Posted by: Celine Cousteau | September 7, 2009

Clean Up the World- Part 1

When I was asked to join Clean up the World as an ambassador in 2008 I agreed because I believe in the kind of tangible initiatives this campaign supports. This second year as ambassador has been even more fulfilling as I am getting a closer look at what is being done all over the world in a united effort to create Clean up the World (CUW) activities and put thoughts into action. In celebration of World Environment Day last June, CUW encouraged members to display their activities and the regional ‘winners’ would receive a video conference call with me. I quickly realized I was the one who felt like I had won a prize!

I was so impressed when I spoke to members of CEREP in Cameroon- they created a big campaign with few resources and have a huge amount of energy putting environmental education in a place that has not been focused on this. They got out and spoke to the community about the importance of keeping the environment clean and healthy, they mobilized groups to pick up trash, and wove in human rights in the campaign.

I then spoke to the Colegio Bilingüe Neuquén in Argentina and as the image appeared of who I was talking to over the internet, I was stunned! I saw a sea of young faces- over 200 students from the school were gathered. To see the number of children and staff who are involved in the CUW campaign is proof that the next generation is motivated to care for and take action to help our natural world.

The last group I spoke to was from Nigeria- Neighborhood Environment Watch. They passed the cell phone from one member to another so I could meet each one of them which was very special. They are a determined group of volunteers from all walks of life and professions who have come to together to create a wave of action. Amongst other activities they have planted fruit trees to not only reforest an area, but to create income for those involved in the program.

The feeling of unity after these calls was tremendous. No matter how far away we are from one another, no matter how small or big a project is, each one of us is a part of a bigger network. Each one of us is an essential piece of the puzzle. Each one of these calls reminded me that we are all working together. These groups and individuals are out there working against all odds. They have very few resources, they do not have a camera glorifying their work to the world, they might not have a wide reaching social networking system, or a variety of grants to solicit, or donors ready to give money, or business partners to push them forward with investments. But they are out there, working, fighting for what they believe in.

To all of the Clean Up the World members, I send my heartfelt thanks and my sincere encouragement to keep believing in what you are doing. Without each one of you out there doing your part, the Clean up the World network would not be the success it is!

Part 2 – coming soon – Clean Up the World weekend- Sept 18-20. I will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a CUW team!



  1. I am the Director of Administration/Secretary of NEW. I was among those who talked with you the other time you called. I just finished reading your article “Clean Up the World – Part 1. I am happy with your efforts in making sure that our natural world is taken good care of. More greese to your elbows. As for NEW, our vision of a healthy and sustainable environment etc, we will hold on to until our natural world becomes a healthy place to live in. Congratulations and have a safe journey to Rio de Janeiro.

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