The Clean Up Patrol's 10 Commandments for an Ecological Vacation

Planning a trip to the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)? Setting out with the family for a barbeque on Mount Carmel?

How many garbage bags are you going to need and why do you have to bring water from home to put out the barbeque?
The Cleanup Patrol – It all Starts with Education, produced by Tomer Eshel, offers you a guide that will help you go out into nature and come back spotlessly clean!

Before you leave home:

1) Who’s in charge of cleaning up?

"This garbage is not disposable." Photo: Tomer Eshel, The Clean Up Patrol.

Has someone been put in charge of the food? Of course somebody has. And there’s someone in charge of putting up the tents too. So, from this holiday onwards, make sure you also choose someone to be in charge of cleaning up. The best way is to appoint one adult and one child from each family, and make them responsible for keeping things clean. And if you’re adults going camping with friends, appoint one man and one woman to the task. This is the way to ensure that someone really is “in charge” of cleaning up.
2) Bring garbage bags with you from home
Don’t rely on finding garbage cans at every outdoor site you and your family want to visit, and remember, too, that KKL-JNF is in the process of removing garbage cans from some of its forests. This means that it’s very important to bring garbage bags with you from home. Suggested quantities: Bring one bag for each meal and another three for emergencies.
3) Water for putting out the campfire / barbeque

Abandoned barbeque. Photo: Tomer Eshel, The Clean Up Patrol.

Too many campers go home and leave the barbeque behind, sometimes with its coals still hot.
They think to themselves: the barbeque’s hot and dirty and it won’t cost much to buy a new one – why bother taking it home? But the strong afternoon winds can revive the embers and the coals can burst into flame once more, causing a fire.
So it’s very important to bring at least three liters of water from home that can be set aside especially to put out your campfire or barbeque before you leave the site.
4) Plastic plates and cigarette butts
Most of the litter found in the countryside is composed of paper plates, cups, etc. It’s much better to bring your own re-usable picnic plates, cups and silverware from home; the children can help to wash them up afterwards under the faucets.
Cigarette butts are another major component of litter found in the countryside, and this is why we earnestly request that smokers ensure that they have an ashtray to hand. If you haven’t got one with you – no problem: just cut up a bottle, fill it with a little water and put your cigarettes out in that.

While you’re away:

5) Please look after the countryside

Garbage on the shores of the Lake Kinneret. Photo: Tomer Eshel - The Clean Up Patrol

Don’t cut down trees, pick flowers or trap wild animals.
Please don’t drive off the existing roads and trails and please do park your vehicle in the parking facilities provided – even if you know that your jeep can make it all the way to the top of the hill!
If you follow these rules you can rest assured that you will be leaving nature and the environment undamaged.
6) Straight into the garbage can
Most litter is the result of waiting too long: instead of cleaning up straight away you’ve put things off and left rubbish on the picnic table. Along comes a gentle breeze which blows away your paper bags (for example), which then remain behind to litter the site.
The bottle’s empty? You don’t need that plastic bag any more? – Please put them into the garbage can straight away!
Please clean the picnic table and the whole family area after every meal.
Don’t wait until the end of the day!
7) Graffiti and carving on trees – Not in the countryside please!

"The litter tree." Photo: Tomer Eshel - The Clean Up Patrol

Please do not leave anything behind to show that you have visited the site.
Stickers, graffiti and carving on trees all deface nature, and all are forbidden by law.
8) Loud music – Please be considerate
The countryside is there for everyone to enjoy, including families with children. Children need peace and quiet so that they can sleep, and the local wild life is not very different in this respect: animals need peace and quiet too!
Have you brought loudspeakers with you? Please show consideration towards others.
You can do this by ensuring that the music is not audible at a distance of more than 30-40 meters away from the loudspeaker.
Lower the volume by half after 10 pm.
Turn off all music at midnight.
Sound amplification systems require a generator. Those in charge of the generator must ensure that the electricity cable is not lying along the ground and that it does not inconvenience people who need to get by. Please also ensure that the generator fuel is kept inside a vehicle, well away from dry leaves and branches.

Before you go home:

9) If you brought it with you – Take it back again!

Crows picking at the garbage. Photo: Tomer Eshel - The Clean Up Patrol.

When you’re packing up to go home you’re all in a hurry. This is when the people who have been put in charge of cleaning up spring into action and take command. It is their task to ensure that no litter has been left at the site where you have been picnicking. The best way to do this is to make a tour of the area and extend the search for a radius of five meters in every direction (that’s how you find the items that have blown away in the breeze). And please don’t leave any “presents” behind you in the form of tents, chairs or sofas.
10) Take your garbage home with you
Garbage bags left behind in the countryside will attract wild animals, whose curiosity is aroused by their unusual color and the strong smell they give off. Foxes, cats, deer and other creatures are liable to tear open the bags and scatter their contents far and wide. The animals may also try to munch on the plastic bags themselves, and this “tasting” could prove fatal to them. And remember: in the countryside there’s no one around to clean up after you.
So, please, before you leave, load your garbage bags into the car and drop them off in the rubbish container at the exit from the forest or beach.

We wish you all – and the environment, too – a very pleasant holiday!
You can find more suggestions and recommendations on the Cleanup Patrol’s Facebook page.

Slideshow: The Clean Up Patrol Campaign - Tomer Eshel