“I’m really not a very good cook. It looks bad but I reckon it’ll taste pretty good.” said Martin Dorey apologetically as we sat in his kitchen near the beach in Bude, Cornwall. It was the first omelette I’d eaten made my a TV cook and he was right about the taste. The curly haired surfer, writer and father of four (including Bob the dog and Dave the van) is an author with two published books and presented the BBC2 TV series ‘One Man and his Campervan‘. When I met him though he was picking up bits of rubbish from amongst the pebbles on the beach, a reflection of his focus more recently – the 2 minute beach clean.
“It’s nice, simple and a great idea because people get it, and it understands that people are lazy. The 2 minute beach clean is just that. That’s it. The idea is that every time you go to the beach you do two minutes. People complain at the beach, saying ‘this is disgusting’ then do fuck all. It’s easy to rant and rave but harder to get off your arse and do something about it.” He tells me the idea stems from an old one of his which was to pick up a bottle from the beach for every good wave he got surfing; a way of thanking the beach. It’s so simple and bypasses beaurocracy, insurance and any other obstacles that can get in the way of public events. He hopes that through the use of social media, picking up trash will become not only socially acceptable but an activity to be encouraged, and suggests taking responsibility for your own bit of territory at your local beach, your own patch. Of course this applies anywhere, whether you live deep in the forest, by the coast, in the desert or at the foot of a mountain.
I’m amazed at the amount of plastic bags full of rubbish I pass by the roadside whilst cycling, thrown out of car windows. I always strap my trash to my bike and carry it until I reach a bin, whether that’s 3 or 30 miles down the road; it’s not hard. So why can’t people driving cars, using fossil fuels instead of their own effort, do the same? While cycling in Sweden my friend and I made food money by collecting cans from the side of the highway, which adds up at the end of the day considering each can or bottle has a 1kr (10p) deposit on it. We met a fellow cyclist with the same idea who made £ 35 from one 120km stretch of road leading from a national park to the nearest town with very little human settlement along the way.
I hope the idea spreads. And as Martin says, cleaning up the beaches is effectively cleaning up your food.