You Can Get a Free Kayak Tour in Europe by Cleaning Trash From the Waterways

May 20, 2019

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Nothing ruins the view or ambiance of a European city canal quite like bits of floating garbage bobbing along the surface. Fortunately, the Denmark-based nonprofit GreenKayak has devised a way to use tourists to change that — with a fun, sporty twist.

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According to USA Today, the project lets volunteer tourists kayak in the canals for free (life-jackets and equipment included) in exchange for the task of picking up any trash they find along the way. It’s been around since the spring of 2017, when it originated in Copenhagen, and has since collected approximately 11 tons of trash. Now it’s expanding to new urban waterways for the 2019 summer season, including those in Dublin, Bergen and Hamburg.

“We had hoped to have 30 kayaks this year, but most likely we will have around 50 spread across all of our locations,” Tobias Weber-Andersen, GreenKayak founder and CEO, told USA Today.

Kayaks used for the program are double-seaters, meaning the two passengers can ride together for double the cleaning power. Participants have been taking to social media to spread the word and share their experiences.

“In Denmark, people hang out on canals and eat pizza and unfortunately see trash floating by,” said Weber-Andersen. “You can’t take your shirt off and jump in, but you can get in a GreenKayak and make an impact.”

If you’re not a kayaker but still care about keeping Europe’s canals clean, GreenKayak takes donations on their website, here. The program is currently available in Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway.

Featured image by Fishman/ullstein bild via Getty Images.

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