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Written by The Leap on 17 / 05 / 2018

Gap Year Advice

gap year advice and plastic

When people say 'plastic oceans', what do they mean?

Well, let’s start with the facts – currently we produce 300 million tonnes of plastic per year, this is equal to the weight of the entire adult population. Half of this plastic produced is single use, often used for only a few seconds before being discarded.

how much plastic do humans use a year

This doesn’t make for happy reading, we have to act now to save our oceans.

But...it’s not all doom and gloom... there are lots of things we can do to help, from beach cleans to stopping plastic getting into the ocean in the first place. Projects like Plastic Oceans and the recent Blue Planet II have got the public and government enthused and starting to make a difference.

plastic ocean gap year

So, how can you contribute?

We are working with NGOs around the world to contribute to the plastic ocean fight. So far in 2018 we have had 68 fantastic Leapers join our programs below and do their bit in the plastic ocean fight. Where will you head to?


Conservation – Education – Adventure

Let’s start with Madagascar. By joining our 10-week volunteer program in Madagascar you will be joining the plastic ocean fight on the front line. Everything from beach, forest and reef cleans to educating the local communities on the importance of protecting the ocean and disposing of rubbish in the best way possible.

You will also work directly with Plastic Oceans and NGO MRCI to show the 'A Plastic Ocean' film (translated into Malagasy) to remote communities during the Island Outreach Program, helping them to understand why the ocean needs protecting.

In addition to the plastic fight you’ll be living and volunteering in one of the most beautiful places in the world…. win-win.

Madagascar is for me

Costa Rica

Conservation – Spanish – Adventure

conservation gap year

The other day I found a mid-sized turtle on the beach, alive but with no front fins, they had been cut off by a discarded piece of nylon or net that it must have got caught up in. (...) One of the most important projects we have down here is cleaning up the beaches and educating the youth about the huge problem that we have on this planet due to plastic waste. We are using documentaries like Oceans of Plastic, to teach and enforce the message and give meaning to what we are trying to do here. We have lost of ideas for campaigns to try to reduce the use of plastic bags in the super markets and to stop the beach bars giving out plastic drinking straws.” The words of Chris, the host of our Costa Rica program.

As a volunteer in Costa Rica you will be doing beach cleans with the community and educating young and old about the importance of reducing plastic waste. This is all part of a package that includes Spanish lessons, surfing, turtle conservation and an adventure into Monteverde cloud forest.

Costa Rica's got my name on it

This is where you come in...

madagascar gap year adventure

By joining one of our volunteer programs you can help protect the ocean first-hand. Even as I write this a group in Madagascar are on the Island Outreach Program showing the Plastic Ocean film to remote fishing communities.

The amazing work of our in-country programs can only continue with your help. It’s your turn to get involved and keep the plastic fight going.

Get in touch for more details

conservation projects and the plastic ocean

Check out our gap year programs

We have award winning programs across Africa, Asia, South and Central America. All include a mix of projects and adventures. All are supported. All involve team work.

Gap Year Programs

Need inspiration and direction?

Get in contact with the gap year travel specialists.

Here at The Leap we can help both team traveller through our programmes and/or the backpacker.

Jot a message below or call us on +44 1672 519 9222

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Yes please, let's keep life simple.