Monday, March 8, 2010

Sarah Schumm joins the Community Count

The Community Collection Count - Sarah Schumm
Bay Area, CA
March 5th, 6th & 7th!
trash collected for 20 min. a day
14 pounds in 3 days
210.9 pounds collected in 29 days
An email arrived in my inbox with the title, "Seems I'm not alone.."
This made me curious. As soon as I started to read Sarah's email though, I understood exactly what she meant.

It means a great deal to me to know that there are other people out there, concerned for the health of our oceans, the conditions of our beaches, and every time I hear from someone else wanting to contribute to my Community Collection Count, it renews my hope. We all need hope.

Sarah explains what she is up to in her own words below:
I've been keeping a video blog about trash on Ocean Beach since January. In late December or early January of this year (even though I'm on the beach every day I don't remember exactly when it started) tons (actual tons! not exaggerating) of trash washed up on the normally clean shores of Ocean Beach. I tried to pick up two bags every weekend.

Shortly after I started, one of my friends gave me a video camera and it seemed like the obvious thing to do was start a video blog. I've been picking up and documenting the trash I've found since. The oldest piece I can accurately date is over 11 years old! But some of it is probably even older.
I set up little "Challenges" and make picking up the trash kind of a game:
picking up only one type of trash, picking up only one color of trash, picking up trash between two landmarks, that sort of thing.

The day before I read about your blog my plan was to walk beween two landmarks 7 blocks apart, picking up only bottle caps. I was out for an hour and a half and made it only one block. I wish I had a weight for you, it had to be at least 10 pounds, probably more. I don't know if it was my mood or what, but after only getting one block in over an hour and collecting probably well over a hundred, maybe hundreds of bottle caps, I really wish I had counted, I sat down on a log and made an entry for my video blog, quite literally on the verge of tears.
I was feeling hopeless, the trash seemed insurmountable. Only my closest friends and maybe possibly a couple random people even saw my video blog. I had told myself that if I saved just one bird, one otter, one seal, If I could convince just one person to cut back on plastic or give up bottled water, it would all be worth it, but at that point realizing I couldn't even make a dent in JUST bottle caps it seemed like there was no way that even if I spent the rest of my life picking up trash I was going to make a difference. I didn't even bother to post the entry. It was almost embarrassing watch myself and see that the trash reduced me to tears.

I think it was actually the next day that I read about your blog in Making Waves! Like getting the camera in the first place, it seemed like a sign that I should keep going. Even though I already knew there were other people just like me doing as much and more, when I read your blog I felt connected to them and it got me excited about doing the project again. I posted the entry about the bottle caps, and now I'm determined to keep picking up and documenting trash and blogging and improving my rather rough film making skills.

Here's a link to her blog

Thank you Sarah, hope this is the first of many posts I'll add to The Daily Ocean featuring your projects and contribution to the Community Collection Count.