Leave no trace is one of the most important values of vanlife.
As nature quickly becomes our playground when we travel or live in a van, we know how important it is to respect it. If like us, your adventures often take you near the sea for beaches, surfing, swimming, or for the sound of the waves, you also know how polluted our oceans can be. That’s why organizations like Mission 1000 Tonnes are essential to help save our marine environments.
From 10 to 1000 tons
The organization, established in 2018, had an initial goal of removing 10 tons of trash from oceans and rivers. But as the goal was reached in just 75 days, they quickly grew to 100 tons and then, 3 years later, 1000 tons!
Jimmy Vigneux et Lyne Morissette, co-founders of the organization, want to gather and educate the population to clean up lakes and oceans. Their activities, which are based in Quebec, extend across all continents and participate in the protection of aquatic and marine ecosystems. Since the goal of 1,000 tons was set in 2021, more than 318 tons have been collected by nearly 25,000 ambassadors and volunteers who care about the health of our oceans.
Cooperating here and internationally
One of the main activities of Mission 1000 Tonnes is to put people into action by organizing public cleanups of riverbanks and waterways. Although these initiatives often take place in Quebec, the organization can count on ambassadors and groups of volunteers to further the mission around the world.
A portion of the organization’s funds is therefore dedicated to paying ambassadors in several developing countries to help them mobilize the population for the cause. The foundation also organizes international missions to give a hand to their ambassadors abroad! Whether in Indonesia, the Gulf of Mexico or Nicaragua, the founders leave with a dozen volunteers to join forces with the locals and develop cooperative environmental relationships.
Reduce your plastic consumption
In addition to organizing public clean-ups, the organization wants to encourage people to become aware of their plastic waste production and help them take concrete action to reduce their consumption. They are therefore trying to put forward eco-responsible alternatives to some of our everyday objects in addition to offering a plastic compensation program.
Do you remember Carbone Boréal? Well, the Mission 1000 Tonnes program is similar, but instead of offsetting our carbon emissions, it’s possible to compensate for our plastic waste consumption. You could, for example, weigh your waste every week in your van and then offset the grand total at the end of the month. Since this process is not always easy, it’s also possible to rely on the North American average to make a donation. All funds are then reinvested in future clean-ups and the organization’s operations.
Putting people into action
While it is sometimes difficult to find the right action to help the environment, Mission 1000 Tonnes wants to offer a proactive mobilization to allow everyone to do their part. Want to get involved? Here are a few ways to do so.
As vanlifers, we visit all sorts of environments that need our help to stay clean. So the easiest way to get involved in the 1000 Ton Mission is to always carry a bag or a bucket with you and take the time to pick up any trash you find on the road! Afterwards, simply take a picture of your collection, weigh the total amount of waste (or estimate the weight) and send it to the organization by email or message. Your cleanup will be added to the total and will help reach the mission’s 1000-ton goal! Also, feel free to write to them to receive a sticker to put on your waste bucket or even your van, it’s free and helps promote the cause!
Are you particularly concerned about the health of our marine ecosystems? Then why not become an ambassador! Anyone who wants to get involved sustainably and promote Mission 1000 Tonnes can do so. Take Karine Cloutier for example, a proud member of the vanlife community who is always present at our events and has been an ambassador for the mission since its very beginning! When you become an ambassador, your goal is to spread the word about the mission and organize regular group or individual cleanups to further the goal. You become the organization’s direct contact with the crowd, so it’s an opportunity to meet lots of new people and take action daily to help our waterways.
Obviously, the more we work as a team, the more we can make a difference! By participating in collective clean-ups organized by the charity and its ambassadors, you are supporting the cause and taking concrete action for the environment. In addition, Mission 1000 Tonnes also offers its services to help you organize a municipal or corporate clean-up or even a team-building activity! The organization provides all the necessary materials, finds the ideal location for the cleanup, takes care of the waste at the end of the event and even provides the beer and refreshments!
Of course, every organization needs funds to run its operations. So if you don’t have time to get involved, why not offset your plastic consumption or simply make a donation! In both cases, it allows you to show your support for the Mission 1000 Tonnes cause and to help reduce the amount of waste in the world’s oceans and rivers.
We all want to enjoy the beauty of our lakes, rivers and oceans for a long time to come. So let’s be proactive and encourage the vanlife community to participate in cleaning up our planet’s waterways! Hopefully, wherever you are, you can do your part to protect marine ecosystems and ensure a healthier future.
Mission 1000 Tonnes is our cause of the moment! We’ll be donating 1% of all our online sales from January to April 2023 to the organization to protect our oceans.