Working with the OSE association, Adeline and her teams of volunteers tirelessly comb the riverbanks of France collecting rubbish.
Adeline Gerritsen won the 2012 Terre de Femmes France Award. Adeline has a degree in environmental law and was recognised for her voluntary work collecting rubbish on the riverbanks of France with the OSE (“Organe de Sauvetage Ecologique”) association.
The only way to protect the environment is to start taking action.
With each clean-up, we collect an average of 10 tonnes of litter and rubbish. That’s a lot!
I’m disgusted to see our environment ruined by so much negligence. But I never lose hope. Every time we roll our sleeves up and get cleaning, we’re sending out a strong message to people who litter and pollute. I’m convinced that with grit and hard work, we can successfully raise awareness everywhere.
After your clean-ups, local inhabitants and companies take over and pledge to protect the environment. That’s pretty encouraging, isn’t it?
That’s the most effective part of what we do. We’re not just here to preach. We’re taking action. We’re not scared of getting our hands dirty when it comes to clearing up. We put on our high-vis jackets and gloves, we fill giant skips with the rubbish we collect, and nature resumes its rightful place. It’s the most effective way of raising awareness.
What would you say to women working to protect the environment?
There are so many women who really care about people and the environment, and I want them all to know that they aren’t alone. They need to believe in themselves and apply to the Terre de Femmes Award.
Since it was founded, the OSE association has collected 2,450 tonnes of rubbish.
Since receiving the Terre de Femmes Award, lots of volunteers have signed up to join Adeline and her organisation, resulting in double the number of clean-ups.