Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 303 - July 6, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
5.6 pounds
1,141.8 pounds total

5 cigarette butts

The first item that greeted me from the sand was a Joe Camel stub - a.k.a. cigarette butt. Do they still have Camel Cash? As an underage smoker in the early 90's, I was their target audience. Collect enough "cash" glued to the back of a Camel's pack and you too could get a hat, duffel bag, etc. 

And the next trash item I found was only feet from it's destination. In defense of the person who left it there, the trash can was brimming over with the remains of the day. That's a joke. There's a phrase that applies when you go camping, "pack it in, pack it out." 

A woman left a comment today saying that for years she's done a beach cleanup where she lives. She estimates that she's collected over 15,000 plastic bags alone. She goes on to admit there's no end to it, the beach cleaning that is. And that a solution eludes her. 

I've felt the same way on many occasions. But after reading her comment, I realized I believe that there is a solution. I have to. It may not come in my lifetime, or in our children's, but I believe that we'll see what we're doing to our planet and change. We already are. 

I believe that what I do today effects that eventual tomorrow. I believe that every time I refuse a single use plastic bag, bypass the bottled water, and reduce my own disposable plastic packaging habit, it makes a different. I believe that every person who sees this blog or asks me about my beach cleanup is changed. Maybe the change isn't immediate, maybe it sinks in somewhere into the back of their mind, maybe the change I believe in will come person-by-person. I believe a solution is to change myself. As a wise man who I admire greatly said, 
"Be the change you want to see in the world."

What if we all believed that and then acted like we did?