The County Municipality of Inverness, located on the island of Cape Breton in Canada, has recently initiated a competition named “Beach Clean-Up Bingo!”. The initiative aims to motivate the local community to assist in reducing the amount of waste on the region’s picturesque coastlines.
The idea behind this project involves bingo cards that feature a diverse range of litter commonly found on the beach, including plastic bottles, aluminium drink cans, and discarded cigarette butts. The participants are encouraged to take these cards with them when they visit the beach and mark off the squares corresponding to the litter they collect.
There are three ways to win prizes, the equivalent of a full house (marking all squares), forming an ‘X’ shape of marked squares, or completing two lines (horizontally and/or vertically).
In a bid to attract more people, ensure players remain engaged with the game, and track progress, the participants are urged to photograph the litter they gather and forward these images to the county municipality via email. All residents of Inverness County can enter the competition and the bingo cards are easily accessible and can be downloaded from the county’s Facebook page or collected from municipal office locations.
While the concept was initially introduced in 2021, it didn’t attract the expected level of participation. Keith MacDonald, the county’s Chief Administrative Officer, said,
“Our initial effort was stalled due to the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic, making it harder to motivate individuals to participate. However, we’ve since rejuvenated our efforts towards environmental education and are now pushing this initiative out to the public once again.”
After a yearlong pause, during which the project underwent a few amendments, MacDonald has expressed the municipality’s eagerness and optimism towards its relaunch. He added,
“We have many residents who are keen to contribute, recognizing the critical need for environmental clean-up efforts. The feedback we’ve received so far is overwhelmingly positive.”
Among the interested participants is Mary Janet MacDonald, a lifelong resident of Port Hood. While not a frequent beachgoer herself, she sees this competition as an opportunity to involve her grandchildren,
“I saw this competition and thought, this would be something they’d enjoy. It also adds an element of competition – they might think, ‘maybe we can win, Grandma’.”
Another supporter of the initiative, Stephanie Myette from Port Hawkesbury, publicized the county’s Facebook post about the contest, hoping her two nephews will join,
“It’s an excellent learning opportunity for them to understand how to protect the environment, the importance of recycling, and their role in safeguarding our planet.”
The ‘Beach Clean-Up Bingo!’ contest began on 1 July and it continues until the end of the month. Participants who submit their completed bingo cards will have a chance to win one of three $25 gift cards for the Mabou Farmers Market in a prize draw scheduled for August 4.
While this may be the first bingo game of its kind, there is no reason why it can’t be played around the world. Wherever there’s litter, there’s an opportunity to play. It is a brilliant way to bring the community together and help the environment at the same time. The games are extremely easy to organise and the bingo cards created by the County Municipality of Inverness can easily be adapted for use elsewhere.
Hopefully, this will become a worldwide trend, uniting bingo and environmental conservation in a unique way. You can check for more interesting bingo events happening around the world from our bingo blog.