Inge Wegge and Jørn Ranum, from Drammen and Valdres respectively, had a crazy idea.
The two decided to spend the winter in an isolated and uninhabited bay on the seaward side of an island in Nordland, right on the Atlantic.
They built their own house out of driftwood and other materials they found, they ate food nobody else would want, and they spent a whole winter surfing in the frigid Atlantic Ocean.
But they also decided to pick up trash.
“While we surfed and enjoyed ourselves, we cleared an entire beach clean of trash. The beach is about 700 meters and we collected three tons of garbage. Think how much crap there must be on the rest of the Norwegian coast,” say the two adventurers.
“There are huge amounts of garbage. Between each sand layer, each a rock crevice, under every stone.”
Unfortunately, each new storm brings in more trash, and the cleaning is a never-ending project.
Some of the junk they collected could be used; among other things, the bottles brought in some much-needed kroner. But as for the rest, a Heli Team helicopter needed to come and transport it to the nearest landfill.
The project that the two called “North of the Sun” began as an idea after the two met a few years back.
“We had an idea that we wanted to stay on a deserted beach for a whole winter and try to surf as much as possible,” they say.
But no one quite believed that they could complete the project.
“It’s a wild idea, and there were very few who believed in us. When we told people about what we wanted to do, they just laughed.”
But they did it. From September to May, the two lived in a 14 square meter house, built of driftwood and other materials they found in the bay.
“We are practical people who like to work with our hands. We’ve really just built a fort as we did when we were little kids.”
In a modern world where people increasingly consume more, Jørn and Inge went in the opposite direction.
They didn’t just clean up the trash, they also ate things all the rest of us would throw away.
“We were over in the shops in the area and got food every three weeks. We have eaten the food that everyone else would throw away. I think we figured out that we have spent 24 kroner on food during the whole trip,” says Wegge.
“We want to show that there is very much useful material that is thrown away in an affluent society such as in Norway.”
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