Sunday, October 17, 2010

Coast to Coast for 350.org

When I learned of 350.org's global work party on 10-10-10, I knew that I just had to get involved.  Being on vacation with my Mom and Aunts, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to get them involved in their first beach clean-up... my Aunts live in Iowa, and my Mom lives in Missouri.

While we went to Oceanside,  CA....my husband and three children made it back to Access 36-- our adopted access.  Of course, they played... boogie boarded... and dug in the sand.  BUT... they also took time to do a short clean-up.  They focused primarily around the pier of Oceanic Restaurant.

As we've found in our 20 minute clean-ups (and when we participated in the International Coastal Clean-up), there is unfortunately A LOT of restaurant litter AND an employee break area (the table and chairs under the pier is one of two) that is also used by smokers.


My husband and kids had a great time at the beach.  They ended up seeing Kevin Millard and his family.  Kevin has been taking our family pictures since my oldest son was one year old!!  My husband told Kevin why they were cleaning up litter for 10-10-10, and Kevin--AWESOME that he is-- joined in with  his family.  Oh, but it doesn't end there!  My husband also started talking to some people (who happened to be smoking)... AND their young son started helping pick up litter.  Working together they picked up all of this litter off of Wrightsville Beach.

And a pile of 317 cigarette butts...
While my husband and kids were at Wrightsville Beach, I-- along with my Mom and three Aunts-- made it to Oceanside, CA!!  Not being from California, I'm not exactly up to date on California politics.  BUT, it didn't mean that I couldn't help.  I made a sign that read "NO on 23" and my family and I sported bumper stickers on our backs while we did the clean-up.  (Shoot... I even kept the sticker on my back while I traveled through San Diego and Charlotte airports!!)  Check out my Aunt Kay making a poster for the beach clean-up and the back of my Aunt Kathie's shirt!!

We really had a great time participating in 350.org's global work party in Oceanside.  We met some really AWESOME people, had FUN  and helped clean-up the beach.

These two young children were inspired to help pick up litter!  They ran to this fellow volunteer and me several times carrying handfuls of litter!  Kids ROCK!!






Overall, the litter at Oceanside is similar to the litter that we find at Wrightsville Beach.  LOTS of plastics.  Have you ever seen Chris Jordan's photography?  His photos at Midway Island are a disturbing account of our plastic consumption and irresponsible disposal.  Could you ever fathom that an albatross could swallow a lighter??  They do.




In Oceanside (and I'm assuming most... if not all... of California) there are burn pits right on the beach.  Something that we definitely don't have here in NC on Wrightsville Beach.  Around the burn pits is where we found a good majority of litter.  And just like restaurant litter that we find near Oceanic at WB, there was an apparent theme around the burn pits.  Picnic, cookout, barbecue... wherever you're from... whatever you call it... the litter left behind is always the same. 

My personal (no brainer) tip for going disposable-free during picnics, bbq's, and/or cookouts:  Bring your own reusable utensils, cups, plates... throw them in a bag (or empty cooler) when your done and pop them in the dishwasher when you get home.  ;)




Another popular theme... butts and straws.  Speaking of butts... Have you voted for my project "Our Daily Ocean:  A Story of Butts" in the Brita FilterForGood Film Project competition?  Help me get my project made into a short film by voting daily until October 29!! ;) 


If you smoke please be a responsible smoker and dispose of the filter properly.  No disposal receptacle near-by?  Put it out and put it in your pocket.  (My friend's husband uses that method as well as many responsible smokers that I've met at the beach during our 20 minute clean-ups).  NOW...  I hope by now you know how I feel about straws... ;)  "No thank you" are 3 easy words and I use them often.

10-10-10 was an awesome day. I got my Mom and three of my aunts involved in a beach clean-up... AND... they had FUN and were INSPIRED!!  YAY!!  Thanks to Dominique for organizing the 350.org O-Side event!!!
Ty, Dominique, my Mom, me, my Aunt Karon, Aunt Kathie, Aunt Kay... there were some more volunteers not pictured.