I’m blessed to live in a very beautiful part of the world – in the town of Honningsvåg on the island of Magerøya in the North Cape of Norway. One of my favorite things to do is go hiking. Whether I’m with my family, friends or by myself, a hike always lifts my spirits.
Just as the inspiring nature enriches my life, there’s a harsh reality that meets my eyes every time I’m on a hike – Ocean pollution. The first time my little girl saw the trash- filled shoreline, she said, “It’s sad here, Mommy.” And I couldn’t agree more.
At the beginning of 2012 I posed the question: Ocean pollution: What’s Your Solution?
My solution to this gigantic problem is to do what I can to positively impact the environment around me. I know it won’t eliminate the horrendous amounts of floating plastics swirling in the ocean’s currents but it’s a step in the right direction.
So what’s my solution? I decided to start a project called “One Step at a Time/Ett Skritt om Gangen” with the goal of helping clean up the coastline of the island I call home. Last year I began finding and photographing shoes when I was out hiking. I thought the first one was rare and unique:
But then I kept finding more and more shoes and boots:
And the concept of Ett Skritt om Gangen/One Step at a Time was born. I decided that every time I found a shoe I’d take a photo of it, put in my backpack and give it a “new” life – an art installation in the Summer of 2013. The goal of the art exhibit: To raise awareness about ocean pollution, as well as funds to help clean up one remote coastline at a time.
You may be wondering if there really are so many shoes decorating Magerøya’s rocky coasts. And I can tell you that after only four hiking trips I’ve collected over 140 shoes.
I have a goal of collecting 1,000 shoes and can’t wait to start creating this installation. There’s no way I can do this on my own, but hopefully with the help of a lot of local residents that also love this island and enjoy hiking, we’ll be able to reach the goal before winter arrives.