Monday, September 17, 2012

Coastal Cleanup Day

Coastal Cleanup Day - Sept. 15, 2012

Venice Beach, CA - South of the pier

trash collected by over 110 volunteers

160+ pounds collected in 3 hours

Heal the Bay and Surfrider teamed up to facilitate a well organized beach cleanup. Juli Shultz, a longtime member of Surfrider, really did the lion's share. Thanks Juli. Kathryn Benz from Heal the Bay also pitched in all day. A professor from Otis College of Art and Design joined us with a few of her students. I had fun talking to the volunteers, meeting 8th graders from Sylmar, and high school students from Hamilton as they came back to weigh their findings. 

No surprise that they found the usual suspects - plastic bottles, cigarette butts, straws, plastic food wrappers, bottles and cans, and assorted misc. gross items. 

All in all we weighed in around 160 pounds. That's just over a pound per person. 

At noon we broke down the tents and sorted the trash. I'm thrilled that over 160 pounds of trash got taken off the beach, but as we left it in bags for the city of Venice to dispose of, I was reminded that beach cleanups displace trash, they don't get rid of it. I've wished for a Harry Potter wand to make it all disappear, but what happens to this plastic litter is that it gets moved to the dump where it remains a problem. 

Yes, the trash is off the beach I love, out of the water, and away from the animals, but it is far from out of sight out of mind. Beach cleanups raise awareness for how much liter is generated from our rabid culture of convenience. 

Take it off the sand, and then take it out of your life. 

What's good for your health, and your pocket book 
(you save money buying less snacks and drinks out on the go) 
is good for the environment too. 

You are the environment and the environment is a reflection of you. 

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