A PAIR of intrepid young eco-adventurers are planning to set foot on every Eastern Cape beach sometime just after Christmas as part of a 3000km coastal clean-up walk stretching from the far north-west shore of South Africa to the north-east.
Camilla Howard and Michael Baretta are going to walk from one side of South Africa, starting at Alexander Bay near Port Nolloth, to the other along the coastline, ending at Kosi Bay in Mozambique – an estimated pace of 20-30km per day, and a total of 3-million steps over the next seven months.
The two started the "Trekking for Trash" initiative after realising how much litter goes unnoticed.
"South Africans need to learn about the effects litter could have on us and our environment, hence the education of communities along the way. We want people to help us make a difference," Howard said.
She and Baretta share a desire to make South Africa a better place whilst satisfying a need for adventure: "After having completed various adventures, including barefoot Kilimanjaro, I realised that I only really grow as a person when I am pushed beyond my boundaries and taken out of my comfort zone," she said.
The modern-day social change adventurers have quit their jobs to undertake the trek, and will be doing beach clean-ups and school visits along the way. They leave this week and expect to reach Port Elizabeth just after Christmas.
As well as collecting and recycling litter, they plan to educate communities along the way and raise funds for informal waste collectors.
"People have stopped seeing the litter, so we knew we had to do something bold to make people conscious of it again," said Baretta. "We have put our lives on hold so we can make a difference and do something we are truly passionate about. We believe strongly in the 'broken window' theory and that by cleaning up our country, we can make it a better place to live in."
Packaging company Nampak and other firms are sponsoring the walk.