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One Man’s Trash Is Another Man's Gym

On the coast of the African country of Cape Verde, Alcindo Soares is hard at work. Soares dreamed to be a professional athlete since his youth, but he could not afford to pay for a gym on his construction worker salary. His solution? Build his own. But not in the way you might think.

Soares’ entire DIY gym is not only near the water on Santa Maria Beach, it’s also made completely from trash he’s collected from the ocean. But this is no skimpy gym. Soares has the works: weights, pull-up bar, benches and more. With the incredible ocean view, recycled materials and free access for the public, it could give Equinox a run for its money.

The best part of the outdoor gym is that it has helped declutter the beach dramatically. Soares says he feels a sense of pride when he sees the beach clean and is happy he can create the gym for not only himself but the rest of his community. Soares isn’t done with building the gym—as complete as it looks, it is still a work in progress, and he will continue to add to it as he cleans up the beach.

In 2010, 8 million tons of plastic debris ended up in the oceans, and that number is increasing. Soares is just one example of how individuals are helping to clean up our planet, there are many other individuals and groups on a mission to clean up our beaches and spread awareness of reducing single-use plastic.

Soares and several other people in Cape Verde take full advantage of the amazing DIY gym daily. He hopes to try to make the gym just a little bit better every day and use it for the rest of his life to reach his goal of becoming a professional athlete. Clean up the beach, get in a workout, then a quick swim in the ocean—what could be better?


Santa Maria, Cape Verde

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