Have you ever wanted to visit an iconic Australian landmark but feel guilty about the impact on the environment and local wildlife? There is now a solution for this common dilemma. Autopia Tours have partnered with a not-for-profit, volunteer operated Tour Company; Trash Bags on Tour. With the purpose of bringing tourists and travellers to Victorian landmarks, to pick up rubbish!
The concept for Trash Bags on Tour was created in 2018 by Kathryn Farrell and Melissa Tuliranta. They were already familiar with the impact pollution was having on our coast and had started picking up rubbish at their local beaches in Melbourne, however they wanted to reach a broader audience by educating visitors about the environmental footprint people can leave on the coastline.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) Education and Activity Leader, Pete Crowcroft (also known as ‘Possum Pete’), has joined Trash Bags on Tour a number of times as they collect rubbish along the Surf Coast.
Pete speaks to Trash Bags on Tour participants about the coastal environment as well as the environmental education programs GORCC runs for local schools, and why it is so important to educate our younger generations.
On the 10th of January Trash Bags on Tour spent an hour and a half collecting rubbish at Cosy Corner, Torquay. Together they looked at the volume and types of rubbish left behind. It was an eye-opening experience for all participants as they realised just how much rubbish had been left behind.
Talking about the work that Trash Bags on Tour does, Pete said:
“Most people come to the coast for a good time, to surf and play. We always encourage people that giving something back on their visit feels great and leaves the place in a better state than when they arrived. Trash Bags do exactly that, coming on tour for a surf but cleaning up as they go.”
Although participants of the tour join with varying degrees of knowledge about environmental sustainability, they’re all given an opportunity to connect with like-minded people while educating themselves. During the tour, participants learn about small changes they can integrate into daily life that will make a difference to the environment whilst enjoying all of the sites.
Co-Director of Trash Bags on Tour, Kathryn Farrell said “I believe these tours offer so much more than just cleaning up an area, they offer a chance to think outside of oneself for a day and connect with some great likeminded people.”
Trash Bags on Tour are now running monthly trips from Melbourne to destinations such as the Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island, the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians. You can keep up to date with their upcoming tours and events via their Facebook Page.