AECO’s fourth Cleanup for Sarah takes place June 11-19
This week marks the fourth year we have proudly participated in AECO’s Cleanup for Sarah, a commemorative event in honor of AECO's environmental agent Sarah Auffret. Those of us who work at our home office in Vlissingen will take part in removing rubbish around the docks and canals nearby.
During Cleanup for Sarah, we encourage our staff and followers on social media to join us in removing litter from nature areas. These efforts are meant to continue the spirit of Sarah’s work with Clean Seas, a campaign she led to remove plastic waste from the Arctic as well as reduce the use of plastics aboard Arctic cruise vessels.
Our nature cleanups usually take place on the beaches of Spitsbergen, though in recent years travel restrictions have forced us to do cleanups nearer to our headquarters in the Netherlands and other places around the globe. As world travel has restarted, we look forward to resuming our Svalbard beach cleanups with our guides and guests.
In fact, we have two upcoming trips (OTL05-22 and HDS11X22) on which we give our passengers the option of helping us clean the shores of Svalbard. On the first voyage, OTL05-22, beach cleanups are a core feature of the trip, while for HDS11X22 a single beach cleanup outing is optional for passengers who are interested in signing up. We hope to offer other trips with cleanup opportunities, which we will mention on our social media channels, website, and newsletters.
“Cleanup for Sarah is always a very positive, motivating event,” said OEX marketing manager Franklin Braeckman. “We’re continuously pleased to see how many people participate, both on our staff and among our international following on social media.”
Cans, bottles, and commercial fishing plastics count for much of the waste collected, though our staff are also used to encountering such items as helmets and crates. We’re also accustomed to getting a lot of encouragement from bystanders during Cleanup for Sarah, which gives us ample opportunities to spread awareness of the event.
Those who want to join Cleanup for Sarah can register at the dedicated AECO page and even pin the location of their efforts on an interactive map. This map displays the many other cleanups people have recorded in memory of Sarah’s years of environmental work.