Saturday, February 27, 2010

Community Count Collection Grows - Lane fr. R.I.

Community Count Collection - Lane Johnson, R.I.
40 pounds
196.9 pounds total

Let me catch you up on what the Community Count Collection is.
If you go to, or live by a beach, you can do a Daily Ocean style cleanup.
Collect for 20 minutes, take some pictures of the beach and the trash, write a few words, send it to me, and I will post it here on my blog.
I will add the pounds of trash you collected to my running tally, and highlight your cleanup.
You can find the the ongoing tally of pounds of trash collected around the world if you look to the right of my blog and scroll down.

Lane Johnson from Rhode Island wrote me to tell me about how he and his girlfriend collect 100's of pounds of trash off of their Atlantic Coast beach as they walk their dogs.

Thank you Lane for sharing your thoughts and photographs. I have added 40 pounds to the Community Collection Count in you and your girlfriend's honor. Stay in touch, continue the good work, share what you find, and thanks for inspiring me to keep going.

When I asked Lane, "How many pounds of trash do you think you have collected?" He replied:

The amount in pounds? OMG! Honestly, my girlfriend and I have been doing this almost daily for 2 years, I started taking pictures in March 2009, we've removed considerable more amounts than my pictures depict.

I initiated my photo quest a bit late, starting on Jan. 1 of this year. Its been soooo cold and miserable here. We still do our pickin up, but come spring I plan to set up a screen table to rinse off the stuff better, seperate out easier and photograph what makes up a filled bucket.

Sara, it is unbelievable. The amount of stuff I mean. We play a game. We have even gotten some of the other people in the neighborhood to participate. The game, find the tampon(the casing). I know, you must know. (I DO!)

Anyway, whenever ya find one ya give a yell and name the color. Green! or PINK! maybe a Pearl!. LOL. So now on occasion we will be out there with the dogs, buckets in hand, and a person on the beach will yell "Tampon Applicator" and wave at us signaling where the prize was! Sorta gross, I know. Hey, they get it.

Some people listen when they ask what are we doing ? What's with the buckets? And they get an earful about PLASTIC, the gyres, and the fish. Then they look in our buckets. Most can't believe all the little pieces. They've also noticed the cleaner beach.

Each bucket probably weighs close to 35-40lbs is my guess. With glass, metal, and all the small pieces of plastic. Another reason why the buckets work so well is that they don't bust under the weight.

Yes we use plastic buckets. They work great. Cat litter or pickle buckets work the best. Sharp glass and metal and plastic is a problem when carrying and filling a plastic trashbag.

I've even added a plastic container that hangs off the bucket for sea glass. Some pieces are a real treat! We have an incredible collection. A nice reward.

Most of what we pick up is small pieces of plastic. The size of a dime or smaller. All differnent colors. So many pieces. The big stuff fills the bucket faster, but alot of the buckets you see are mostly full of these small pieces.

My two 50 gal trash cans get filled to the rim with garbage and I recycle what we can and fill the big onesweekly with plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass. And that's just what gets brought home. Many times we go to a different area do our walk and dispose of it before we get home.

I want my pictures to have an impact when looked at. I want people, kids, politicians to look at this mess we are facing.

We joke that our beach is designed to catch this trash and we are human filters for the city and maybe making a small dent in the amount of plastic and trash making its way out to the Atlantic.

We walk our dogs on a beach near where we live about an hour and half in the morning, and often a quick walk in the eve after we return from work. We are just South of Providence, RI on the Providence River /Narragansett Bay. It's beautiful for being so close to the city. Hundreds of swan, ducks, heron, etc.

We just got a storm yesterday and this weekend. My beach is a mess again. Like we havent ever been there picking up for the last two months. So much new stuff washed ashore. So much. It hurt today a bit. Oh well. Gonna keep going.

(I understand how you feel. Bracing myself to go out today to see what washed through the city storm drains. With over 8 million people in the Los Angeles area, you can guess how much is out there. I try to show people with my pictures, but really there's so much more when you look out along the entire beach that is littered for as far as you can see. Doesn't leave me in a great mood when I'm done.)