By Stacey Leasca
May 20, 2019
Courtesy of Green Kayak

One of the best ways to see a new destination is to truly immerse yourself in it. And for many European destinations that means hoping in the water.

This summer, GreenKayak, a Denmark-based nonprofit, wants every tourist to jump into the canals and rivers through Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and Norway to paddle their way along on kayaks. And they're willing to gift you this activity for free, so long as you’re willing to pick up trash along the way.

“In Denmark, people hang out on canals and eat pizza and unfortunately see trash floating by,” Tobias Weber-Andersen, GreenKayak founder and CEO, told USA Today. “You can’t take your shirt off and jump in, but you can get in a GreenKayak and make an impact.”

The free kayak and cleanup project began in Denmark in April, 2017, USA Today explained. Since then, thousands of kayak volunteers have cleaned up 11 tons of trash from the Copenhagen harbor. And now, the program is expanding to new waterways including Dublin, Bergen, and Hamburg. Those who’ve taken part in the program have even shared their adventures on social media with the hashtag, #GreenKayak.

As part of the program, visitors can book a free kayak. Life jackets and equipment are also provided.

“We had hoped to have 30 kayaks this year, but most likely we will have around 50 spread across all of our locations,” Weber-Andersen said.

The GreenKayaks, the company’s website explained, are a highly effective tool for collecting waste from water bodies as they are flexible and can access areas that are otherwise hard to reach.

Each kayak is a double seater, meaning there’s enough space for two people. If you can’t physically use the kayak yourself you could still donate to the nonprofit’s mission to clean up European waterways here.