Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our Daily Ocean: Day 12

Friday evening, as we were heading to the beach we decided to go to Sweet and Savory for dinner.  

Before we started doing beach clean-ups on a regular basis, we were hit or miss with requesting no straws when we ordered our drinks... but seeing how many straws are littered... it just makes sense to start refusing them 100%

 If I take one they make one.  

Now when we order our drinks we say this: "No disposable cups for the kids and no straws."  Suddenly, we've decreased the demand for straws by 5 in just one minute... that's pretty cool.

SO... after our yummy and plastic-free dinner... we went here:

It's 2,619 miles from Wrightsville Beach, NC to Santa Monica Beach, CA where my friend Sara who writes The Daily Ocean is picking up litter on her local beach for 365 non-consectutive days.  A few weeks ago, a reporter from the LA Times called me to talk about Sara and how I came to be inspired by her to start my own Daily Ocean on the opposite side of the country.  Read the AWESOME article that Tony Barboza wrote about Sara and her crusade here.

While picking up cigarette butts my husband and I always talk about our observations.  I think that I should share a few.

* Cigarette butts are well camouflaged.  They're so well camouflaged because their colors-- browns, tans, and whites--match the sand and shells.
The above picture was taken on my knees and zoomed in.  Here's what it looks like just walking by:

 * Cigarette butts have a fear of being alone.  It's true.  It's rare to find a butt all by itself... we find them in groups, pairs, trios and even trails...

* Back to the whole camouflaged thing... so many people don't see the butts on the beach because they blend so well with their surroundings.  We're thinking, "What would the beach look like if cigarette butts were hot pink??"  I'll tell you this much... no one would ever question the fact that there IS a cigarette butt litter problem... on our beaches, in our parks, on our streets, in parking lots, in front of businesses...
Over 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide EVERY YEAR... that's a HUGE problem... not just on Wrightsville Beach.  In a couple of weeks, I'm going to visit Sara and her friend Mark.  Mark is doing something that I'm a huge fan of... creating a solution to the cigarette butt litter problem-- The Bait Tank

20 minutes on September 24, 2010
Cigarette Butts: 951

In this pile are 13 straws.... start refusing straws.  Supply works on demand. ;)

 Total amount of cigarette butts picked up off of Wrightsville Beach, NC in 12 days: