Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 329 - Sept. 14, 2012

lifeguard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min. 
1.3 pounds
1,242.8 pounds total 

3 cigarette butts

I gave a ten year old boy digging with his friends this shovel. 
"It's free?" he said. 
"Yup, just don't leave it on the sand when you go." 

The nation's largest volunteer day on the planet!  
Join us, join the thousands of people who spread out coast-to-coast, up rivers, and down streams to take out the pollution fouling up our waterways. 

I'll be at Venice with Surfrider, the Rise Above Plastics crew and you? 

I thought I'd snagged the best shot. A styrafoam cup sticking out of the sand with the sun setting just right. Notice the pair of legs in the background? That's the kid who looked confused as I held my camera close to the cup of little crabbies he'd carefully collected. He was sweet enough not to freak when I dumped them out to put this nasty cup in my bag. 
"Is this yours?" I asked as little wriggling bug-like crabs crawled about and I finally noticed the kid staring at me. 
"Yeah," he said. 
"These guys like a little water in the sand." I held up the cup. He turned to the ocean and scooped up a few handfuls into the white plastic foam that I usually loath. 
"Make sure this cup doesn't get left on the beach," I said and scrunched it down into the sand for him.
"OK," he said as he turned back to the water and the warm late summer sunset.

Just last Tuesday at Blue Drinks I shared how I'd seen so many kids playing with plastic Starbucks, or styrafoam cups to make sand castles. These items I saw as toxic trash helped form their summertime memories at the beach. When I go to schools, how do I make sure that they don't feel ashamed when they hear my message? How do I make sure I don't taint their memories, memories of the beach that I too have and in part make me do what I do? I don't have the answer yet, but I am going to take time to figure out how to encourage change instead of make kids like this boy feel guilty for a golden Sept. evening on the beach.