As a student, they spend their most of the day in the school and they feel uncomfortable with the bad habit of students who litter in everywhere such as class room and school hall. Together as a team, they arranged a project called ”In Love With Our Beach”, based on their fresh alumni project which was YES Mendukung. This project focused on making high school students to be responsible with their trash that should go to garbage bins or trash can by being role model in their school and home. And basically, the project was to increase student’s awareness of environmental issue so they can participate on making their school and home clean.
Even though the student live in different cities, the project was still done in one place in Pasir Putih Prigi Beach in Kabupaten Trenggalek, East Java. The participants were high school students from different cities, consist of 1 student from Malang, 36 students from Blitar and 8 students from Kediri.
Pasir Putih Prigi Beach is well known in the East Java as a favorite holiday destination for domestic and international tourist. Pasir Putih Prigi Beach is surrounded by hills and it has white sand, calm wave and warm blue water which those have attracted many people to come to enjoy this beauty with their friends and family. People tend to have picnic underneath the trees therefore the garbage was seen littered along the beach because not many garbage bins was provided nearby. That’s the reason why the project was being held in Pasir Putih Prigi Beach as it has provided the real situation of the cleanness problem.
The project was opened with simple thankful words to participants for having a willingness to help on doing this project spoken by alumni. Participants were excited to do games together before doing the project. The games were meant to boost participant’s spirit and to bond each participant so they will know each other and make new friends. Participants were introducing themselves by saying their name and where they are from, it was nice to meet new people and make new friends from different places.
After having fun with the games and enthusiasm boosted, participants were ready to do the beach cleaning up. Participants were given big garbage bags. They cleaned up the beach litter along the beach line. They picked up the discomposed litters such as plastic bottle and food package then collected it in the big garbage bag. Hot weather and sunny day didn’t even bother participants to keep having enthusiasm for doing this project and keep picking up the litter. Some visitors and local people were also helping us by collecting garbage around them then giving it to participant. Participants had successfully collected around 24 big plastic bags full of garbage.
The participants were also trying to make something sustainable for this project. Something they hope can participate on keeping the beach clean even though they are not cleaning up the beach every day. They had brought some garbage bins made of bamboo with them to the beach. They put those garbage bins where there was a heap of trash dumped by visitors which they assume it might be the best place to place a garbage bins. They realize that they can’t stop people making garbage while visiting this beach, but they hope that providing garbage bins in some spots will make this beach looks more tidy and clean as the garbage is not littered but collected in the right place.
The project was ended with simple discussion and reflection about environmental issue especially about cleanness problem. After doing the project, participants realized that what they have done with cleaning up the beach has contributed something to community even though it’s not a big change but it’s still better than nothing. Participants also agreed that they are the ones who are responsibility with their garbage and should be the role model for people around them in hope of people around them will follow their simple step to be more responsible with their garbage.
The discussion and reflection were continued talking about the advantage of taking a part on volunteering activity. Seeing the beach looks better after getting cleaned up by participants has made participants satisfied with what they have done. Participants had increased their awareness of helping each other even though with a small thing but who knows it would turn to be a big benefit. Furthermore, participants didn’t doubt that volunteering is fun. They know that volunteering is not always something boring but it could be done in fun but still useful way.
The project might be so simple. But something simple doesn’t always mean useless. The seen result might be temporal. But the values that have been taught will be forever through life. They hope participants who are high school students will commit to participate on keeping their community clean and spread this spirit to others.