Earlier this month, the National Hellenic Student Association (NHSA) of North America brought together more than 50 volunteers from across Greece and the United States to participate in the group’s inaugural “Beach Clean-up” at Saronida Beach outside of Athens, Greece.
The volunteer team successfully cleaned the coast line, removing 792 pounds of trash and recyclable items that were then sorted and analyzed by iSea, a Greek environmental organization that preserves underwater habitats and raises awareness about conservation policies.
In addition to tidying the coast line, NHSA also received assistance from the Poseidon Club Dive Center whose divers went into the water to remove additional trash including three large tires and several big pieces of plastic.
Several others also volunteered time, as participants from Saronikos Young Volunteers in Action as well as from the local Saronida area joined in to help.
NHSA President Alexander Thomopulos said he and his peers were glad to see high volunteer turnout and that the event’s impact goes beyond improving the immediate environment.
“This event also demonstrated the importance of creating synergies among several like-minded groups, and our ability to bring people from near and far together for a common purpose,” Thomopulos said. “I look forward to maintaining the momentum of this event and continuously expanding the impact of NHSA.”
The clean-up was sponsored The Hellenic Initiative in collaboration with non-profits ethelon and iSea. Portes Magazine provided media sponsorship for the event.
After working on the beach, NHSA invited all volunteers for lunch at a nearby café and gave them each a parting gift in line with the message of sustainability and environmental consciousness — a bamboo toothbrush made by BeMyFlower, a sustainable Greece-based company.
Additionally, leaders from the Saronikos Young Volunteers in Action group donated extra food from the lunch to the Communal Kitchen of Saronida, which distributes leftover event food to local families in need.
The clean-up was inspired by environmentally-oriented discussions with ethelon co-founder Kostapanos Miliaresis at the association’s fall 2017 convention in Atlanta.
Aside from upholding the convention theme of environmental rights, the event also aimed to bring together U.S. students of Greek descent and locals for a shared cause.
Miliaresis praised the NHSA for not only agreeing to host the clean-up, but also for seeing it through to completion.
“I am really excited that the event took place, because there have been so many times during conferences
where we promise to make a change, and the next day we simply forget about it,” he said. “This time, close to one
year later, NHSA has remained true to its promise and was able to organize such a wonderful event, which is the best result one could ask for.”
See photos below
Since you’re here… I have a small favor to ask.
More and more people than ever before are reading The Pappas Post and despite increasing costs to maintain the site and provide you with the quality content that you deserve, I will never “force” you to pay for our website or add a paywall. I believe in the democracy of the internet and want to keep this site and its enriching content free for everyone. But at the same time I’m asking those who frequent the site to chip in and help keep it both high quality— and free. We’ve implemented a “free-will” annual subscription for those who want to support our efforts. I guess it’s fair to call it a philotimo subscription… because you don’t have to do it but it’s really the right thing to do if you love the site and the content we publish. So if you like The Pappas Post and want to help, please consider becoming a “philotimo subscriber”. Click here to subscribe. If you’d rather make a one time donation, we will gladly accept any amount, with appreciation. Click here to donate any amount.