How to do your first beach clean-up: 5 easy steps

By sisters Christine and Sarah MacLean from the Wellness Travelled Blog
Find them on Instagram @wellnesstravelled

Posted on January 14, 2019

We did our first “official” beach clean-up in Belize that past December. Before this I’d say we were classified as “beach(trash)combers”, picking up the odd straw and plastic bottle we saw on our walks. However, for Belize, we travelled there with the intention of dedicating time to picking up any trash we came across on our hikes and beach walks. We even created a social media “clean-up crew” by partnering with other travellers to do a clean-up with us at the same time.

So now we’re sharing with you what we learned from this experience and how you can get started on your first beach clean-up! Hot tip: it can actually be a fun and rewarding way to spend a few hours on your vacation!


  • We packed several compostable bags in our carry-on. We promise they don’t take up much more room than a pair of socks!
  • Really need that pair of socks? Ask your hotel for some trash/recycle bags instead.


  • Schedule the clean-up into your holiday so it becomes part of the experience. A sunny or cloudy day is obviously preferable for picking up trash, but with that said, we did ours on a rainy day and it sure beat sitting in our hotel room on our phones.


  • Wear gloves if you think you might be touching unsanitary items. You can pack these or ask the hotel for some.
  • Don’t forget to lather on some biodegradable reef-safe sunscreen


  • Be on the lookout for smaller plastics and take the time to grab them – they are more easily ingested by small animals (like birds, crabs and insects) than a full plastic coca cola bottle.


  • Recycling is still limited in many countries but if you are cleaning up somewhere with recycling facilities, separate the recyclables from the garbage.
  • Otherwise, place all waste in properly managed trash bins. Again – our hotel was very accommodating and let us put the trash into their bins.


  • Invite or encourage friends you’ve met at your hotel or random strangers on the beach to join in! You could even make it into a friendly competition, whoever gets the least amount of trash buys everyone a margarita (hold the straw!)
  • Take a before and after photo and share on social media to encourage others to do one as well!
  • If you post your trash on social media using #jointhecleanup we will re-post it on our IG stories!

If you’re looking for ideas to cut down on your own waste during your next trip, check out our zero waste travel tips here.

and remember…..


Christine and Sarah are sisters, best friends, business partners, and the ultimate travel buddies. They both share a unique passion not just for traveling, but using their precious time away from the grind to enrich their lives in a positive way. From learning to scuba dive – to practicing yoga by the oceanside – to giving back to local communities, they are on a mission not just to be well travelled, but to travel well. They truly hope to inspire their readers to make their next vacation a healthy one.

Christine MacLean

Co-Founder and Creative Director

Christine has a unique background: with over 10 years of marketing and advertising experience at some of Toronto’s top ad agencies. However, her passion for healthy living and giving back to her community lead her to become a graphic designer at one of Canada’s top not-for-profits, SickKids Foundation.  Furthremore, she became the volunteer event photographer for Bootcamps for Change, a not-for-profit that provides fitness to underprivileged youth in Toronto.

Christine is now combining her passions and experience in the creative marketing industry to start Wellness Travelled. She gets up every day excited at the opportunity to educate, motivate, and empower people to embrace a healthy lifestyle, whether it be on their next vacation or their next meal. She is living out her dream in the hopes of helping as many people as possible feel good, live well, and be happy.

Fun Facts: She took night school to become a registered holistic nutritionist (RHN). She also loves yoga, paddle boarding and scuba diving.

Sarah MacLean

Co-Founder and Travel Consultant

Sarah has had the proverbial travel bug ever since she graduated university four years ago. Back then she was standing face to face with the big question, ‘What next?’ She was torn between jumping into a career, or taking a year off to pursue her dream of travelling. Sarah never thought she would be able to do both at once – that is until her wise old sister told her that she could indeed “have it all” by working as a travel consultant.

Fast forward to today where Sarah has travelled to 25 countries and been on 46 adventures, all while being one of the top sales consultants in Canada at her company, Flight Centre. Sarah has become a master of the travel industry not just because of her in-depth knowledge of the worlds top travel destinations but because exploring the world is truly her passion.

As a yogi, PADI certified diver, nature lover, animal lover, and former varsity athlete, it’s no wonder Sarah wanted to start a blog to give expert advice on travel from a wellness perspective. Her ultimate goal is to educate her readers and clients on how to get the most of their travel experience, all while keeping in mind the well-being of the environment, the local animals, and of course, themselves. 

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