World Earth Day! And how one Dutch guy is cleaning the oceans

Today, Sunday 22 April 2018 is World Earth Day. Earth Day has been celebrated since the 1970’s but has only been globally recognized since 2009 when the UN announced in a resolution that 22 April would be the International Day of Mother Earth. The resolution encourages humanity to live in harmony with nature. As we know, living in harmony with nature has been proven to be a big deal for us earthlings in the past few decades. More and more research proves to us that the way we’re treating Mother Earth isn’t sustainable. And frankly, the lack of thought when it comes to taking care of our beautiful planet is coming to bite us in the bum.

World Earth Day: No more plastic!

We’ve polluted the waters with so much shit, like all kinds of plastic and polyester, that we’re paying the price for that now. From microplastics in bottled water to polyester fibers found in fish, we’re reaping what we sowed. This year’s theme of Earth Day is therefore very appropriate; End Plastic Pollution.

Throughout the country there’ll be lots of (FREE!) things to do, like all kinds of walks, workshops and planting trees. Have a look here for a complete overview.

Ocean Cleanup – about time…

Besides reducing the amount of plastic we use in our daily lives, there are also plans to clean up the ocean. Most of you have probably heard something about this crazy guy that invented some sort of vacuum cleaner type tube to try and clean up the ocean. This crazy idea has actually been developed into a real plan to do what the founder set out to do. The founder of The Ocean Cleanup project, Dutchie Boyan Slat, has set out to reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans by 50% in 5 years.

Boyan Slat?

Boyan was just a young boy when he came up with the idea to create a massive vacuum-cleaner-like technique that would allow him to suck every bit of plastic from the water. The idea started small but is now a worldwide project that is backed by world leaders globally. TIME Magazine called Boyan’s idea ”One of the world’s best inventions of 2015”, and NBC said that this is “The first real plan to try to clean things up”. The funding for the project has done so well, over 20 million euros, that Boyan and his team have decided to pull the clean-up a year forward. Boyan and his international team of volunteers and researchers will start in 2019 with the incredible ocean clean-up.

We don’t all have to go that far with our efforts to make the world a better place, but we sure as hell should be extremely proud that this young Dutch guy didn’t give up on his idea and is well on his way to make world history. Our kids and grandkids could very well be reading about him in their history books one day. On a day like today, where we pledge to take a tiny little bit more care of Mother Earth it’s good to remember that every small idea can grow into something life-changing. Go Boyan!


Janneke Hazelaar
Janneke Hazelaar
Janneke is a true digital nomad, business owner, translator and writer. Born and raised in the Netherlands, calling Rotterdam home. She has a master’s degree in Law and specialises in legal translations. She tries to have a location free life as much as possible which has lead her to Perth, Western Australia (for now).


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