“The Earth’s Call,” by Julienne Reblora

“The Earth’s Call,” by Julienne Reblora, Hougang Sec Red Cross Unit

All my life, I’ve never seen a polluted beach. All the beaches I have ever seen were in beach resorts which are kept clean by hired help. As a volunteer with the International Coastal Cleanup, however, our school’s Red Cross Unit gave me the opportunity to be part of the all the beach cleaning action.

Initially, we only found bits and pieces of styrofoam. Penetrating deeper into the swampy area, however, my golly, you wouldn’t believe it – we discovered a LOT of styrofoam had been washed into the mangrove! My group got very excited as the day progressed because we found more and more styrofoam and the pieces got bigger and bigger. Engrossed in the activity, we wanted to finish collecting it all, but a lot of styrofoam was stuck in inaccessible areas.

We gathered all our debris and recorded the weight and the number of pieces collected. Other trash items included barrels, fish nets, plastics and so on. It was surprising to see that beaches are polluted by so much trash.

This experience opened my eyes to what’s happening around me. We are so preoccupied with unnecessary things – don’t forget that there’s a world out there that needs attention. It needs our help. We were the ones that brought bad changes to the environment, but we are also the hope for a better and cleaner world. The Earth is the only inhabitable planet. The future lies in our hands.

Let us work together to make a difference; this is the best gift we can give to Mother Earth, who has sustained us and nurtured us for a long time. Change in the society starts in each one of us, so do your part!

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