Unesco Green Citizens
Project begin: 04/04/2017

Tobias Weber-Andersen and Oke Carstensen have found an innovative way to make trash collection fun! Rent a kayak for free, visit the river, the coast, the city, while collecting trash and share your experience on social media: this is what the GreenKayak initiative proposes. It can be done anywhere and generates a collective dynamic for the fight against river and ocean pollution.

https://www.greenkayak.org/

 

Leading organisation: GreenKayak
Covered Countries: Denmark
Theme: Oceans
Sub-themes: Participatory/citizen science, Protecting marine ecosystems, Waste management
Selection: 2020
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Communication strategy design
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Digital communication
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Strategy/advocacy
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Initial Problem

GreenKayak started cleaning Copenhagen´s canals on events but soon realized that in the following days, there were pollutants floating around again. A more durable solution was needed and this is how the initiative was born. 

The positive impacts that the project has made

Since GreenKayak started back in 2017, it has had more than 25 thousand volunteers paddling for the oceans collecting a total of well above 42 tons of waste from the waters. GreenKayak engages people at eye-level, connects them across generations and gives them the feeling of being in the same boat around a good cause.

 

Impacted areas and populations

Local aquatic environments have been cleaned by thousands of people from all genders, age groups and nationalities. The cities where this initiative have been implemented are all located in Europe, in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Norway or Ireland.

Obstacles and challenges

GreenKayak offers a free of charge opportunity to volunteers who want to help clean the waters. Doing so, the funding has been the main challenge and GreenKayak started to work with private companies to tackle this issue. This has been a successful approach in order to increase the reach and impact of GreenKayak.

In the future, Tobias Weber-Andersen and Oke Carstensen want to expand GreenKayak’s operations to various countries across Europe but also in other regions of the world. For the next years to come they envisage at least 100 GreenKayaks placed thanks to local partners across the globe.

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