Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 44 - August 14

Life Guard Station 26, Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
estimated trash collected today - 4.4
estimated trash collected to date - 247.7

Community Collection - Siel of green LA girl Blog, came out to interview me and was the first person to collect trash as part of the Community Collection Pounds Of Trash Tally.

Come and join me, for real! Get in touch, email me, follow me on twitter - I "tweet" when I will be there - or collect at your own local beach and send me pictures, how lbs. you collected in 20 minutes, and your thoughts, I'll post it here at The Daily Ocean Blog.

community collection - Day 1 - 1.1. lbs. - 364 Days to go!

The Daily Water Bottle.
Siel helping me collect beach trash. She came out to see what I'm doing, and lend a hand.
OK - It is curious to me that people put band-aids on at the beach. The water renders them useless, but I'm assuming that this one was intended for use here. I think that together we found 4 - 5 used band-aids in the sand today. Yuck.
Forget something? When I smoked, I would sometimes save a half smoked butt for later, especially if I was running low in my pack. So much care was taken not to stub this out in a way that could not be salvaged later. It was carefully wrapped in the cellophane, but forgotten. I wish they'd taken as much care to take it off the beach with them when they left, as they did to save it for later.
Siel and I talked about the interconnectedness of all of our actions, and how this impacts our environment. We have the privilege of living in Santa Monica, CA. Our city is environmentally minded. This beach for example, is dragged daily for trash, the trash cans (there are 8 - 10 on average between Life Guard Stands) are emptied daily, and still I collect 1 pound of trash from this beach every 5 minutes, which will only be back the next day. So what is the answer? It is not enough for people in Santa Monica to take care of their beach alone, there needs to be awareness at the root of the problem. The root is global, we all impact one another.

For now the best I can come up with is spreading awareness and inspiration. If you are here reading this blog, this is my answer, what's yours?
This is a picture of the joint collection that Siel and I did. Having her come out with me made me examine every step of what I do. For example, I only recently committed to having a separate recyclables bag for plastics, and aluminum cans. Today when we finished I didn't feel good about using single use plastic bags to collect the trash in. These too can be recycled in most places now, and I thought that sending one more to the dump along with the trash might not be such a hot idea.

So I talked to Garen about it and he reminded me that I often pick up disgusting, or unsanitary things. If I were to use a canvas reusable bag to collect and then dump the contents into the trash can when finished, my reusable bag would get pretty nasty, pretty quickly. I could make the effort to wash it often I suppose.

If you have read this far, and have an opinion, what do you think? Leave me a comment.
Plastic or Canvas for my collection. I'd like to hear your thoughts.


  1. Hello :)
    A friend & I used to spend a day now and then beach cleaning when I lived in NZ ~ & like you, we found some pretty interesting things! We used to use plastic only as some of it was quite grim and the next time out was longer than a day away. I guess it's a choice between throwing away a reusable bag every few weeks (I may be a little picky, but I wouldn't want to wash it with my other laundry, so I'd factor that in) or get your colleagues/friends to pass you their plastic bags and at least you're recycling those at least once...

  2. How often do you collect plastic bags from the beach? I usually try to use the ones I pick up, or I constantly empty out the plastic bag I have and refill it and then recycle it at the end when it is inevitably ripped and unusable (but that makes weighing stuff a little more annoying).

    I run the recycling program at my work and I tried to use reusable bags, but it got to be too gross. Maybe it would have been easier if I had my own washer or a place to wash off the bags outside and let them dry (I'm in an apartment with no space outside and a teeny tiny kitchen and bathroom), but it made the job way more difficult. If you have space outside where you can rinse the bags off and let them dry, it might be ok. I take my recyclables at home to the recycle bin in a reusable bag, but they also aren't sandy, sticky or especially gross.

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your thoughts. I went out yesterday and I used plastic again. Maybe I'll try the reusable bags to at some point. I feel a little guilty, but given the nature of the trash, which can be pretty gross, plastic is working well for me right now.

    Hope you'll both keep following! Thanks again!