Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 127, June 16 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
5.5 pounds
502.2 pounds total
When I walked onto the beach I saw the remnants of what must have been many Subway lunch boxes strewn across the sand. This was disturbing for many reasons.
1. There was so much trash!
2. The gulls were getting it out of our trash cans because they have no lids!
3. Why couldn't the people who had enjoyed their lunch deposited it in a can that wasn't full by walking oh say......50 feet or so up or down the beach?
Why we need to have lids on trash cans at the beach. Can't change a tiger's stripes. Gulls are scavengers.....
This cup got me thinking again about corporate responsibility in regards to their products end of life, or what lawmakers call - Extended Producer Responsibility.
Basically, the cost of disposing, or reclaiming their product sustainably is incorporated into the cost of making the product.
What a good idea!
Germany is ahead of the curve by years in implementing this practice.
Where is the USA?
The people are back, and so is the trash. I enjoy seeing families have a day out at the beach. You can see the palpable difference in their faces and demeanor as the sun, waves and sand wash away their stressful life that waits for them maybe even as soon as they get to their cars. But my feelings are mixed about summertime and more people because plainly, there is a lot of trash left behind from their day in the sun.

What if everyone took a bag to the beach and picked up trash that wasn't their own when they left. OR just picked up their own?

Join me this Sunday with Surfrider WLAM Chapter for International Surfing Day's Big Beach Cleanup, there will be prizes and music and lots of fun stuff. COME ALONG

Also - check out Heal the Bay's weekend long event - SAVE OUR SURF


  1. I feel the exact same way... what if??

    We take a bag to the beach ALL the time... and when we forget... we still pick up. I cannot and will not walk by a piece of litter... and neither can my 3 children. The more people that see us (you) pick up other people's litter... the more likely this "what if" will happen ;) I know because we've also passed on this habit of picking up litter to my mom and young sister who live landlocked in the Midwest :)

    I'll be emailing you soon as we're starting to plan the details of our trip out your way :)

    Gratitude for all you do.

  2. We have the same problem up here, people won't walk 20 feet to the next trash can when they see that one is full. Then scavengers (human and otherwise) knock over trash cans to get what's inside. Whats worse is that in San Francisco we did this cool thing where there are fire pits for people to use, but people burn fires everywhere anyway even though they fine people and it leaves a mess like you wouldn't believe.Some people even dump trash near the fire pits assuming that someone will burn it! That's the worst!

  3. Danielle -

    Very much looking forward to you coming out to California! Talk/see you soon. What if? Right. :D thanks for you comment.

    Sarah -
    The fires in your area with trash left around them are frightening. Sorry to hear that. We can lead by example by just doing what we do, and people who are ready to change their ways will see others taking care of the beach or park and follow suit.

    Great to hear from you