Edgar and Aurélien are two young students in coastal risk management and physics-chemistry. Committed to protecting nature and passionate about surfing, last summer they traveled 260 km on foot along the Atlantic coast of France. From the beaches of Le Verdon-sur-mer to those of Anglet, they pulled trolleys in the sand for a month. For what purpose? Discover their "No ordinary" Story ...
Spending most of their time close to nature and oceans, this duo is confronted with the contamination of wildlife and flora each time they go surfing. A year ago, the two friends created their association: 4P Shore and Seas to combinetheir passion for surfing with their commitment to the environment and their scientific knowledge. The goal of the association is to participate in clean-up of the world's coastlines while increasing awareness among populations by waste collection events on beaches.
“Last year we were on two different continents, Europe and South America, Aurel on the Atlantic Ocean and me (Edgar) in the Pacific Ocean, and we realized that in both there was a lot of contamination. So, after that all we had left was to ACT and we created our organization and this walk for the earth.”
Last summer, they took on a challenge like no other: to travel 260km in one month on the Atlantic beaches in order to collect waste, raise awareness about damage to the environment and participate in scientific research on the microplastics.
Pollution has a significant impact on flora, fauna and sedimentation, as well as on the quality of waves. So, it was important for Edgar and Aurélien to take part in protecting the planet if they want to continue to live their passion.
To combine surfing and waste collection, they built their own eco-designed trolleys. They are compartmentalized and contain provisions, food, clothing, photo equipment, large bags for garbage, etc. Throughout their journey, they picked up waste that they encountered along the way or in areas of high contamination.
Beyond the collection of waste, Edgar and Aurélien had also set a goal of raising awareness among the population. They organized three waste collection sessions. One of these sessions is the source of one of their best memories:
“The most beautiful day was when we organized an emergency beach clean-up in Biscarrosse. We went 3km north of Biscarrosse with a group of 15 people and collected about 180kg of waste. Then we spent all afternoon in the middle of the Le Vivier beach in Biscarrosse, sorting the different kinds of waste we’d collected. A lot of people came to help us and it was truly an amazing experience.”
As with any challenge, preparation has been intense and busy. The hardest part was the time required to complete this preparation: less than 5 months to find partners for waste recycling, equipment and financing. The day before the departure, these two young people made some adjustments to the trolleys and fine-tuned the logistics.
Thanks to their experience having participated in numerous sports: surfing, tennis, climbing, running, trekking, they felt ready for a month of intense effort in the heat, walking in the sand while pulling trolleys that filled with garbage throughout the day. They were mentally serene and filled with unyielding motivation:
“Our mind is our best friend for sure, we are two best friends, our level of motivation is 100% and nothing can stop us from leaving.”
They also had the support of their family and friends.
Edgar and Aurélien sought out partners for the majority of their equipment. Their sunlenses were the subject of particular attention. When they asked us, we immediately thought of w.r.yuma frames. Indeed, this brand is the first in the world to use 3D printing and recycled plastic to make eyewear. So, perfect fit with the beliefs of these two guys. On top of this, the sunlenses were featured with polarized sun lenses, the must-have technology to face a month of walking on beaches. In fact, polarized sun lenses cancel out blinding reflections, eliminating glare and bringing visual comfort, clarity and quality.
Through this challenge, they want to inspire people and make them aware of daily damage to the environment.
“We did it in an advanced country (France), but still, there was so much waste on the beach. We also saw that human activity is killing all kinds of life on the shore. Moreover, people are becoming aware of environmental issues but don’t yet understand the emergency we’re facing. There’s a huge gap between being aware and taking action to do something. Everybody can do little things to protect our planet and prevent the worst from happening.”
Today, Edgar and Aurélien have returned from this expedition completely different and more determined than ever. They have already planned other expeditions to Morocco and Chile. They are revved up by the fight against damage to the environment and about making people aware of this irreversible phenomenon.
This challenge is only the first of a series to come. All our encouragement!