Beach clean up. I am sure we have all heard about it. But have we really put thought into how much waste we produce and how that affects us at the beach level? Probably not.
Many of us do not think about it at all. We do not realize what waste we are really putting into our beaches/oceans and even land.
Everything is connected.
Everything is conjoined.
Everything going into our beaches/oceans and landfills affects each and every one of us in some way.
We love showing you how to have the best amazing beach vacation ever, whether you take one in the summer, winter or spring.
But we have yet to mention how you can still have fun and be environmentally aware of how much goes into our beaches and even landfills.
So I ask you this..
If not now… then when?
It’s time to take a stand.
It’s time to make a change.
It’s time to become aware of everything you use and consume.
Keep your beaches clean.
Keep your earth clean.
As mentioned before it is not only about having fun at the beach, but also about maintaining a healthy beach and planet altogether!
And how do you do this?
What Does it Mean to Have a Clean Beach?
A clean beach is just that. A beach that is clean and cared for. Have you ever gone to a beach where there is trash floating around in the water?
Places like the US still have trash floating in the waters. Even if you do not see it! And many surfers say they witness it first hand.
They spend hours in the water.
Just because you don’t see trash, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
It may be more prominent in places like Malaysia or Bali for example.
You’ll be shocked to find a lot of the trash being washed up on the shore.
Turns out, a lot of polluted rivers in Asia pour out into the ocean causing trash to later wash up on the shores. According to this source, a lot of trash including plastic bottles are making its way in large quantities across the Pacific Ocean! And will be seen in the East coast beaches of the US!
By the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Are you shocked yet?
In Bali, it was shocking to see it, so many empty plastic bottles and other trash wash up everyday.
Wave after wave.
Plastic bottles and trash.
Educating yourself is just one step closer to having healthy beaches and a planet.
In fact, it is the first step.
How much Plastic is Found in the Beaches and Oceans
According to source, our oceans carry about 4-12 tons of plastic and trash in the ocean. Most of this trash is dumped from rivers that are very polluted.
These rivers spill out into the ocean killing not only marine life but ourselves.
Everything is connected. If our marine life becomes affected… so do we. It is also known as biomagnification. If we eat fish and fish eat the plastic, then we are also eating the plastic.
You will be surprised that it is all interlinked.
But there are many things we can do to lessen our carbon footprint.
Everything we do… can lessen the waste found in beaches and even our landfills. It is all interlocked.
There a number of things we can do to keep our beaches clean. Of course there’s a couple of them that could help you start. Remember…we are all in this together.
Nobody wants to eat contaminated seafood or go to the beach knowing that trash and red tide can wash up any minute.
Here are four things you can do today:
Avoid Buying Plastic Water Bottles
With almost everything made of plastic, it is often difficult to think of a world without plastic.
Yet, you can most definitely avoid buying plastic water bottles or plastic canisters and or taking them to the beach.
Instead consider buying a reusable water bottle.
People buy lots of plastic water bottles, and not only is it sad how much plastic is being produced, but it is devastating to marine life and mammals.
According to National Geographics, plastic takes 450 years to slightly decompose! Hence, what you can do today can affect the future.
So avoid consumption of plastic. Let’s leave our beaches cleaner and better for our future generations.
And even for ourselves in the next 10-20 years.
Avoid Buying Styrofoam Coolers
I am still surprised how many people still purchase these. It is a one time use that will later end up in our landfills and our oceans. Styrofoam never decomposes. And I mean never.
Can you imagine how many things we use for takeout and then later throw away! Now multiply that by millions and millions of people.
Can you see where I am going with this?
It is not good. Instead of buying a styrofoam cooler then buy a used cooler, or one you can reuse.
Why used? Because most brand new things use up a lot of energy and production to make. Visit your local goodwill to find neat and amazing beach things.
Reuse Reduce Recycle
I am sure we have grown up with the say that all of us know when we were kids. You must reuse what you think we do not need.
How many times do we just buy without realizing where it ends up.
Just because you do not see the trash does not mean it doesn’t exist. Lots of waste that does not decompose end up in landfills producing large amounts of methane gas.
A big health hazard.
Some landfills leak into the ocean causing more trash and and plastic to wash up on shores.
Pick up your Fishing lines
I guess this would pertain to all fishermen out there! How many times have we come across multiple fishing lines that end up on the ground or on the pier.
How many times do we feel lucky to be wearing shoes instead of stepping on any fish lines.
Most fish and sea-life are not so lucky. They actually end up ingesting it in their gizzards and choking from it.
Pick up Trash to Keep the Beach Clean
Not only participating in a beach clean up is important but also picking up your own trash or being a good Samaritan and picking up anything you see around you.
I know what your thinking… Why is it my job to pick up after people. The truth it is not. But sadly there are people who will never care about what is becoming of our beaches and land.
If you do your part to help out then we can all help out.
Pick up your Dog’s Feces
How many of us have brought our dog into the beach where their allowed and seen a number of stools. Many people do not realize it, but dog feces can actually kill marine life. It is toxic to marine animals. So do your part and pick up after them.
There are many other ways you can participate to keep our beaches and land better. There are more ways than you can imagine
Here are a couple other ways:
- Start a compost pile. Learn what organic items you fail to miss.
- Do not use plastic; instead buy reusable things like water bottles
- Educate yourself on plastic and trash and how its interlinked to our beaches and even oceans
It is awesome to have fun at the beach! It is a chance to bond with your family or even friends. More often than not we forget what the environmental impact we are having on the beaches with increased tourism.
But each and everyone of us can do our part in helping out.
The amount of trash that ends up on the beach or the consumption of plastic water bottles also ending up on the beach is more than we actually realize.
Even though it may not be present in our everyday lives or US beaches, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Some beaches across the US are more polluted than others, and a lot of it has to do with big cities.
Though everyday you and all of us can do something to change it.
Plastic has been one of the top factors found in beaches all over the world. The ocean has more plastic than it ever did.
A lot of times we do not realize the amount of trash that comes from the twelve most polluted rivers. These later empty out into the oceans and end on our local beaches… This trash travels across the Pacific Ocean eventually ending on US soil.
Everyday you can take measures to help keep our beaches, oceans, and even our landfills clean.
Avoid using plastic. Instead of buying plastic water bottles, buy a reusable water bottle to fill up. The less plastic you use the better we will all be.
Avoid styrofoam coolers. Not only do they never decompose they also end up in landfills and some even get left behind in beaches.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The basic steps we all learn in primary school. Yet we forget what this means and how we can apply it.
A lot of time we buy a lot of new items. Things we hardly need used them minimally and then throw them away. I know I have been guilty of it.
One of the things we need to be aware of is the amount of consumption we do. Plastic as mentioned before takes 450 -500 year for it to even begin decomposing. Yet everything we do can change that.
Reduce our consumption by reusing items. Or even buying reused items. And most importantly recycle what you need to recycle.
There are many things you can do to help keep our beach and planet clean. Let’s help our only earth.
Wouldn’t it be great for our future generations to enjoy the beautiful beaches we enjoy now?
Wouldn’t be amazing to have children and great grandchildren experience the beauty of marine animals.
After all, we DO want our children and grandchildren to take healthy beach vacation like we do.
The question is…what will you do to lessen your carbon footprint at the beach or landfill level?
What do you do today to keep your beaches and landfills clean?
Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel site was inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating.