Maria Rapti @ Andrianna (Tania) Drakou
We travel to encounter new places and gain new experiences. We travel to escape our daily lives and break the mundane routines of every day. There are, however, a multitude of other reasons to travel as well. ALL FOR BLUE offered us a unique opportunity with a once in a lifetime experience on the enchanting island of Mykonos.
Our goal was to give back to the environment and the beautiful blue sea by cleaning two of the island’s majestic beaches which have recently been overly polluted by plastics. Cleaning took place both on land and in the sea. As members of the organisation’s team, along with volunteers from the island, we succeeded in gathering over one ton of pollutants from the beaches of Gialos and Ftelia.
While these numbers might seem impressive, it says more about the people behind the action. Everyone’s enthusiasm was apparent from the very beginning prompting the motivation to do the very best job possible. The result on both beaches was obvious, especially in the case of Ftelia beach which was impressively different when we left from when we arrived. There, we found every type of plastic imaginable from plastic bottles to plastic bags and from swimming gear to fishing gear. These pollutants were found both on the beach and in the water and were abhorrently visible to the naked eye. In just a few hours what seemed like a landfill was transformed into an environmental oasis.
Beyond the actions of the volunteers, there is also the acquisition of knowledge and modification of attitude. To do so All for Blue provided us, as well as the volunteers, with a seminar introducing them to the consequences plastics have on marine life, in particular sharks, leading to a train of thought and shock revolving around the irresponsible actions of man and the need to protect our seas from human abuse.
Travelling also involves having fun and no experience would be complete without it. Throughout the duration of our days the smiles and positive energy were in abundance. At the end of each day, all together, we enjoyed and shared our resting hours , as a family, by creating a safe and hospitable environment that makes everyone feel at home.
Why then volunteer for ALL FOR BLUE? Do it for the environment. Do it to give back to nature while meeting new and special people. The act of volunteering is never one sided. You too will be repaid, as ALL FOR BLUE offers love, not only to the environment but to its volunteers as well.