Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our Daily Ocean: Day 33

Merry Christmas!!  After the gifts were opened and our kids played for hours... we drove to Wrightsville Beach to do a 20 minute clean up with my brother and his girlfriend.  
Unlike us, where it takes us about 15-20 minutes to get to Wrightsville Beach... my brother LIVES at the beach.  Lucky boy.  So as we were driving to the beach... my brother (Ryan) and his girlfriend (Gabby) took a walk down the beach strand picking up litter as they walked.  During their walk they stayed at the top of the beach... close to the dunes... and by picking up litter as they walked they removed an overflowing paper grocery bag of litter including balloons, condoms, aluminum cans, plastic bags, degraded plastics, straws, bottle caps, rope, styrofoam... the list goes on.  All together the two of them collected 5 lbs 4.9 oz of litter including 86 cigarette butts.  Once we made it to the beach, they were at Stone Street (Access 29)... so we picked them up and we all drove to the far south end of the beach-- Access 43
Today was the first day that my brother did a clean up with us.  He's one that usually doesn't notice the litter... but between me and Gabby... he's getting trained. ;)  This was also the first time that my husband has been to Access 43 to do a clean up with us.  He, our three kids, my brother and Gabby all headed right to the sand dunes... I made a left and headed straight to the ocean.
The view above was to my right... the view below is what I saw when I turned back over my left shoulder...
Did you know that aluminum (and steel cans) are lined with BPA??  Seriously.  No joke.

The past couple of times we've been to the beach... we've seen the number of cigarette butts on the beach start to decline.  I expected the same to happen today... guess that would've taken a Christmas miracle... because as soon as I saw the wrack line and moved some of the organic debris... I knew that today's numbers weren't going to be low. :(

Under all that vegetative debris was over 50 cigarette butts along with Styrofoam, bottle caps, and straws.
The past week I've been collecting my plastic waste for the Fake Plastic Fish "Show Us Your Plastic Challenge"... I've really been striving to reduce the amount of plastics that our family of 5 uses and while I know where I want to be with our plastic consumption.... there is no better way to know where you're going then to see where you've been :)  Every time we do litter clean ups... I'm reminded of all of the plastic products that we no longer use...  from bottled waters to straws... and two of our other most common finds... zip lock bags (haven't used in nearly 6 years) and individually wrapped snacks...
Ziplock bag.
Larabar. (make them instead!!)

For Christmas, my four year old son got his first camera.  He wanted to take it to the beach today... little did I know he's been paying attention and learning from what we've been doing.... check out his view here.

20 minutes on December 25, 2010

Cigarette butts: 720

Total amount of cigarette butts picked up off of Wrightsville Beach, NC in 33 days: