Updated: Jun 11, 2020
With our first beach cleanup of the summer right around the corner, we want to inform you of ways you can help if you are unable to make it to one of our cleans. With school out, the summer heat beating down, and states starting to open up, it is very important to keep our beaches clean. We all love and enjoy a day at the beach but sometimes we forget the imprint we leave on our favorite waterfront. We have all had that moment where we stand and take in the salty air, embrace the peaceful sound of waves crashing, embracing nature's natural beauty. We all love the beautiful planet we live on. But there is a global issue at stake. That nice cold drink you enjoy on the hot sandy beaches or that organic sandwich you just picked up for a lovely lunch on the shore, might just be contributing to the issue. To put this into perspective every day, as of 2020, around 8 million pieces of plastic make their way into our oceans. Furthermore, volunteers from a beach clean up in 2019 found that cigarette butts were the most littered item, with approximately 2.4 million collected. Food wrappers being next (1.7 million pieces), drink bottles (1.6 million), bottle caps (1.1 million), and grocery bags (757,523) were found to be the top five items collected. The world is creating more plastic trash each year and much of it is ending up in landfills or the environment and our oceans. We are the problem. But that does not mean we can not fix what we have so blindly continuously damaged. Supporting, acting, and encouraging the conservation of our beaches is much simpler than we think.
Here are some easy ways you can make an impact right from your home. First off and most importantly, do not use the beach or the environment as your ashtray. Cigarettebutts are made with hydrocarbons and cellulose acetate (a simple way to put it, these are very harmful chemicals). Once the cigarettebutts come into contact with the moisture in the sand, they release toxic substances such as nicotine, tar, lead, arsenic, cyanide, which are contaminants that will kill the animals that come into contact with these cigarettes. Second off, get rid of as much plastic as you can. If you do use plastic try to reuse it or switch to other environmentally friendly alternatives. Choose to purchase reusable straws (or buy one from our partner grassstraws_offical) and try to only purchase locally-produced foods to limit the use of plastic packaging. Lastly, join volunteers (like Love Blue)! We carry out voluntary beach clean-up activities regularly (in our case, every Monday of this summer!) You can even organize your own eco group right from your home! Grab some friends and make it a mission to spread awareness and encourage positive change around the world to keep our beaches free of plastics and other pollutants. Additionally, every time you visit the beach, take at least five minutes to collect the trash that you find in your path. It’s a very simple and easy way to generate a positive impact. If we all come together and encourage each other, step by step we can change the world.
Also, don't forget our first beach cleanup of the summer is June 15! We would love to see you all out there, having fun and making a difference.
Source: Chow, Lorraine. “10 Most Common Types of Beach Litter Are All Plastic.”EcoWatch, EcoWatch, 18 Dec. 2019, www.ecowatch.com/beach-litter-plastics-ocean-conservancy-2581760475.html.