject of ecology and find ways to develop it within the association. The SeaCleaners is first and foremost about people, and everyone has a place in it!”
Like Styve, you want to join The SeaCleaners team as a volunteer? Sign up right here!