Protecting the Whitsundays: Hamilton Island’s Beach Clean Posted by Gemma Christie - 12 December 2014 Next time you find yourself flying into Hamilton Island, whether it be for a holiday with kids or a luxury romantic getaway, take a quick look around the plane as you begin to land. Faces of all ages are pressed against the window. Eyes are wide. Mouths drop in awe. No matter how many times you’ve seen it before, soaring above the Whitsundays is nothing short of awe inspiring. Azure blues blend into vibrant shades of aqua. Islands dot the watery expanse lined by pure white beaches. Flying over this natural wonder makes you proud to be Australian. For visitors, they must look at Aussies and think, “wow, how beautiful is your backyard?!” The swirling beauty of Hill Inlet. That’s right. It is – and we love it. The iconic natural beauty on and surrounding Hamilton Island is one of the main reasons why thousands of visitors travel to the premier island resort every year. Located at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the island is the ideal base for anyone wanting to explore the Whitsundays, the famed Whitehaven Beach, and the reef itself. The Great Barrier Reef from above. Howwever, Hamilton Island’s pristine Great Barrier Reef positioning also comes with great responsibility. It is pristine and the challenge is to keep it that way – today, tomorrow and for many generations to come. Beach Clean Up Day team collects 740 kgs of rubbish The Hamilton Island team yesterday decided to tackle this challenge head on. They pulled on the gloves. Pulled out the garbage bags. They prepared themselves to get dirty. Seventeen of Hamilton Island’s residents and staff ventured out on vessels donated by Fishi, HIE and John & Liz Hickling on a Beach Clean Up Day. Heading to a number of beaches on Hamilton Island, Dent Island and Whitsunday Island, the group collected over 740kg of debris and rubbish. If you’re trying to visualise exactly how much rubbish we’re talking about, that’s the same weight as approximately seven baby elephants!! Hamilton Island residents and staff heading out to clean up the Whitsunday beaches. “I am only one, but I am one” – everyone can make a difference A huge thank you goes out to all involved. This waste will no longer end up washed up on our beaches. It won’t be swallowed by wildlife. It won’t end up strangling and polluting our Great Barrier Reef. Every single piece of rubbish picked up yesterday makes a difference. This quote from renowned author Edward Everett Hale summarises it perfectly: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Australia’s love of waste – all 18 million tonnes of it! Sadly, Australia is one of the highest waste producers in the world. According to Living Smart QLD, we produce over 18 million tonnes of waste per year—the equivalent of three million garbage trucks full of compacted rubbish. Each Australian family contributes enough rubbish each year to fill a three-bedroom house from floor to ceiling. It’s devastating to think this rubbish is polluting our pristine Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef. Although the waste issue can seem overwhelming, we can all do our small part to reverse this trend. Hamilton Island’s Beach Clean Up effort. Get involved If 17 people can collect 740kg of waste in a day, imagine the impact we could make if we all did our small part to reduce consumption and deal with our waste responsibly. The next Beach Clean Up day will be held in January so keep an eye out for details on noticeboards around the island for details and get involved. Together let’s make sure flying across the Whitsundays remains nothing short of awe inspiring! For more information on Hamilton Island’s Beach Clean Up, contact Nicole Newman: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hero image supplied thanks to Jeremy Somers, We Are Handsome. About the Author As Hamilton Island’s Communications Manager, Gemma is passionate about both writing and all things to do with Hamilton Island tropical island paradise. Sharing all the news, insights and interesting stories from the destination perfectly combines both loves. When not writing, Gemma can be found dancing for no reason, going out for breakfast, soaking up the beach or spending time with her family doing all of the above.