Bicycles, tulips and trash? When we think of the picturesque Dutch capital city, we don’t usually imagine the rubbish. However, the Gemeente removes around 3,500kg of waste from the canals each day, as well as thousands of bikes from the canals each year.
World Clean Up Day is one solution to tackling the growing problem of waste in Amsterdam, and on Saturday, 16 September, ISA Grade 11 and 12 students took part in this year’s World Clean Up Day, working hard to clean canals in the areas around the Rijksmuseum in the south of the city.
World Cleanup Day
World Cleanup Day first began in 2018 and has since become the “biggest peacetime civic movement in history”. Each year, millions of volunteers across the world unite to raise awareness of the global waste mismanagement crisis, harnessing “the power of the people” to clean up litter and waste from city streets to forest nature reserves. According to the World Cleanup Day organisation, last year, in 2022, an astonishing 14.8 million people took part across 190 countries and territories. Through cooperation and collaboration, this annual initiative strives to create a cleaner planet for current and future generations.
ISA students have taken part in World Clean Up Day for the past three years. CAS Coordinator and Drama teacher Julia Watson who joins the students on the Clean Up each year, said, “ISA students were able to engage with the city of Amsterdam in a new way by helping to keep the city tidy. Taking part in World Clean Up Day was a way for the students to realise that even small amounts of litter or thoughtless throwing away of rubbish can have an impact on the space around them.”
Community at the Heart
As citizens of the local and global community, ISA strives to create a sustainable future, through our belief that empathy inspires action and positive impact. We encourage our community to take part in a variety of service and sustainability projects, from helping to fund the construction of a school in Ghana to both attending and hosting peace and sustainability conferences and participating in local green projects. World Clean Up Day was an opportunity for ISA students to engage with their local community and take action to create a greener environment.