Bristol student blogger aims to clean up 30 cities in 30 days

A student who has built a community of waste collectors plans to visit 30 cities in 30 days across the UK to fight climate change.

Vivek Gurav collected rubbish and picked up 5,000kg of rubbish while running around Bristol, an activity known as ‘plogging’.

Mr Gurav, 26, said: ‘I want to create a farming community across the UK like I did in India.

He added that he wanted to inspire people so they could “make their own bands”.

Mr Gurav, who came to Bristol last year to study for a master’s degree in environmental policy and management, has started a community tillage campaign for the first time in his hometown of Pune, India.

Over the past four years, it has covered 420 miles (675 km) picking up waste on 120 “plowing missions”.

Gurav’s efforts have seen him featured on the BBC’s The One Show to accept a special award from the former prime minister, Boris Johnson.

In October he was invited to 10 Downing Street by the new prime minister, Rishi Sunak, and in November he spoke at COY17, the youth version of the COP27 climate summit.

Gurav said: “The climate conference was amazing and a real opportunity. The Prime Minister’s Award really motivated me to do more, and going to 10 Downing Street was the best thing that happened to me.”

The 26-year-old hopes to be joined by fellow ploggers, environmentalists and avid runners as he visits every city on public transport to collect rubbish across the country.

In December, Mr Gurav will play in Derby, Nottingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester, Birmingham and Worcester.

He also hopes the community project will have a “positive effect” on mental health, as that was a “key aspect” of the plogging community he had developed in India.

Over the past four years, its volunteers have collected more than a million kilograms of waste.

He said, “Now Indians are asking me all the time how they can come to study in the UK. They want to follow my path. It’s nice to be able to help.”

He says he intends to use the skills he learned in the UK to help make India and the rest of the world more sustainable.

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