Tourists can enjoy leisurely trips on the canals and lakes of Europe all for free; with one small condition. Green Kayak, a Denmark based non-profit organisation, is responsible for this unique initiative; it will help combat the excessive waste dumped in the water bodies across Europe.
You can paddle through exotic locations in Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Norway and help save the environment by picking up trash as you kayak. Once you book a two-person free kayak, you will be provided with life jackets and the equipment required to collect the waste.
Tobias Weber-Andersen the founder and CEO of Green Kayak spoke to USA Today in an interview discussing the perils of so much trash lying around. “In Denmark, people hang out on canals and eat pizza and unfortunately see trash floating by. You can’t take your shirt off and jump in; but you can get in a GreenKayak and make an impact,” he said.
Beginnings of the Green Kayak Initiative
This project first began in 2017 in Denmark; when almost a thousand kayak volunteers came together to collect nearly three tonnes of trash from the Copenhagen harbour in that year. Anderson also spoke of the enthusiastic volunteers saying, “The feedback from volunteers is amazing; people have been wanting to join in the fight against ocean pollution and be very hands-on.”
A total of 11 tonnes of garbage have been collected since due to the organisations continued efforts. Taking note of the potential impact such a movement would make, Green Kayak set out to expand this initiative to other cities and waterways.
Speaking of the expansion of this project, Anderson said, “We had hoped to have 30 kayaks this year; but most likely we will have around 50 spread across all of our locations”. The expansion will soon include cities like Dublin, Bergen, and Hamburg.
The amount of plastic waste that is being dumped in oceans and other water bodies has significantly jumped in recent years. Research by the environmental group Earth Day Network shows that around 8 million metric tonnes of plastic are thrown into the oceans every year.